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                                Department of Public Safety - Fire Safety

 

Evacuation Procedures for Fire Alarms in University Buildings

 

Due to building size, complexity and a host of other factors, University policy mandates total

building evacuation during all fire alarms. Without the assistance of uniformed and

civilian groups, evacuating buildings the size and complexity of buildings found at Columbia

would be an overwhelming task.

 

At no time however, is any member of the University community required or expected to

place themselves in a position that will compromise his or her safety. If fire or smoke conditions are

encountered, you MUST leave the building immediately.

 

Contract Guard Responsibilities

 

Although assigned to University buildings, the role of contract guards is different than that of the

Columbia University Security Officer. The primary function contracted guard service is to control

access to off campus University buildings. Using the policy below, the contracted guard can

provide a vital service during fire emergencies.

 

In the event of a fire alarm, the Following procedure will be enacted by the contract security

guard on duty.

  1. Verify location of alarm on remote enunciator panel.  

  2. Notify security by phone to relay information from panel or occupants and verify awareness

          of the alarm.  

  1. Keep the phone line clear for security purposes.  

  2. Monitor radio and relay information to responding personnel.  

  3. Pending arrival of the fire department:
    a. Make sure doors are operable;
    b. Call elevator to floor and turn off;
    c. Stand to the side of the doors;
    d. Advise residents to stay clear of the entrance; and
    e. Do not let residents re-enter for any reason.
     

  4. Remain at front door unless otherwise guided by:
    a. A security supervisor;
    b. An officer from the fire department; and/or
    c. The fire safety officer.
     

  5. Relay any information received, to fire department or security supervisor responding, including:
    a. Name or description of person claiming to have pulled a manual pull station;
    b. Reason person pulled the box;
    c. Location of report of smoke or fire; and
    d. Report any individuals reported not leaving the building.
     

  6. If a disabled resident location list is posted at the security desk, have
    all information ready for the fire department, security supervisor, or fire safety officer.  

  7. If the fire department and security enter the building at a point other than your post,

          dial 99 and give all information received from occupants, to the desk officer, for relay

           to the fire department.

  1. The responding security supervisor is the only person authorized to allow re-entry of

           occupants after a fire alarm.

 

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Head Resident & R.A. Staff Responsibilities

 

The role of the Residence Life Staff is of major importance to occupants of University

Residence Halls. During fire emergencies, the RA staff act as Emergency Evacuation

Personnel assisting with notification to residents, results in a timely evacuation process.

The policy listed is a guideline, at no time should any member of the University population

place themselves a situation that will compromise their safety.

  1. In the event of an alarm (staff responsibilities).
     a. If not already done, report any fire or smoke condition you encounter.
     b. Be sure to have your key ring.
     c. Evacuate your area starting from the farthest point knocking on doors.
              i. If no heat or smoke is present, say, "The fire alarm is ringing, we

                  must leave the building."
              ii.Only yell 'fire' if you see a fire.
     d. Direct residents to the nearest exit, not the elevator.
     e. Close doors as you go.
     f.  Move people out of building and away from front door.
     g. Report to security or the f.d. and identify yourself.
     h. Let security and the f.d. know you have building keys.
     i.  Keep residents out of building until security says they can return.
     j.  Assist in building re-entry.
     k. Control elevator overloading.
     

  2. Evacuation procedures
    a. Feel door prior to opening.
    b. Keeping hand on knob crack door open.
            i. Close if heat or smoke is present.
    c. Walk, don't run.
    d.  Knock on doors as you go.
    e. Use stairs, not the elevator.
    f.  Know location of fire exit.
             i.  Look for exit sign.
             ii. Count number of doors to exit.
             iii.Use nearest stair.
    g. Continue to exit even if bells stop (coded system).
    h. Exit building and move away from door to allow security and fire
        department access.

    3.   What to do in the event of a "real fire"
          a. Feel door, if hot, don't open.
          b. If smoke or heat is present.
                    i.  Remain in room.
                    ii. Close door and seal cracks.
          c. If possible phone security and give your location.
          d. Stand at window to signal security or fire dept.
          e. If possible open top and bottom window.
          f.  If smoke and heat are tolerable, stay low or crawl to safety.
                    i.  Close doors behind you.
                    ii. Take keys with you to return if necessary.
                    iii. Knock on doors and yell fire if you can.
          g. Report location of heat and smoke to security or fire department as you leave.
          h. Report any people that might still be inside.
          i.  If you catch fire, stop-drop-and roll.
          j. Do not jump or climb out window.

