Before a Fire/Emergency
Know the locations of fire alarm pull stations in your area and how to work them.
Know the locations of two exits from your area.
When you hear the fire alarm, immediately evacuate the building in an orderly manner.
Locate areas of rescue assistance which have been designated by the fire department for wheelchair users and others with disabilities. The fire department will check those areas first when an emergency exists.
If you need special assistance during an evacuation, please contact your Building or Emergency Coordinator beforehand. If you need the name of your Building Coordinator, call ISU Campus Security at 2515.
"What's so ironic is Joanna was so full of life and so energetic all the time. You never think something like this could happen."
Julie, sorority sister of Joanna Howell
"We're all like a big family here, and it feels like we lost part of our family."
The words of Sarah, a student at Greenville College, Illinois, talking about Joel Pierce, a music major who died in a dorm fire eleven days before he was to marry his college sweetheart.
"We tried to save them, but there was just no safe way to get in. No matter how good fire fighters are, we can't always save them…prevention is the key…they need to stay alert about fire hazards."
Chief Dan Jones
Chapel Hill Fire Department
"You can't replace Brad. It's hard not to see him, because I miss him."
The words of Andy, friend of Eau Claire fire victim, Brad Olson
"I miss the family we had. It just changes your entire life. I miss my life."
Mother of Ben Woodruff
Chapel Hill fire victim
"You look at schools, you look at cost, you look at location, academics, but you have to visit the school, you have to look at the safety."
Donna Passantino Henson, mother of Dominic Passantino
University of Missouri-Columbia fire victim, died as a result of a fire in the fraternity house where he lived.
"We send our children away to school, we expect to get them back in four years, ready to go out and meet the world. I didn't get my son back. I miss the calls, the 'Hi mom, how are you?' I want him to walk back in the door."
Donna Passantino Henson, Dominic's mother
"It was his smile...I mean he could literally light up a room with his smile."
John Crawford, friend of Dominic Passantino
University of Missouri-Columbia fire victim
Brad Olson, University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire; Anne Smith, Joanna Howell, Ben Woodruff, Mark Strickland and Robert Weaver, University of North Carolina; Joel Pierce, Greenville College, Illinois; and Dominic Passantino, University of Missouri-Columbia. Their voices are stilled, but their spirits live on. Don't allow them to have died in vain. Learn from these tragedies. You may save your own life or the lives of others.
Hot Stuff You Need To Know
If There's a Fire
If you discover or suspect a fire, sound the building fire alarm (the alarm does not call the fire department). If there is no alarm in the building, warn the other occupants by knocking on doors and shouting as you leave.
LEAVE THE BUILDING.
Try to rescue others only if you can do so safely. Move away from the building and out of the way of the fire department. Don't go back into the building until the fire department says it is safe to do so.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Dial 911 or use an "emergency" phone. Give as much information as possible to the emergency dispatcher. Call 2515 to report the location to Campus Security.
To Survive a Building Fire
IF THERE'S SMOKE.
If you get caught in smoke, get down and crawl. Cleaner, cooler air will be near the floor. Get Low - And Go.
DOORS BEFORE OPENING.
Before opening any doors, feel the metal knob. If it is hot, don't open the door. If it is cool, brace yourself against the door, open it slightly, and if heat or heavy smoke are present, close the door and stay in the room.
GO TO THE NEAREST EXIT OR STAIRWAY.
If the nearest exit is blocked by fire, heat, or smoke, go to another exit.
USE AN EXIT STAIR, NOT AN ELEVATOR!
Elevator shafts may fill with smoke or the power may fail, leaving you trapped. Stairway fire doors will keep out fire and smoke -- if they are closed -- and will protect you until you get outside.
Close as many doors as possible as you leave. This helps to confine the fire.
TOTAL AND IMMEDIATE EVACUATION IS SAFEST.
Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is very small and you know how to do it safely. If you can't put out the fire, leave immediately. Make sure the fire department and ISU Campus Security are called -- even if you think the fire is out.
If You Get Trapped
THE DOORS CLOSED.
Seal cracks and vents if smoke comes in. If you're trapped in a room and there's no smoke outside, open the windows -- from the top to let out the heat and smoke and from the bottom to let in fresh air.
SIGNAL FOR HELP.
Hang an object at the window (a bed sheet, jacket, shirt) to attract the fire department's attention. If there is a phone in the room, call the fire department and report that you are trapped. Be sure to give your room number and location.
SOMETIMES IT'S SAFER TO STAY IN PLACE! If all exits from a floor are blocked, go back to your room, close the door, seal cracks, open the windows if safe, wave something at the window, and shout or phone for help. DON'T JUMP! THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL RESCUE YOU.
If You Are on Fire
DROP, AND ROLL.
If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, and roll, wherever you are. Rolling smothers the fire.
COOL BURNS. Use cool tap water on burns, immediately. Don't use ointments. If skin is blistered, dead white, brown or charred, call for an ambulance.
To Prevent Fires
IN APPROVED AREAS OR KITCHENS AND USE LABORATORY TESTED
Stay nearby while appliances are on. Clean up grease and appliances as soon as possible.
BE CAREFUL WITH ELECTRICITY.
