Eastern Michigan University
Environmental Health & Safety
If You Discover A Fire
1. Pull the nearest fire alarm.
2. Check to see if anyone is in immediate danger.
3. If it is a very small and controllable fire, attempt to put out the fire ONLY if you have been properly trained in fire extinguisher use and only if it can be done without risk to your safety and health and others.
4. For those who have been trained in safely operating a fire extinguisher, remember to read the label on the fire extinguisher prior to discharge to ensure that the extinguishing material is appropriate for that particular type of fire.
5. Do not attempt to fight the fire alone or without having at least two other escape routes!
6. If the fire is uncontrollable, evacuate the area immediately. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
7. After evacuating, call 911 or EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222. Provide the following information:
- Location (building name) of the fire.
- Current status of the fire (size, type of materials burning) and the suspected cause (if known).
- Your name and phone number.
Two Things To Do To Prepare!
If The Fire Alarm Sounds And You Are In A Common Area
1. Proceed to the nearest exit. If above ground level, proceed to the nearest stairway.
2. Assist people with special needs in exiting the building. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
3. If mobility impairment prevents you from evacuating, take refuge in a stairwell and call 911. Most stairwells are designated areas of refuge. Make sure that someone leaving the building is aware of your location.
4. Notify EMU Public Safety or fire personnel if you suspect someone is trapped inside the building.
5. After evacuating, go to the Designated Meeting Area for your building.
If The Fire Alarm Sounds And You Are In A Room
1. Check the surface of door and/or door knob for heat before opening the door. Check bottom of door for signs of smoke.
2. If there is no evidence of heat or smoke, slowly open door, keeping the door between you and the corridor. Make a visual observation of corridor for fire or smoke.
3. If no smoke or fire is observed, proceed to the nearest exit or stairway. If the nearest exit or stairway is blocked, proceed to the next nearest exit or stairway. CLOSE ALL DOORS BEHIND YOU.
4. Take your keys if the door is subject to lock as you may have to return to the room/office.
5. Assist people with special needs in exiting the building. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
6. People with mobility impairment who cannot evacuate the building should take refuge in a stairwell and call 911. Most stairwells are designated areas of refuge. Make sure that someone leaving the building is aware of your location.
7. After evacuating, go to the Designated Meeting Area for your building.
If Trapped In A Room / Building
1. Stay calm. Do not panic.
2. If all exits or stairways are blocked, go to the nearest room and close the door. Keep all doors and windows closed.
3. Stuff objects, such as wet cloth towels, into openings to prevent smoke from entering the area.
4. If the room has a window, hang a cloth or other object out of the window to signal that the room is occupied. DO NOT LEAVE WINDOWS OPEN.
5. Wet clothing if possible. Wrap wet clothing around face to minimize smoke inhalation.
6. Fill sinks and tubs with water if possible to maintain a supply of water.
7. If smoke enters the room prior to the arrival of assistance, keep your head no more than 8-12 inches off the floor where the air is less toxic.
8. Shout at regular intervals to alert emergency personnel of your location.
9. If there is a telephone, call EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222 and advise them of the room number and that all exits are blocked. Remain calm, stay on the line as long as possible and wait for the arrival of assistance.
If Caught In Smoke
1. Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit.
2. Stay low, as smoke will rise to ceiling level.
3. Hold your breath as much as possible.
4. Breathe shallowly through nose, and use a filter such as a shirt or towel.
If Forced To Advance Through Flames
1. Hold your breath.
2. Move quickly.
3. Cover your head and hair.
4. Keep your head down and your eyes closed as much as possible.
If Your Hair Or Clothing Catches On Fire
1. Do not panic.
3. Drop to the ground or floor.
4. Roll around until the flames are out.
5. Make sure you cover your face and mouth. You will want to protect your face from being burned and scraped on the ground.
If you see a fire or smoke in your immediate area, use the RACE acronym as a guide:
R = Remove anyone in immediate danger. Exit the building.
A = Activate the fire alarm. Call EMU Public Safety at 734.487.1222.
C = Confine and contain. Close all doors as you leave the building. Do not lock the doors.
E = Extinguish. Only if you know the location of a nearby extinguisher, know how to operate it and can do so without endangering your safety.
Using A Fire Extinguisher
1. Evaluate whether the fire can be put out using a portable extinguisher.
2. Know what types of materials are burning, and ensure that you are using the correct type of extinguisher for that fire.
3. Consider the possible danger posed by hazardous or highly flammable materials.
4. Always have an unobstructed route away from the fire.
5. Use proper techniques for extinguishing small fires, such as the PASS method.
6. To extinguish a small fire using the PASS method:
- Pull. "P" stands for "pull," and it refers to the locking pin on the handle. In order for the lever to work, the pin must be removed.
- Aim at the base of the fire. If the fire extinguisher discharges from the end of a hose, point the hose at the base of the fire. If your extinguisher discharges from a nozzle at the top of the canister, point it directly at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever to begin discharging the contents of the extinguisher.
- Sweep the nozzle side-to-side toward the base of the fire to make sure all potential hot spots are saturated. Don't hesitate to use the extinguisher until it is empty.