Fire Safety-General Procedures

If You Discover a Fire

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm box on the floor and call 911 and Security at x7777 if possible.

  • Be prepared to give the following information:

    • Specific conditions (smoke, fire, etc.)

    • Specific location (floor, room)

    • Your name and location

  • Notify those in the immediate area of the danger.

  • Assist in removing any disabled person from the immediate area.

  • Follow the directions of Fire Wardens and Public Safety officers.

If You Hear the Fire Alarm Sound

  • Be aware that whenever the fire alarm sounds it may signal a very real emergency situation.

  • Listen for instructions from:

    • Professors

    • Fire Wardens

    • Security & Public Safety Officers

    • Fire Safety Director (via public address announcements)

  • Remain calm and proceed to evacuate the area in an orderly manner. Do not rush, push or panic. Rely on planning and knowledge.

  • Assist disabled persons to evacuate the area. Be particularly aware of persons with sight or hearing disabilities.

  • Do not go back to retrieve belongings.

  • If there is smoke, stay low, it will be easier to breathe.

  • Use the stairways indicated by emergency personnel. Never use an elevator to evacuate unless directed to do so by the fire department.

  • Before opening any door, touch the door with the back of your hand. Do not open a door that is warm or hot.

  • Close doors behind you to prevent fire spread, but make sure that you can reopen them if you need to retreat.

  • If trapped in a building with operable windows, open windows at the top to let heat and smoke out, open at the bottom to breathe.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are located on every floor inside each fire stair. They should be used to extinguish small fires only. Insure that you have a clear escape route before using an extinguisher. An easy way to remember how to use a fire extinguisher is to remember the acronym PASS, which stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep.

  • PULL the pin. This will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

  • AIM at the base of the fire. If you aim at the flames, the extinguishing agent will fly right through. You want to hit the fuel.

  • SQUEEZE the top handle lever. This depresses a button that releases the pressurized extinguishing agent.

  • SWEEP from side to side until the fire is completely out. Start using the extinguisher from a safe distance away, and then move forward. Once the fire is out, keep an eye on the area in case it re-ignites.

Special Instructions for Persons with Disabilities

  • Persons with disabilities should become familiar with the emergency procedures established for The Graduate Center.

  • Know the location of all fire exits and stairwells.

  • Taking into consideration the nature of your disability, plan how you would respond to an emergency. This should be done for every floor that you enter since the layout is different on some floors.

  • Discuss your plans with your EO, APO, Professors and Fire Warden(s) assigned to your department or program.