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Fires and Explosions

Fires, and to a lesser degree, explosions present a constant threat to institutions of higher learning. Public Safety currently monitors fire safety equipment such as sprinklers, fire extinguishers and know hazardous material on our campuses. Evacuation protocols are exercised regularly with scheduled fire drills.

University Community
Fires and explosions are a significant threat to the safety of the University community. In addition to regularly scheduled fire drills, periodically the University community will receive training updates on how to respond to this threat. These training updates include the following general information:

If you observe a fire, alert those in your immediate area, evacuate the area, and activate the closest fire alarm pull station. Call Public Safety or 911. When a fire alarm is activated, immediately evacuate the building and follow instructions of Public Safety officers and Emergency Evacuation Volunteers. The routine fire drills conducted by the University help to ensure an immediate and safe evacuation of all individuals in a building. Treat every fire drill as the real thing. Initiate evacuation of the building immediately upon hearing the fire alarm. If an explosion occurs and overhead items are falling in your area take refuge under a sturdy table or desk. If there are severe smoke conditions, stay low to the floor and exit the building as quickly as possible. If you are trapped in debris, tap on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can hear you. Understand that persons should not attempt to rescue people who are inside a collapsed building. Public Safety will immediately contact professional first responders who will initiate appropriate rescue activities.

Initial Action
Fires and explosions present a serious threat to the University. An explosion is caused by a rapid expansion of gas from a chemical reaction or incendiary devices. Signs of an explosion may be a very loud sound or a series of noises and vibrations, fire, heat, or smoke, falling glass or debris. The Vice President for Public Safety, or designee, will make a determination to activate the Emergency Operation Center (EOC). Public Safety will contact specific functional areas, as appropriate to the incident. Upon being notified, Public Safety will ensure appropriate fire alarms have been activated, contact municipal first responders, and deploy officers to direct evacuation activities. The Vice President for Public Safety will enhance communication with the Facilities Services and Environmental Health and Safety, and advise senior leadership of the incident.