Environmental Health and Radiation Safety

What to do in the event of a FIRE / FIRE ALARM

NOTE: Health Science Campus employees should refer to the Campus Fire Response Procedure, # LS-08-001, for fire response protocols unique to the patient care setting. 

If you discover a fire inside a building: 

Immediately implement R.A.C.E.:

  1. Rescue -- Rescue anyone in danger from the fire if it does not jeopardize your own life.
  2. Alarm -- Sound the alarm by activating a pull station to set off the building fire alarm.
  3. Confine -- Try to confine the fire by closing all doors and windows to trap the fire and slow its progress.
  4. Extinguish or Evacuate -- Extinguish the fire if possible and if you know how to use a fire extinguisher. Evacuate the area if the fire is too big to put out.

If the fire alarm starts sounding: 

  • Feel the door or doorknob to the hallway with the back of your hand.  If it feels hot, do not open it – the fire may be on the other side of the door.
  • If the door is not hot, open it slowly.  If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and exit the building. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  • Close doors behind you.
  • Notify arriving fire or police personnel if you suspect someone is trapped inside the building, and where they may be located.
  • Gather outside at a designated assembly area, and do not attempt to re-enter the building until instructed to do so by UT Police or the Fire Department. 

If you are trapped in a room, or otherwise unable to leave:

  • Wet and place cloth material around and under the door to prevent smoke from entering the room.
  • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Be prepared to signal someone outside, but DO NOT BREAK GLASS until absolutely necessary (outside smoke may be drawn into the room).

If you are caught in smoke:

  • Drop to hands and knees and crawl toward exit.
  • Stay low, as smoke will rise to ceiling level.
  • Breathe shallowly through nose and use a filter such as a shirt or towel.

If you are forced to advance through flames (which should be a last resort):

  • Hold your breath.
  • Move quickly.
  • Cover your head and hair with a blanket or large coat.
  • Keep your head down and your eyes closed as much as possible.

Using a fire extinguisher:

Building occupants are not required to fight fires.  Individuals who have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire may use a portable fire extinguisher to fight small fires (no larger than a waste paper basket). 

Fire fighting efforts must be terminated within 15 seconds, or when it becomes obvious that there is risk of harm from smoke, heat or flames, which ever comes FIRST.

The P.A.S.S. method:

Pull the safety pin from handle.
Aim the extinguisher at the base of fire.
Squeeze the trigger handle.
Sweep from side to side to side at base.

University Police has the primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies with the Toledo Fire Department. Unauthorized re-entry into a building during a fire emergency is not permitted. Violators of this policy are subject to University and state fire code sanctions.

Last Updated: 6/27/22