In the event of a fire alarm activation:
Typically, the building’s fire alarm system will sound on the floor in alarm and the floors immediately above and below the initial floor in alarm. This will set off a “sequence of operations” that will include the activation of the evacuation tone and strobes lights on those floors, the release of the stairway re-entry doors for relocating building occupants, the recalling of the elevators to the lobby, and the shutting down of the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) on the floors in alarm.
Upon activation of a fire alarm on your floor, you are to listen to the PA announcements from the building’s Emergency Action Plan Director and proceed to the nearest safe stairway exit and continue down the stairs to your floor’s re-entry floor or evacuate the building to the pre-determined outside assembly area depending on your regions typical response plan.
In either scenario, whether relocating to another floor or evacuating the building to the outside assembly area, you are to report in to your floor warden(s) and await further instructions.
If you see or smell smoke, immediately call 911 and the Security/Property Management Office.
If you see flames, evacuate your area immediately and close all doors behind you. NOTE a fire may spread faster than you think, trapping you and others. A safe and orderly evacuation is the first priority. If you have not heard a fire alarm announcement in the building, activate the nearest fire alarm pull-box station located near each stairwell entrance, by pulling the lever, and then call Security.
If you are involved in a fire situation, remain CALM. Listen for information and instructions being announced over the building's public address system.
At the direction of property staff or the Floor Wardens, evacuate the floor via the Emergency Exit Stairwell proceeding as follows:
- Check doors with the back of your hand before opening them. If door or knob is hot, don't open it. If it feels cool, brace the door with your foot and open slightly to look for smoke and feel for heat. If the air appears to be cool, proceed into the stairwell.
- Walk down the stairs and proceed to your re-entry floor or if instructed to do so, exit the building. When you have reached your destination, assemble in groups with your Floor Warden for roll call.
- Personnel needing assistance should assemble in the designated stairwell with their assigned “buddies” to await evacuation by rescue teams.
- When all personnel have evacuated the floor, close the stairwell door. This prevents the loss of the pressure which is necessary to maintain clean air in the stairwells.
- If the fire is minor, and it is safe to do so (i.e., small waste paper basket) you may try to extinguish the fire using a portable fire extinguisher – this is optional!
- Evacuate the floor using designated evacuation stairs. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS!
Relocation and Evacuation in the Case of Fire Emergencies
In order to ensure the safety of building occupants, it may be necessary to relocate or evacuate some, or all, building occupants during emergencies. The schedule of re-location floors is included in the Tenant Emergency Procedure Manual and is reviewed during the semi-annual fire drill.
A relocation, partial evacuation, or full building evacuation is a structured response to an emergency and must be conducted in an orderly manner. Upon a fire alarm evacuation or notice to evacuation your floor, tenants and visitors should take the following steps:
- Assist the Floor Wardens in directing persons to the exit stairway and relocation floor.
- If possible, close all doors, which will slow the spread of fire, heat, and smoke.
- Walk quickly but do not run to the designated stairway. Keep to the right in halls and stairwells and stay in single file.
- Once you are in the stairway, do not turn back for any reason.
- Hold onto the hand rails, DO NOT TALK on your cell phones and DO NOT TEXT!
- Merge alternately when two lines meet at various floor landings. Proceed in an orderly manner.
- Before entering through a closed door, place your hand on the door. If the door is hot, do not open it. You may be entering a fire or endangering the lives of the people in your charge. If there is evidence of fire or smoke on the designated relocation floor (doors warm, alarm is sounding on relocation floor, or smoke is present), continue down the stairs to the next “safe” floor.
- Do not use elevators when there is a fire alarm on your floor. Elevators can spread smoke from floor to floor and potentially become a trap if impaired by smoke or fire damage. The Fire Department may also require the elevators to move equipment or rescue occupants.
- Do not return to your floor until the “Back to Normal” announcement has been made.
- If told to evacuate the building by Fire Department or building personnel, exit via the stairwell to the street or lobby level, out the doors, and away from the building to your pre-arranged assembly point.
- Do not exit at the concourse or parking areas unless directed to do so.