Fire Safety Tips and Procedures

Protect Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits. Know two ways out. Leave immediately when an alarm sounds. Inform the Department of Safety and Security if you think someone has not evacuated the building.

Preventing and Responding to Fires: The Fire Marshall has specified a number of items that are fire hazards and, therefore, prohibited in College residences, including extension cords, electric heaters, candles, incense, toaster ovens, hot plates, and electric burners. Moreover, students are prohibited from hanging anything from the ceiling. This includes tapestries or flags covering room lights. All prohibited items will be confiscated and the student subject to fines, judicial charges, or both. Specific regulations may be modified to reflect the diversity of residence hall wiring. Serious offenses, such as any tampering with fire equipment (alarm, extinguishers, sprinkler heads, etc.), result in removal from College housing, restitution, and a minimum two-day suspension.

When there is a Fire, Sound the Alarm: If you discover or suspect a fire, sound the building's fire alarm. Warn the other occupants by knocking on doors and shouting as you leave. Take your room key in case you are unable to leave the corridor and must return to your room.

Leave the Building: Move to a designated meeting place away from the building and out of the path of the fire department. Stay outside the building until the fire department or College officials say it is safe to go in.

Call the Department of Safety and Security to Summon the Fire Department: Dial extension 7744, and give the following information:

  • Name of Building
  • Floor
  • Room Number
  • Nature of the Situation
If for some reason this department can not be reached, call 9-911 to reach the Brooke County Dispatcher.

 

Immediate Evacuation is Safest: Use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and you know how to use it. But be sure the fire department is called first. If you can't put out the fire, leave immediately.


Surviving a Fire

Crawl if there is Smoke: If you get caught in smoke, get down and crawl. Cleaner, cooler air is near the floor. Cover your nose and mouth with cloth. Get Low And Go!

Feel Doors before Opening Them: Before opening doors, feel the door. If it is warm, don't open it. If it is cool, brace yourself against the floor, open it slightly, and if heat or heavy smoke are present, close the door immediately and stay in the room.

Go to the Nearest Exit or Stairway: Always use an exit stair, not an elevator. Elevator shafts may fill with smoke or the power may fail, leaving you trapped. Stairway fire doors will keep out fire and smoke-if they are closed-and will protect you until you get outside. If the nearest exit is blocked by fire, heat, or smoke, go to another exit. Close as many doors as possible as you leave to help confine the fire.


If You Get Trapped

Keep the Doors Closed: Seal cracks and vents if smoke comes in. If you become trapped in a room and there is no smoke outside, open the windows, from the top to let out the heat and smoke and from the bottom to let in fresh air.

Signal for Help: Hang an object out the window (a bed sheet, jacket, shirt, etc.) to attract the fire department's attention. If there is a phone in the room, call the Department of Safety and Security and report that you are trapped. Be sure to specify your building and room number.

Sometimes it is Safer to Stay in Place: If all exits from a floor are blocked, go back to your room, close the door, seal cracks, open the windows if safe, wave something out the window, and shout or phone for help. DON'T JUMP!

If You Are on Fire: If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll. Rolling smothers the fire.

Cool burns: Use cool tap water on burns immediately. Don't use ointments. If the skin is blistered, dead white, brown, or charred, go to the Health Services building or call the ambulance 9-911.


Preventing Fires

Smoke Carefully: Smoke only in designated areas. If you smoke, don't smoke in bed or near flammable materials. Use large ashtrays and be sure ashes, matches, and cigarette ends are cold before you dump them. Don't smoke while intoxicated.

Cook in Approved Areas or Kitchens and Use Laboratory-Tested Appliances: Stay nearby while appliances are being used. Remove grease and clean appliances as soon as possible.

Be Careful with Electricity: Use only laboratory-tested appliances. Don't overload outlets. Replace damaged wires.


If You Have a Disability
If you have a disability (even a temporary one), be certain to do the following:
  • Plan ahead for fire emergencies.
  • Be aware of your own capabilities and limitations.
  • Notify the College staff so that you can get assistance when needed.
  • Look for "areas of refuge" like stair enclosures or the safe side of corridor fire doors.
  • Do not use elevators or try to descend fire stairs in a wheelchair.

Sometimes it may be safer to stay in your room, and follow the advice for being trapped.

If You Use Alcohol or Drugs
You are especially vulnerable to smoke asphyxiation. Even young healthy people may not be able to escape a fire if they are intoxicated. They may not hear the smoke alarm or be able to find an exit. Take special care of anyone who becomes intoxicated, particularly if the person is a smoker.


Report Damaged Fire Equipment
Report to the Department of Safety and Security any damaged fire equipment such as the following:
  • Fire Doors: Fire doors should close completely and automatically. Fire doors must be kept closed at all times.
  • Exit Doors: Two exits should be visible from all public areas.
  • Fire Alarms: Horns, bells, and pull stations should be accessible and operational.
  • Smoke Detectors: Smoke detectors should not be blocked or vandalized.
  • Fire Extinguishers: Fire Extinguishers should be functional. Report when they are empty, have been vandalized, or are missing.

Fire Alarms
If a fire alarm sounds, students should close the windows, leave the room, closing the door behind them, and leave the building immediately through the nearest safe exit. There is a $100 fine and disciplinary action for a student who does not leave the building during an alarm. Tampering with or disconnecting smoke detectors is illegal and results in severe sanctions.

Students with information about the nature of a false alarm should report the information to College officials when they arrive on the scene. If the false alarm is pulled intentionally, the residence hall is fined. Serious offenses such as any tampering with fire equipment (alarm, extinguishers, sprinkler heads, etc.) result in removal from College housing, restitution, and/or a minimum two-day suspension.

Report Fire-Related Crimes
Vandalism of fire extinguishers, exit signs, and fire alarms reduces fire protection, and is against the law. Any student found responsible for such vandalism can be expelled from the College and face criminal prosecution. A conviction could prevent a student from being admitted to graduate or professional school. Fires injure and kill people and destroy property. Therefore, anyone setting a fire should be reported immediately.