If a fire occurs, individuals are instructed to sound the building fire alarm by pulling the red alarm pull box and, if possible, call 911 and/or Campus Security at (801) 832-2525.
Once a fire alarm has been sounded, individuals should evacuate immediately using the nearest fire exit door or stairwell. Individuals should not use elevators because they may become inoperative due to the fire. If possible, abled persons should assist disabled persons in exiting the building. Disabled persons who cannot use stairs should wait in the stairwell until Campus Security or firefighters arrive. Individuals should notify Campus Security or fire authorities of the location of any disabled persons remaining in the building. Individuals should also notify Campus Security or firefighters if they suspect that someone may be trapped inside.
Even if the alarm stops, individuals should continue the evacuation. Warn others who may enter the building after the alarm stops. Individuals should evacuate to the emergency assembly point, elevated playing field or if otherwise instructed a distance of at least 500 feet from the building and out of the way of emergency personnel. Individuals should not return to the building until instructed to do so by Campus Security or other authorized personnel.
When a fire alarm has been sounded or a fire otherwise reported to Campus Security, the Security Department will initiate the notification procedures for contacting appropriate personnel.
In Case of Fire or Fire Alarm
- If a fire alarm is heard or seen, immediately begin evacuation of the building
- Close all windows and doors behind you
- If a fire or smoke is discovered, sound the building alarm
- Notify Campus Security and/or dial 911
- Close the window to your room
- Proceed quickly to the nearest exit, closing room and stairwell doors as you leave do not lock doors. (Closing doors helps to confine the fire by reducing oxygen flow).
- Alert others as you leave
- Do not use elevators
- Activate the fire alarm as you leave the building
- If you encounter smoke, stay near the floor and below the smoke
- Exit the building and assemble in the area established by your Residence Hall Staff (Emergency assembly point- elevated playing field). Do not leave the area as you must be accounted for. If you don't know where your designated area is located, contact your RA.
- If unable to leave your room due to heat, smoke or fire, call Campus Security and/or call 911 to give your location so firefighters may find you. If possible, hang a brightly colored towel or article of clothing out your window to signal for assistance.
- Do not return to an evacuated building unless told so by an authorized college official
If You Discover a Fire
- Stay Calm and above all do not jeopardize your personal safety
- Activate the nearest fire alarm and alert faculty, staff, and students in the immediate area about the fire
- Call 911 if applicable
- Call Campus Patrol at 801.832.2525 if applicable
- Remove anyone in immediate danger
- Confine the fire by closing windows and doors, as much as possible
- Very small fires (incipient stage) can be put out with a fire extinguisher (ABC)
Evacuation Due to Fire
- If the fire cannot be immediately contained, evacuate the facility. Consider the possibility of toxic fumes or explosions from burning materials and especially from compressed gas.
- Stay low when moving through smoke
- When passing through an exit, move as quickly away from the exit to avoid creating a bottleneck that slows the escape of others
- If you are trapped inside a room, keep the doors closed and seal any cracks with wet towels, if possible
- Open a window for air and call for help. Do not break the glass unless absolutely necessary (outside smoke could be drawn into the room).
- Do not panic or jump
- Close as many doors between you and the fire as possible
- Do not re-enter the building after you have exited, but proceed directly to the designated assembly area at the Dumke Field
- Follow the directions of the supervisors present and the emergency personnel at the scene
- If someone is missing, do not attempt to re-enter the building. Notify the firefighters or emergency personnel at the scene, and describe where the person was last seen.
How to Report a Fire Has Occured
Students, faculty and staff are instructed to call 911 to report fires occurring in, on, or around College's buildings. In addition, if feasible, also report fires to Campus Security 801.832.2525.
For purposes of counting and disclosing fires in the College's annual fire statistics, individuals should report fires to either of positions listed below:
Campus Security at 801.832.2525 and/or Campus Fire Marshal at (801) 832-2567 that a fire has occurred.
General Fire Safety
Be aware of the possible primary and secondary emergency exit routes, fire alarm pull stations, and emergency procedures of your place of residence. Those with physical disabilities should notify Residence Life, in advance, to plan for an evacuation. If you become temporarily disabled due to an injury or illness, Residence Life should be informed. Become familiar with the fire exits nearest your room and the evacuation plans on each floor of your building. Generally speaking, you should use the closest stairwell to your room; but you should be aware of a secondary exit in the event your primary exit becomes unusable.
In compliance with state regulations, the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, in conjunction with Student Life/Housing, conducts fire drills (evacuations) a minimum of two times annually. Each semester, the Environmental Health and Safety Department also conducts one fire drill in academic and administrative buildings. Drills shall be held at random and are conducted during all hours of the day to avoid distinction between drills and actual fires. Westminster College requires all occupants to evacuate the buildings during the fire drills. Individuals who ignore fire alarms and required evacuations may face disciplinary charges. Fire drill documentation is maintained by the Safety Department.
Use of Fire Extinguisher
Properly trained residence hall staff may attempt to put out a fire using fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are not meant to fight large or spreading fires. Apply the following guidelines when using a fire extinguisher.
- Only trained personnel should use a fire extinguisher
- Activate a fire alarm prior to using a fire extinguisher
- Always position yourself with an exit or means of escape at your back before using a fire extinguisher to put out a fire
- If the fire is producing large amounts of smoke that you may inhale it, do not try to extinguish it