Depending on a building’s established occupancy and in accordance with NFPA 101 and TAC § 553.62, fire drills are to be conducted at least once per year per building. These drills are an important component of campus safety as they familiarize our community with the audio and visual alarms in their building, as well as refresh our memory on where to evacuate from the floor and muster once out of the building. As part of HSC’s continuing commitment to safety, the well-being of our community, and remaining compliant with the code, Safety will be conducting active Fire Drills using the Fire Alarm Systems in the buildings.
In order to meet the standard of the code but limit disruptions to business continuity, the fire drills will be announced well in advance to mitigate any conflicts, and occupants will NOT need to fully exit the buildings into the parking lots.
On the day and posted time of a fire drill, Safety personnel will be assigned to each floor of the building. Before activation, Safety & Operations personnel will walk the entire floor reminding everyone that the fire drill is imminent, and will instruct people to gather at the exits (1st floors) or the nearest stairwells for all other floors as soon as the alarm begins. Again, occupants do not need to exit the building or enter the stairwell.
To be compliant with the code, occupants need to show knowledge of egress but do not need actually to leave the building. Once each floor has been prepped, an announcement will be sent over the building’s PA that the fire drill is starting and the fire alarm systems will be activated. Occupants will notice both the audio and visual alarms will activate and all fire doors will release and close. Occupants will stop their tasks and walk to the nearest exit or stairwell and await guidance from the Safety personnel. At these exit points, occupants will note signage indicating where they would go if they had to fully evacuate to the outdoor muster points in an actual emergency.
Once the alarm is activated, the Safety team will quickly check the audio/visual alarms and fire doors to ensure they are functioning properly. After all fire safety components have been checked, an announcement over the building PA will declare the end of the drill, and all occupants can resume their activities. It is expected that a fire drill will take approximately 10 minutes using this format. All buildings will be done annually, with the exception of the Lena Pope Daycare Center (Monthly).
In the event of an actual fire in any of the multi-story buildings across campus and someone is unable to exit via the stairwell safely, they can stay just inside stairwell at that floor until the Fire Department arrives. Anyone staying in the stairwell waiting on the Fire Department can do so and be protected for up to 2 hours. Please make any exiting colleagues aware you need help and to send first responders to your location. Additionally, call ext. 2600 or 911 to let first responders know where you are and that you need help getting down the stairs. The Fire Department and other emergency personnel will walk the building and help get those unable to evacuate out.
Below is the anticipated annual schedule for fire drills on campus:
January: Medical Education and Training (MET)
February: Center for BioHealth (CBH)
March: No Drill
April: No Drill
May: Interdisciplinary Research and Education Building (IREB)
June: Health Pavilion (HP)
July: Everett Education and Administration (EAD)
August: Gibson D. Lewis Library (LIB)
September: No Drill
October: Research and Education (RES)
November: PD, Healthy Start, Professional Offices, Women’s Center, FAC, FMB/GSB, and SSC
December: No Drill
At the beginning of each month, an email and a post in the Daily Newsletter will go out to the HSC community, highlighting our selected building(s) for that month, detailing the timing of the fire drill, and providing a link to this page. Below staff can find floor maps detailing each floor of our selected building(s) for the month. These maps will clearly show points of egress and safety equipment locations so occupants can refamiliarize themselves with their environment.
August Fire Drill is the LIB Building
Please click on the links below to access this building’s floor maps and assembly areas:
Fire and Smoke Emergencies
- If you detect smoke and/or fire:
- Activate the manual fire alarm
- Initiate evacuation procedures for any occupants of the affected building(s)
- Call 911
- Give your name, telephone number, and location.
- Describe the situation.
If the Fire Alarm Warning Sounds
- Immediately initiate evacuation procedures.
- Assist disabled persons in your area.
- Feel all doors with your hand before opening. If the door is hot, do not open it. If the door is cool, open it slowly, staying behind the door in case you have to close it quickly to protect yourself from oncoming smoke or fire.
- Proceed to the ground level and outdoors.
- Go to your designated assembly area (if possible).
- Do not go to your automobile or attempt to move it from the parking lot. This could hinder access by emergency vehicles.
- Do not congregate near building exits, driveways, or roadways.
- Do not reenter the building until an “all clear” is issued.
Building Evacuation Emergency
All occupants should know the emergency evacuation routes and procedures for the building and their designated assembly area outside the building. Memorize the exit route closest to your work area or office.
If a Building Evacuation is initiated:
- Remain calm.
- If you occupy an enclosed office, close the door as you leave.
- Use stairwells (do not use elevator) for evacuation.
- Do not return to your area until the “all clear” signal is given.
Individuals needing assistance during a building evacuation
Individuals who may need assistance to evacuate a UNTHSC building are encouraged to prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan. This Plan can address your specific challenges. At a minimum the Plan should include your cell phone number (if applicable) and your plan for exiting the building or getting to an area of refuge. The Plan can be shared with your supervisor, occupants in your vicinity, EH&S, and others if you would like. The office of Environmental Health and Safety is available to assist you in preparing this Plan. All people, regardless of their circumstances, need to take some responsibility for their safety in an emergency, which means being able to move away from any and all hazards.
UNTHSC provides building-specific floor plans with pre-identified Severe Weather Refuge Areas, floor plans indicating Emergency Exits, and an Emergency Assembly Area map that indicates on-campus designated areas to assemble outdoors during an evacuation. Click on the links provided, log in with your EUID and password, then click on the link(s) of interest for a copy of the plan.
Fire Extinguisher Safety
UNTHSC is required by NFPA 1 to equip all facilities with fire extinguishers at appropriate intervals. It is important for occupants to remember UNTHSC does not expect our staff and students to become fire firefighters in an emergency. If a fire breaks out, the most important thing to do is 1) Verbally warn and get everyone out of the space, 2) close the door if possible, 3) call 911. However, if a small fire does break out and you can get to the extinguisher quickly and know how to use one, it is appropriate to attempt to put out the fire. Below is a link to a quick training video on how to use an extinguisher and using the PASS method of different types of extinguishers. Please note for our campus, all of the extinguishers are type ABC which is good for ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, and energized electrical equipment.