Laboratory Emergency Response

Emergencies are situations where there is a threat of a fire, life-threatening situations, or unexplained symptoms associated with an odor.

In An Emergency...   

Get yourself to a safe location and call UVM Police by dialing 911 from a UVM office phone or land line. You can also reach UVM Police by dialing 802-656-3473 (FIRE).

911 From a cell phone

If you dial 911 on a cell phone, it will most likely connect you to the closest Vermont State Police barracks.  You should:

  • IMMEDIATELY identify yourself by saying, "I am at University of Vermont ". The dispatcher can get UVM Police on the line to help you with your campus emergency. UVM Police knows the names of academic buildings and can assist you more quickly. Vermont State Police will ask you for your location or address. 


Are you Sure You Have An Emergency?

Call UVM Police to get advice or assistance. Their number is 802-656-3473 (FIRE)

When to Contact UVM Service Operations Support (SOS)

Non-emergency but "critical service needs" can be serviced by UVM Physical Plant personnel. You can get immediate help from any of the following campus personnel by calling this number:

  • a plumber,
  • an electrician,
  • an HVAC technician, or
  • Risk Management & Safety staff


Call UVM Service Operations (SOS) at 802-656-2560, select option 1 to speak to a dispatcher. They will page emergency personnel. This service is available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week. Please give them your name and phone number so someone can contact you to get more details before responding.

Emergency Evacuations 

To evacuate a campus building, pull the manual pull station alarm. This will notify others in the building to leave immediately. Anyone who determines, in good faith, that an emergency is in progress is authorized to activate a building fire alarm.

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6 Steps of Laboratory Emergency Response at UVM:

1. Understand the hazards of the materials you are working with in your laboratory. 

  • Conduct the monthly Laboratory Self-Inspection Checklist, as required by the UVM Lab Safety Program.  


2. Learn how to recognize an emergency. Sign up for Emergency Response for Lab Workers training. Research shows that if you do not act on it within 3 minutes, you’re not likely to act at all. Don't ignore strange indoor odors. Call SOS.

  • Pay attention to what your co-workers and laboratory community members are doing. Be alert for what seems like an unusual situation. Call UVM Police at 802-656-3473 to get immediate assistance.


3. Protect yourself first, and then others.

  • This is the heart of emergency response. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself first so that you are able to do what it may take to protect others.


4. Assess the situation. When the event is under control, decide what it will take to do the proper cleanup.

  • Determine if you can manage or clean up the situation by yourself. Are there co-workers around to help? Do you have the proper supplies and personal protective equipment? Do you need outside assistance? Please call SOS (802-656-2560, press option 1  for assistance.


5. Arrange for clean-up.


6. De-brief and review the event.

  • Review how the incident was handled with your entire staff and decide what, if anything, could have be handled differently. This may include providing repeated or additional training. FInd ways to deal with any lost research materials, equipment, or time, and put a revised plan into place to prevent this or a similar incident from happening again.