EMERGENCY EVACUATION – IN CASE OF FIRE
The U.S. Fire Administration reports that approximately 111,000 fires occurred in non-residential buildings in 2019. The best way to prevent these deadly fires from occurring is by eliminating the possible fire hazards. You are responsible for fire prevention at work for your safety as well as your co-workers. Potential hazards should be immediately reported to your supervisor or to the University Environmental Health & Safety Department.
If you are ever confronted with a fire keep your cool, but think fast and act with caution. When a fire is discovered, size it up fast. Knowing when to try to control the fire yourself and when to call for help is essential.
In the event of a fire, smoke from a fire, or a gas odor has been detected, follow the following Emergency Response Procedures:
- Assess the situation. Pull fire alarm and contact 911.
- Evacuate students and staff to a safe distance outside of building.
- Assist the disabled in exiting the building if able to do so. If not, assist them to the nearest area of rescue and report location to emergency personnel.
- Do not use elevators during a fire emergency.
- Follow normal fire drill route. Follow alternate route if normal route is too dangerous.
- Faculty takes class roster to evacuation site. Take (call) roll after being evacuated.
- Advise university police of missing students.
- Perform necessary immediate first-aid on victim(s): smother fire by rolling victim on the ground, deluge with water.
- No one may reenter building(s) until entire building(s) has been declared safe by fire or police personnel.
- University Police/Director of Environmental Health and Safety notifies students and staff of termination of emergency. Resume normal operations.
It is important to incorporate the diverse needs of individuals when planning for evacuations. Everyone should take the time to locate the nearest exit or enclosed stairwell that will lead you directly out of the building. Always give preference to the use of an enclosed stairwell in an emergency. Enclosed stairwell landings are an Area of Rescue Assistance for individuals with a disability. Remember, never use elevators during an emergency evacuation.
The following are tips for assisting persons with disabilities to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency:
During an Emergency Evacuation Procedure:
- Communicate the nature of the emergency to the person.
- Ask the person how they would like to be assisted.
- When you evacuate the person, make sure you bring along their mobility aids if possible, for example, cane, walker, etc.
Persons with Visual Disabilities:
Tell the person the nature of the emergency and offer to guide them to the nearest exit. Have them take your elbow and help them avoid obstacles. Even if they have a guide dog, it is wise to offer to physically guide them. When you reach safety, tell the person where they are and help them to get oriented to the location.
Persons with Hearing Disabilities:
While most buildings have flashing light alarms, the person may be engrossed in their work or in a location where the alarm is not readily visible. Communicate the emergency to them in whatever manner is comfortable to you, utilizing hand gestures or a quick note.
Persons with Physical Disabilities:
- Persons using Canes, Walkers or Crutches
Ask the person what assistance they need. If assistance is requested, encourage them to use the stair rail and walk behind the person to act as a buffer from others who may push forward from behind. Note: (If the person does not need assistance, the person should wait until heavy traffic has cleared before attempting the stairs. Utilize the Area of Rescue Assistance until it is safe to exit).
- Persons using Wheelchairs
Ask the person what assistance they need. In general, however, persons using wheelchairs should be moved to a fire safe exit (stairwell landing). If possible, have someone stay with the person until additional assistance has arrived, while a second person notifies rescue personnel of the area in which the person is located. In an emergency, DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS. All of the stairwell landings are protected with fire rated doors and are the safest place to be in the event of a fire. Rescue personnel are trained to check these areas for persons who may need assistance.
Remember to review fire safety procedures often so you’ll know what to do.
- Act with caution.
- Sound the alarm.
- Warn others in the area.
- Evacuate and stay back unless you’re asked to help.
In case of fire, being informed and prepared can keep you and your co-workers safe from injury.
- Observe and follow all posted safety notices.
- The use of any tobacco product in any form is prohibited on all Nicholls State University properties including the main campus, Duhe Building, Chauvin Gardens, etc.
- No fighting or horseplay allowed in the work area or classroom.
- Know where fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.
- Evacuate in an orderly manner if the fire alarm sounds.
- Know designated evacuation routes from your floor and building.
- Know emergency phone numbers or access to them.
- Report all injuries and accidents to your supervisor.
- Report to your supervisor any equipment that is not operating properly.
- Do not run in the work area.
- Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor.
- Do not throw objects in the work area.
- Keep your workstation clean and orderly.
- Keep floor free of litter.
- Place litter and waste materials in proper containers.
- Do not walk on wet floors and immediately wipe up spills.
- Keep passageway clear to allow easy access and exit.
- Keep desk, filing drawers, etc. closed to avoid hazards to those walking by.
- Return equipment and material to their proper place after use.
- Report lighting and ventilation problems affecting you to your immediate supervisor.
- Always read labels before using chemicals, bleaches, cleaning fluid, etc. that could be harmful if spilled.
- When working with hazardous chemicals, do not work alone.
- Use only approved cleaning fluids when cleaning machinery. Remember to allow for proper ventilation. Dispose of rags and waste material in proper containers and away from heat.
- Do not operate machines or equipment without proper training.
- Never leave a machine or equipment in operation unattended. Turn machine and equipment off before leaving the office at the end of the workday.
- Neckties, scarves and other wearing apparel should be secured when working around equipment.
- Notify your supervisor of any breakage or malfunction of machinery or equipment.
- Wear eye protection, respirators, or protective clothing in regulated areas or during functions requiring protective gear.
- Report frayed electrical cords immediately.
- Tape temporary electrical cords to the floor to prevent tripping.
- Do not overload electrical circuits.
- Do not use electrical extension cords as a permanent electrical line.
- Never turn on an electrical switch unless you know what it operates and have had the adequate training on that piece of equipment.
- Do not attempt to repair electrical devices unless properly trained to do so. Otherwise, report it to a supervisor.
- Keep flammable items away from electrical outlets, cords or other electrical apparatus.
- Use only properly grounded electrical equipment.
- When using university vehicles or your own vehicle for authorized travel, remember to use your seat belts and drive defensively.
- Only authorized drivers allowed to operate state vehicles or personal vehicles for state business.
- Do not text and drive.
These listed safety rules are not totally inclusive. They are intended as a guide to develop proper health and safety practices and procedures. Should you have questions or doubts about safe operations in the workplace, please contact your supervisor or the Safety Officer. Nicholls State University wants to provide a safe and healthy work and academic environment for its students, faculty and staff.