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In the event of a fire or hazardous materials emergency within a campus building, it is necessary for all occupants to evacuate in an orderly manner. If an alarm goes off, proceed to the nearest exit. If that exit is blocked by fire, smoke or debris, proceed to another exit. Do not use an elevator.

The following are indicators that a fire or hazardous materials emergency is in effect:

  • A building fire evacuation alarm is sounding;
  • An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building or area of campus;
  • There is the presence of smoke, or the odor of burning;
  • There is abnormal spontaneous or abnormal heating of any material
  • There is an uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas or other hazardous material, or a flammable liquid spill.

What to do in case of fire:

  • Activate the building fire alarm if it is not already sounding
    Leave the building by the nearest accessible exit
  • If you encounter smoke, crouch down or crawl to the exit
  • Feel doors before opening. If a door is hot, don't open it. If it's cool, pen it only slightly and look for signs of heat and heavy smoke. Do not enter a room that is actively burning or smoldering.
  • Do not use elevators. The power could fail, or the elevator shaft could fill with smoke. Stairway fire doors will keep out fire and smoke, if they are closed, and will protect you until you get outside.
  • Close as many doors as possible as you leave. This helps to confine the fire.
  • Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and you know how to do it safely. Do not delay calling emergency responders or activating the building fire alarm. If you can't put out the fire, leave immediately. Make sure the fire department is called, even if you think the fire is out.
  • Once it is safe to do so, call 911 from a campus phone, or call 410.837.4444 (UB Police Department)

If you are trapped:

  • Remain calm.
  • Keep the door closed—lock out the fire.
  • Place cloth material (wet if possible) around and under door to prevent smoke from entering.
  • Be prepared to signal your presence from a window. Do not break glass unless absolutely necessary, as outside smoke may be drawn inside.
    Signal for help by hanging an object in the window.
  • Call 911 or 410.837.4444 from a cellular phone or any working phone. Report that you are trapped. Be sure to give your room number and location.


Do not store items in building corridors. They can block the exit in a fire or hazardous materials emergency. Bicycles, chairs, desks, boxes and other heavy items can block exits and impede evacuation, especially in dark and smoky conditions. Do not prop open fire doors.

If you are disabled:

Proceed to a designated rescue assistance area, located in building stairwells. Trained personnel will reach you and assist in your safe departure from the building.

Last Published 9/19/16