Use only laboratory tested appliances. Don't overload outlets. Replace damaged wires.
Help Eliminate Campus Fire Hazards
Use of electrical "octopuses" to obtain more outlets can result in overloaded circuits and fire -- replace damaged wires -- match your appliance power requirements to the circuit power --
appliance power (watts) = the approximate power (amps) being used.
Most electrical circuits only supply 15 or 20 amps per room for all the outlets.
Hotplates, percolators, irons, space heaters, etc. should never be left unattended. They should be unplugged after use and not stored until they are cool enough to touch. Also, appliances may overload circuits -- keep heaters away from curtains and furniture -- match the size of an extension cord to the appliance power cord to prevent cord overheating.
Smoking, lighted candles, burning incense, or the ignition of other flammable materials in housing units and other campus buildings is prohibited.
Dangerous chemicals, including gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, etc. are not permitted in University housing as they constitute a serious fire hazard.
Storage of bicycles, chairs, desks, and other items is prohibited in all exit ways. Blocked exits have caused "chain reaction" pile ups of fallen people during emergencies.
PARTICIPATE IN FIRE DRILLS.
Fire evacuation procedures are posted. Please, for your safety and the safety of others, familiarize yourself with them and follow them. Fire drills will be held regularly using the following scheme: you will be talked and walked through a fire drill. One announced drill will be conducted, after which an unannounced drill will be held. If the unannounced drill is satisfactory that is all the drills that will be held that semester. If it is unsatisfactory, more drills will be conducted until a satisfactory drill is done.
- Exercise extreme caution with matches and cigarettes.
- Obey all publicized and common sense fire safety rules.
- Do not, under any circumstances, tamper with fire safety equipment, fire extinguishers, or fire alarms. Any resident caught doing so may be suspended from University housing and prosecuted through civil authorities.
- Learn where other exits are -- now.
If You Are Disabled
- If you are disabled (even temporarily), you should do the following:
- Learn about fire safety.
- Plan ahead for fire emergencies.
- Be aware of your own capabilities and limitations.
Evacuation of Disabled Persons
Evacuation may not be necessary or advisable. If persons with disabilities cannot be transported from the building without using an elevator, assist persons with disabilities to the designated "Persons With Disabilities Rescue Area" on each floor of the building. Never use an elevator in a fire or earthquake. Be prepared to notify rescue personnel immediately upon their arrival of the location of any persons with disabilities in such rescue areas. Use the buddy system, if necessary.
If immediate evacuation is necessary, be aware of the following considerations:
a. Non-Ambulatory Persons
Wheelchairs have many moving parts, some are not designed to withstand stress or lifting.
You may need to remove the chair batteries. Life support equipment may be attached.
In a life-threatening emergency it may be necessary to remove an individual from their wheelchair. Lifting a person with minimal ability to move may be dangerous.
If necessary, two or three individuals may carry non-ambulatory persons from the building.
Wheelchairs should not be used to descend stairwells, if at all possible.
Non-ambulatory persons may have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke or fumes immediately and determine their needs and preferences.
- Ways of being removed from the wheelchair.
- Whether to extend or move extremities when lifting because of pain, catheter leg bags, spasticity, braces, etc.
- Whether to carry forward or backward on a flight of stairs.
- Whether a seat cushion or pad should be brought along if the wheelchair is being left behind.
- In lieu of a wheelchair, does the person prefer a stretcher, chair with cushion/aid, or car seat?
- Is paramedic assistance necessary?
Always consult with the person in the chair regarding how best to assist them.
b. Visually Impaired Persons
Most visually impaired persons will be familiar with their immediate surroundings. In an emergency situation:
Describe the nature of the emergency and offer to act as a "sighted guide" - offer your elbow and escort him/her to a safe place.
As you walk, describe where you are and advise of any obstacles.
When you have reached safety, orient the person as to where you are and ask if further assistance is needed.
c. Hearing Impaired Persons
Because persons with impaired hearing may not perceive emergency alarms, an alternative warning technique is required. Two methods of warning:
- Write a note describing the emergency and the nearest evacuation route ("Fire. Go out rear door to the right and down, NOW!").
- Turn the light switch off and on to gain attention, then indicate through gestures what is happening and what to do.
If You Use Drugs or Alcohol
You are especially vulnerable to smoke asphyxiation. Even young healthy people may not be able to escape a fire if they are intoxicated. They may not hear the smoke alarm or be able to find an exit. Take special care of anyone who becomes intoxicated, particularly if the person is a smoker. Let the fire department know if you think someone hasn't evacuated the building.
Report Damaged Fire Equipment
Fire Doors - Should close completely and automatically.
Exit Signs - Two exits should be visible from all public areas.
Fire Alarms - Horns, bells, and pull stations should be accessible and not vandalized.
Sprinklers - Keep 18" clearance around heads. Report bent or damaged heads.
Smoke Detectors - Keep them clear so they can detect smoke when you are asleep, and wake you in time to get out.
Fire Extinguishers - Report empty or vandalized extinguishers
For more information on campus fire safety, contact Campus Security at 282-2515. To report any deficiencies contact Maintenance and Operations @ 282-4086, or place a work order on line at: www.isu.edu/departments/phyplant/workord.shtml