Building Evacuation

When to evacuate:

The following will result in the evacuation of a university building:

  • Audible alarm (Fire alarm)
  • Power failure NOTE: Laboratories must be evacuated, follow instructions as provided on UTILITY FAILURE tab
  • Natural disaster
  • Man-made disaster
  • Mechanical problems that are deemed a danger to the occupants
  • Hazardous Chemical spill or gas leak
  • Order of University Police or other Public Safety Official

General Procedures

  • Stay Calm.
  • For fire evacuations, close (but do not lock) all doors and windows to help contain the fire.
  • Faculty and staff should attempt assisting in the evacuation of their areas. In the event you are not familiar with the evacuation route of your area, please follow the nearest "Exit" sign.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Report to the designated assembly area(s) and stay there until directed otherwise.
  • Reenter the building only when directed by a fire department official or University Police.
  • Staff should only perform those evacuation duties that they are comfortable with.
  • Occupants should be strongly encouraged to evacuate the building; however, if an occupant refuses to leave, the building emergency supervisor/staff should inform the occupant of the danger of staying in the building. The building emergency supervisor/staff should then continue notifying the remainder of occupants in his/her area.
  • The location of any personnel refusing or unable to leave the building should be reported to emergency response personnel.
  • Mobility impaired persons should proceed to the nearest enclosed stairwell or area of safe refuge and stay there.
  • If possible, a co-worker, supervisor, instructor, or building emergency supervisor should be notified.
  • Once outside, the co-worker, supervisor, instructor, or building emergency supervisor must notify the Huntsville Fire and Rescue or the University Police that there is a mobility impaired person in the stairwell, which floor the person is on, and the location of the stairwell or refuge area.
  • In case of fire, enclosed building stairwells are "safe refuge areas" and have a higher fire resistive rating. Make sure the door to the stairwell is closed. Open doors will violate the safe refuge area and will allow smoke, and possibly fire, into the stairwell.

General Guidelines when evacuating the building

  • Evacuate the building in a top down fashion. Do not go upstairs to evacuate activity spaces; the Building Emergency Supervisor or Support Staff will notify occupants in those areas.
  • Follow the "Exit" signs posted throughout the building.
  • Evacuate away from the affected area.
  • Clear the activity area that you are closest to during the alarm.
  • Make your way to the next activity area if there is no sign of smoke or fire.

Fire Drill Evacuation

All building occupants are required to evacuate during fire drills.

Fire drills are conducted to familiarize Faculty, Staff, Students, and visitors with the sound of the building fire alarm, the emergency exits, Fire Emergency Procedures, and evacuation assembly points. All Faculty, Staff, Students, and visitors are expected to participate in and facilitate a safe and orderly evacuation according to the above procedures.

Please note that some scheduled drills will be announced, while others may occur unannounced for evaluation purposes.