    4.    People with special needs
          a. If you know of a person with special needs in the building, notify the
              fire department or security as you exit.
          b. If the fire is not in the immediate vicinity,
                    i. Remain in room.
                    ii. Seal door cracks.
                    iii. Notify security.
                    iv. Signal from window.
                    v. Open window if possible.
          c. If fire is in close proximity, move to a safe area (another room or fire stair).
          d. Unless an extreme emergency exists, removal of people with special
               needs should be left to trained personnel.

     5.   The responding security supervisor is the only person authorized to
           allow re-entry of occupants after a fire alarm.

 

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Role of Laboratory Teaching Assistant

 

The role of the Laboratory Teaching Assistant Staff is of major importance to occupants

of University Science Buildings. During fire emergencies, the TA staff act as Emergency

Evacuation Personnel. Assisting with notification to occupants, results in a timely evacuation

process. The policy listed is a guideline, at no time should any member of the University

population place themselves in a situation that will compromise their safety.

 

   I. Evacuation procedures

         a. Turn off all apparatus within reach that can be safely turned off.
         b. Close all chemical containers that you are working with.
         c. Close fume hood sash.
         d. Feel door prior to opening.
         e. Keeping hand on knob crack door open. Close if heat or smoke is present.
         f. Close door as you leave, take keys with you.
         g.Walk don't run.
         h. Knock on doors as you go.
         i. Use stairs, not the elevator.
           1. Elevator recall

         j. Know location of fire exit.
            1. Look for exit sign.
            2. Count number of doors to exit.
            3. Use nearest stair.

         k. Continue to exit even if bells stop (coded system).
         l. Exit building and move away from door to allow security and fire
             department access.

   II.   What to do in the event of a "real fire"

          a. Feel door, if hot, don't open.
          b. If smoke or heat is present.
                    i.  Remain in room.
                    ii. Close door and seal cracks.

          c. If possible phone security and give your location.
          d. Stand at window to signal security or fire dept.
          e. If possible open top and bottom window.
          f.  If smoke and heat are tolerable, stay low or crawl to safety.
                    i.  Close doors behind you.
                    ii. Take keys with you to return if necessary.
                    iii. Knock on doors and yell fire if you can.

          g. Report location of heat and smoke to security or fire department as
              you leave.
          h. Report any people that might still be inside.
          i.  If you catch fire, stop-drop-and roll.
          j. Do not jump or climb out window.

   III. Laboratory safety procedures

          a. Keep lab door closed.
          b. Maintain adequate isle space.
          c. Know the location of your protection equipment.

             1. Fire extinguisher
             2. Fire blanket
             3. Safety shower
             4. Emergency eye wash
             5. Spill response kit
             6. First aid kit

         d. Maintain clear access to all protection equipment.
         e. Work in hoods with sash set to proper height.
          f. Only use fume hoods in proper working order.
         g. Have only chemicals being used at hand, and only in small quantities.
         h. Keep hoods free of unnecessary chemicals and apparatus.
          i. Do not store chemicals or equipment on the floor
          j. Do not secure cylinders to electric conduits or plumbing.
         k. Keep all cylinders secured and standing upright. K. Store cylinders
             not being used in designated areas, not in the lab.
          l. Have all required and necessary placards.

 

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Student Aide Resident Hall Assignments

 

Although assigned to University buildings, the role of Student Aide is to assist the

Columbia University Security Office by covering residence hall access points, allowing

Security to utilize officers for other duties. The only function student aides are hired for

is monitor access to University Resident Hall buildings during daytime hours.

Using the policy below, the Student Aide can provide a vital service during fire emergencies.

In the event of a fire alarm, the following procedure will be enacted by the student aide on duty.

