Fire Procedures in General Campus Buildings

In the event of a fire, do the following things:
1. Immediately activate the building fire alarm system.
2. Assist any person in immediate danger to safety, if it can be accomplished without risk to yourself.
3. If the fire is small enough, use a nearby fire extinguisher to control and extinguish the fire. Don’t fight the fire if these conditions exist:

  • The fire is too large or out-of-control (larger than the size of a small trash can).
  • If the atmosphere is toxic.

4. If the first attempts to put out the fire do not succeed, evacuate the building immediately.
5. Doors, and if possible, windows should be closed as the last person leaves a room or area.
6. When exiting through a closed interior door, check door with the back of your hand for excessive heat in case fire is on the other side.
7. Do not use elevators—use building stairwells.
8. When they hear the fire alarm sound, all persons in the building must evacuate immediately.
9. Once outside of the building, cross the nearest street to allow emergency crews access. Dial 911 from a safe location if emergency personnel have not arrived.

If you live in on-campus housing, the OSU ResLife Handbook and the University Apartments Handbook contain additional information on safety policies. Fire drills are conducted in all campus-housing units. An announced drill is held early in the fall semester and an unannounced drill is held during the spring semester.

What Are Fire Doors, Exactly?

Fire doors are doors that meet specific safety regulations and building codes and act as a fire barrier. Most fire doors are rated, which means they’ve been tested to withstand fire for 20,30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes.  All fire doors must be certified by recognized testing laboratories (such as UL) and must have the laboratory’s certification label displayed on the side.

Some fire doors must stay closed; others may be left open under normal circumstances, but they shut automatically when a fire breaks out.  However, no matter what type of fire door is used in your building, never place an obstacle in front of it and never prop it open with a doorstop or other object or by tying it open.

Laboratory Fire Procedures

If you are in a chemistry or biology laboratory and hear the fire alarm, do the following things:
1. All containers of infectious materials shall be placed into autoclaves, incubators, refrigerators, or freezers.
2. Follow Fire Procedures in General Campus Buildings (above).

Laboratory personnel evacuated from the building in an emergency who may be contaminated with an infectious agent due to an exposure or release must do the following things:
1. Prevent others from becoming exposed or contaminated.
2. Take self-protective measures by removing contaminated clothing if possible.
3. Wait for emergency decontamination by emergency response personnel.

Suspicious Package

1. Do not handle the package. Move away and dial 911 if you feel threatened.
2. If you have opened a suspicious package or letter:

  • Dial 911.
  • Leave the package or envelope in place and move away slowly.
  • Leave the room slowly, notifying others to leave the room also, and closing doors behind as you go.
  • Notify others in the building to evacuate.

3. Do not operate any power switches.
4. Do not activate the fire alarm.
5. Do not allow reentry into the area/office suite where the package is located.
6. Follow the instructions you will receive from OSU Police or other recognized authorities.

Bomb Threat

If you receive a bomb threat over the telephone, take these actions:
1. Stay calm. Pay close attention to details.
2. Take notes. Try to get the following information from the caller:

  • Who are you?
  • Why are you doing this?
  • What time is the bomb set to explode?
  • What does it look like?
  • Who else have you told?
  • What is your organization?
  • Where has the bomb been placed?
  • What type of bomb is it?
  • Where are you calling from?

3. Have a co-worker or another person dial 911 using another phone.
4. Write information down as caller says it and have co-worker relay information to the Police.
5. Try to keep the caller on the phone. Listen for any background noises, voice inflection or accents, and anything else that would help determine the origin of the call.
6. Evacuate the building upon instruction from properly identified emergency personnel.

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