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5.3.1 Fire Safety/ Medical Assistance Procedures


Illinois State University has established its own internal emergency assistance system. In case of a fire or injury, assistance can be obtained by dialing “911.” Calls from campus phones are routed to the Illinois State University Police Department, where there is a dispatcher on call 24 hours a day. This individual can dispatch the appropriate assistance.

When calling for assistance, the following information should be given to the dispatcher:

  1. Name of the caller.
  2. Present location of the caller and the location of the situation, if known.
  3. Phone number where the caller can be reached if called back.
  4. Description of the situation (i.e., fire, type of injury, etc.).

If possible, stay on the phone until the dispatcher has obtained all the pertinent information.

Important: Under no circumstances is anyone to place himself or herself in danger to make a phone call or to stay on the phone.

Fire Evacuation Procedures and Drills

Fire is a very serious situation. It can easily cause death, injury, and loss of property. All personnel on campus should know what procedures to follow in case of a fire in their immediate area and/or when a fire alarm sounds. Personnel should also know how to evacuate their building and should practice this evacuation.

Procedures for All Campus Personnel to Follow in Case of Fire

The procedures to follow when a fire occurs in a room or office include:

  1. Leave immediately and close the door behind you.
  2. Pull the nearest fire alarm to alert others of the problem.
  3. Call 911 and report the fire if possible, without endangering your life or health.
  4. Evacuate the building by using the nearest exit.
  5. Do not use the elevators.

The Procedures for All Campus Personnel to Follow when a Fire Alarm Sounds

The procedures to follow when a fire alarm sounds include:

  1. Call 911 immediately and report the alarm. Please note that if an alarm is sounding, but it is unknown if there is a fire, the report to the dispatcher should only indicate that there is an alarm, not a fire.
  2. All alarms should be considered real. No one is to remain in the building unless they are prevented from exiting by fire and/or smoke.
  3. Always check the doors for heat and the halls for smoke before exiting.
  4. Evacuate the building by using the nearest exit.
  5. Do not use the elevators.

Evacuation Procedures and Drills

Personnel should know how to evacuate any building they occupy. This means that everyone should know where the nearest exit is located, how to get to that exit in the dark, and where alternative exits are located (just in case the primary exit is blocked).

Periodic drills should be conducted to ensure that the evacuation routes are known and feasible. At this time all residence halls, health services, and laboratory schools hold building-wide drills. It is anticipated that fire drills will be expanded to all buildings over the next several years.

Each department is required to develop or adopt fire safety procedures for their personnel and building. If assistance is needed, please contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS).

If there are any problems identifying the sound of fire alarms, or the routes to take during evacuation, please contact the OEHS. Personnel in this office will be glad to assist your department.

Fire Safety and Life Safety Inspections

Fire Investigations

The OEHS has the responsibility of inspecting all campus buildings to see if they conform with fire and life safety codes. If any violations of the codes are found, the OEHS notifies the responsible department for correction.

The OEHS, along with the Illinois State University Police Department, is responsible for investigating all fires to determine the cause of the fire. They also determine what can be done to prevent such occurrences.

University personnel can assist this office in these areas in the following ways:
  1. Contact the OEHS if there are any fire safety or life safety concerns in your building.
  2. Contact the OEHS if there has been any kind of fire in your area that has not been investigated by the University Police Department or the OEHS.
  3. Be conscious of the things that can create a possible fire safety or life safety situation, such as the improper use of extension cords, smoking material, improper storage of flammable material, storage of material in hallways, etc.
  4. Notify the University Police Department at 438-8631 or the OEHS at 438-8325 if you notice anyone creating a fire or life safety hazard (i.e., setting fires, tampering with the fire alarm system, etc.).
  5. Contact the OEHS if there are any questions or needs for training in these areas.

Fire Extinguishers and Alarm Systems

All of the major buildings on campus are equipped with some type of fire extinguishers and alarm systems. These items are installed in the buildings to aid in the protection of life and property. Personnel who damage or misuse these items not only cause disruptions for others, but also endanger the lives and health of all other occupants.

Fire Extinguishers

There are several things that campus personnel should know about fire extinguishers. First, fire extinguishers are designed to fight only very small fires. Most average size extinguishers have enough water, dry chemical, or gas for about 15 seconds of fire fighting. The rating and the type of extinguisher determine the type of fire it can extinguish.

It is recommended that campus personnel not fight fires. Most personnel are not trained or properly equipped to put out fires. If personnel insist on putting out fires, then the following prerequisites should be met before any fire fighting occurs:

  1. The fire department has been notified and is on the way.
  2. All personnel within the area have been notified of the fire and have evacuated the building.
  3. The fire is very small (less than the size of a basketball).
  4. The person who is going to fight the fire has been trained in the use of the fire extinguisher.
  5. The person who is going to fight the fire has notified someone about where he or she is going and what he or she is going to attempt to do.
  6. If the fire is not extinguished in the first 15-20 seconds, if the fire gets bigger, or if the smoke increases, the person should leave the area. Saving property at the cost of life or health is not a good trade.

Fire Alarms

Fire alarms are present in campus buildings to aid in the safety of the occupants. For most buildings on campus, the alarms are connected to a central reporting point (Illinois State University Police Department). To ensure proper reporting, personnel are requested to call 911 in case of fire.

Occupants need to have some idea of what the fire alarm system in their building is capable of and they should know how to activate the system should there be a fire and a need to alert others of a fire. The OEHS can provide familiarization and training for the fire alarm system. Please contact this office to arrange for such training.The fire alarm systems in each building are inspected each year to determine if they are operating correctly. Throughout the year, maintenance is conducted on the systems to keep them working correctly. If anyone sees or suspects something is wrong with an alarm system, please contact the OEHS.

Fire Safety Training

The OEHS conducts formalized training in various aspects of fire safety. Each year the OEHS conducts fire alarm familiarization, fire procedures training, and fire evacuation training for residence hall staff, health service staff, and various other personnel.

These same training programs can be given to any department. Modifications can be made so that the training is specific to the department or building involved.

Contact the OEHS to arrange for any fire safety training that may be needed.

Rescue Squad Procedures

Medical aid may be needed on campus should accidents or serious illness occur. The person aiding the injured or ill individual, in the event of such an occurrence, should follow the following procedures.

Dial 911 and provide the following information:

  1. Name of the caller.
  2. Name of victim, if known.
  3. Nature of illness or injury.
  4. Location of the victim.
  5. Where someone will meet the rescue squad to lead them to the victim.
  6. Other information that may be pertinent or necessary, or that is requested by the 911 operator or rescue squad personnel.

The caller should stay on the phone with the operator until he or she is sure no more information is needed.

If blood is involved in the incident, refer to the OEHS Bloodborne Pathogens Procedures.


Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Policy Owner: Environmental Health & Safety

Contact: Environmental Health & Safety (309-438-8325)

Revised on: 05/2001

2023-01-20T14:14:42.404629-08:00 2023