Emergency Preparedness
Fire or Fire Alarm

Extreme emergencies such as major fire, tornado, extended power outage, epidemic, etc. may require the closing of a building(s), the interruption or suspension of classes, and the relocation of hundreds or thousands of students, whether for a relatively short period (e.g., hours, next day) or for an extended period (e.g., days or weeks).

If you hear your building's fire alarm:
  • Immediately exit the building
  • Always assume an emergency; never assume a false alarm
  • Use stairs, not elevators
  • Do not open door if knob is warm to the touch; stay in room and call 911 from campus phone (301-405-3333 from a cellular phone)
  • Crawl on floor (where air is fresher) if you encounter smoke
If you smell smoke or see smoke or fire:
  • Pull the nearest building alarm
  • If you are in your room, close the door as you leave
  • Safely exit the building, taking your keys, phone, purse, etc.
  • Call 911 or 301-405-3333
  • Never attempt to fight or put out a fire
  • Tell staff or fire authorities exact location of fire or smoke
If you get trapped by fire or smoke:
  • Call 911 or 301-405-3333 and report that you are trapped
  • Keep the door(s) closed
  • Hang an object out the window to notify rescuers of your location
  • Do not jump; wait for rescuers
Plan ahead and be prepared:
  • Read emergency/evacuation procedures posted in your room
  • Know the locations of:
    • Fire alarm pull stations
    • Exit stairwells and doors
    • Evacuation routes
    • Your assigned outdoor assembly area
  • Plan more than one exit route
Minimize risk to yourself when resting:
  • Do not wear headphones or play music too loudly while sleeping
  • Avoid the use of alcohol or other drugs that can impair judgment or awareness of your surroundings
  • Arrange with a roommate or neighbor to be checked on/awakened in the event the fire alarm sounds, if they can safeley do so as they leave (911 should be called if friends believe you may still be in your room)
If the smoke alarm (detector) in your room is sounding:
  • If there is fire, leave the room, close the door, pull the fire alarm, evacuate the building, and call 911 or 301-405-3333
  • If there is no fire, report anyheat or smoke source to 911, open door and window, and tell others there is no fire
  • If alarm does not stop within one minute and there is no fire or smoke, call x4-WORK (301-314-9675) to report a malfunction
If you hear a smoke alarm (detector) in another room and that door is closed:
  • Do not open the door to the other room
  • Knock. If there is no response, pull the fire alarm, evacuate and call 911 or 301-405-3333 to report what happened
If you hear a smoke alarm (detector) in another room and that door is ajar:
  • If there is fire or smoke, close the door, take note of the room number, pull the fire alarm, evacuate the building, and call 911 or 301-405-3333
  • If there is no fire or smoke, check for occupants and any immediately visible source of smoke (e.g., unattended candle or cigarette), open window, and tell others there is no fire emergency
  • When the alarm stops, close the room door, alert your Service Desk staff that the room was left unattended and its door unlocked, and report the reason for any smoke or smell of smoke
  • If the alarm does not stop within one minute and there is no fire or smoke, call x4-WORK (301-314-9675) to report a malfunction
When you evacuate to your assigned outdoor assembly area:
  • Stay away from the building and out of roadways and parking areas, and do not inhibit emergency responders' access to the area
  • Follow instructions you are given by Police, Fire Marshal, fire authorities or Resident Life staff
  • Do not re-enter the building until you are informed by authorities that it is safe to do so