 

   1. Verify location of alarm on remote enunciator panel.
   2. Notify security by phone to relay information from panel or occupants
       and verify awareness of the alarm.
   3. Keep the phone line clear for security purposes.
   4. Monitor radio and relay information to responding personnel.
   5. Pending arrival of the fire department.
       a. Make sure doors are operable
       b. Stand to the side of the doors.
       c. Advise residents to stay clear of the entrance.
       d. Do not let residents re-enter for any reason.

   6. Remain at front door unless otherwise guided by.
       a. A security supervisor.
       b. An officer from the fire department.
       c. The fire safety officer.

   7. Relay any information received, to fire department or security supervisor
       responding.
       a. Name or description of person claiming to have pulled a manual pull station.
       b. Reason person pulled the box.
       c. Location of report of smoke or fire.
       d. Report any individuals reported not leaving the building.
       e. If a disabled resident location list is posted at the security desk, have
           all information ready for the fire department, security supervisor, or
           fire safety officer.
        f. If the fire department and security enter the building at a point other
           than your post, dial 99 and give all information received from
           occupants, to the desk officer, for relay to the fire department.
       g. The responding security supervisor is the only person authorized to
           allow re-entry of occupants after a fire alarm

 

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Security Response to Fire Alarms

 

All fire alarms transmitted from university buildings result in total building evacuation.

The primary responsibility for evacuation lies with Columbia University Public Safety. As first

responders, the following procedures outline shall be conducted.

   I. Public Safety response to fire alarms
       a. A minimum of one supervisor and two security officers shall respond
           to all incidents.
       b. When approaching the building, size up the situation.

             1. Look for smoke or flames.
             2. Observe students exiting building.

   II. Public Safety procedures upon arrival
       a. One officer is to remain at the entrance to

             1. Assist in the building evacuation.
             2. Meet the fire dept.
             3. Keep people from re-entering the building.

       b. After verification two officers will respond to the fire floor to search
           and evacuate.
       c. If a remote panel, or punch tape is not at the entry point, or not
          working, one officer shall go to the main panel to verify the location,
          while the other starts sweeping all floors working from the first floor up.
       d.Once the location is verified, the two guards will go to the fire floor to
          search and aid in the evacuation.
       e. (for coded systems only) after verification, the officer at the entry point
           is to continue activating a manual pull station, until told to stop by the
           fire department, security supervisor or a fire safety officer.

   III. Elevator procedures at fire alarms.
       a.When using the elevator - do not go to the fire floor,
             1. Stop at least one floor below.
             2. If you smell smoke stop at the next floor.

       b. Students are not to use elevator during alarm.
       c. Once the officers are out of the elevator, the s.o. At the entry point will
           use the fd service and call all the elevators to the entry point.

             1. If the elevator does not have a fd recall key, or if the recall key
                does not work, call the car to the entry point and switch the car to
                the off position.

   IV. When and why an alarm is sounded
       a. Any fire or smoke condition.
       b. Dangerous situations-crime in progress etc.
       c. To evacuate the building-bomb scare etc.

   V.  Evacuation procedures
       a. Feel doors prior to opening.
       b. Keeping hand on knob crack door open.

             1.close if heat or smoke is present.

       c. Walk don't run.
       d. Knock on doors as you go.
       e. Instruct people to use stairs, not the elevator.
       f.  Tell the occupants the location of fire exits

             1. Look for exit sign.
             2. Have occupants use nearest stair.

       g. Continue to exit occupants even if bells stop (coded system).
       h. Move occupants away from door to allow fire department access.

   VI.  What to do in the event of a "real fire"
          a. Feel door, if hot, don't open.
          b. If smoke or heat is present.
                    i.  Remain in room.
                    ii. Close door and seal cracks.

          c. If possible phone security and give your location.
          d. Stand at window to signal security or fire dept.
          e. If possible open top and bottom window.
          f.  If smoke and heat are tolerable, stay low or crawl to safety.
                    i.  Close doors behind you.
                    ii. Take keys with you to return if necessary.
                    iii. Knock on doors and yell fire if you can.

          g. Report location of heat and smoke to security or fire department as
              you leave.
          h. Report any people that might still be inside.
          i.  If you catch fire, stop-drop-and roll.
          j. Do not jump or climb out window

 

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