Important things to consider concerning what you should do during a fire:
- Where are the exits?
Get to know the facilities where you live and attend classes, and the path that you may have to use in an emergency.
- Are there designated places of refuge?
Since no one knows where a fire might start, there are very limited areas of refuge. The safest place to be is in an enclosed stair, which has an exit directly to the outside. The stairway provides a separation from the fire and allows rescuers an avenue to you. This is especially true in high rise buildings. You should limit your use of high rise buildings, especially late at night when the building are sparsely occupied. Devices to assist with rescue, called "Evac-chairs" have been installed in 29 of the most commonly used buildings on campus. These chairs are for use by rescue personnel, and their locations are known to rescuers. The Athens-Clarke County Fire Department rescue truck, stationed at the downtown station, responds to all emergency calls to campus and is equipped with one of the "Evac-chairs". Closed doors also prevent rapid spread of fire. Close all doors behind you, between you and the fire, and especially the stair doors.
- What phone number do I call for help?
If you use a campus phone, you must dial a 9 before the number, this includes the 911 emergency services. If using a public phone not on the campus system, you can call 911 directly. The other number to call is 542-2200 for the University Police Department. If you become trapped in a room and there is a phone, call both of these numbers and tell them exactly where you are.
- What do I do if there is no phone in the room and I am trapped?
Get to a window, open it if you can, and hang something out the window that is noticeable. If you cannot open the window, break it if possible. Wet yourself if possible. If there is a sprinkler in the room, and the room is getting smoky and hot, set off the sprinkler and stay under it. Cover yourself with water or damp towels if possible.
- When are fire drills and how should I participate?
Unannounced fire drills are held in academic buildings, and in Residence Halls every semester. You should participate by going to a stair landing and requesting assistance or exiting the building, if it is accessible to egress. Elevators usually are recalled automatically to the main exit floor and should not be used in drills or under real emergency conditions. There are some buildings, however, such as the journalism building, which has an exterior elevator that can be used in emergencies because they are separated from the building.
- With whom do I discuss fire safety or special accommodations? Can I tailor an evacuation plan to my individual needs?
Call the Fire Safety Office at 542-5627, or the Disability Resource Center in Clark Howell Hall at 542-8719.