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Fire Evacuation Plans

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When the Fire Alarm Sounds (and flashes):

  • Evacuate the building immediately. Don’t forget to grab your keys, lock your door, wear shoes and appropriate weather attire or grab them on your way out.
  • Go to a location out of the path of emergency response vehicles, approximately 50 feet away from the building and account for the people in your group. Do not stand in the way of emergency vehicle access or fire hydrants. If you know someone unable to evacuate the building, you may relay that information to 911.
  • In order to slow the spread of the fire and smoke, doors should be closed and locked, and if possible, windows, should be closed as the last person leaves a room or area.
  • Do not use elevators, use the building's stairwells.
  • If you cannot evacuate the building due to mobility impairment, intensity of the fire, or smoke, “Shelter in Place” by closing the door(s) to the room you are in, call 911 to give your location. The Safety Department has “Shelter in Place” door hangers for people with permanent mobility impairments available by request. If you can not evacuate and smoke is coming into your room you may block deadly smoke from entering by stopping up cracks under and around the door. For fresh air, open windows to the outside, if the fire is not below, and stay next to the floor to avoid breathing hot gases and smoke until help arrives.
  • Do not return to your room until the all clear signal is given by OUPD or the Athens Fire Department , or, in the case of a fire drill, The Safety Department.

Other tips:

  • Take the time to learn where the fire alarms and alternate exit routes are from any room or area in your building (you won't always be in your own room when the alarm sounds or when you spot smoke or flames).
  • If there is smoke in the hallway, find an alternate route, stay low to avoid breathing deadly smoke and gases.
  • If you have to pass through a closed door to exit, touch the door with the back of your hand to make sure it is not hot. If the door handle is hot do not open it!
  • Do not attempt to carry a person unless you are trained, equipped, and able to do so . Untrained people may hurt themselves and others, and delay evacuation.
  • Keep a pair of hard soled shoes, your keys, a blanket, coat, or towel handy for evacuation and drills.
  • Do not use a fire extinguisher unless you have called 911, have a back-up buddy, have been trained to use a fire extinguisher, and the fire is small(trash can size or smaller).
  • Do not fight a fire if the following conditions exist:
    • You haven’t called 911 yet.
    • You don’t know what’s burning.
    • You don’t have training in fire extinguishers or comfortable using one.
    • The fire is spreading rapidly.
    • You don’t have the proper equipment.
    • You can’t do so with your back to an exit.
    • The fire might block your means of escape.
    • You might inhale toxic smoke.
    • Your instincts tell you not to do so.
  • Doors, and if possible, windows, should be closed as the last person leaves a room or area.
  • Never reenter a building without permission from the Athens Fire Department, OUPD, or the Safety Department, if it is a drill. Property can be replaced, people can’t.