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Emergency Evacuation of Buildings

If a fire, chemical spill, natural gas leak or similar emergency causes injury or threatens people on a building wide basis, the person discovering the problem should warn occupants of the building or area by activating the fire alarm.

When the fire alarm is sounding, all occupants of the building should:

1. Proceed to the nearest exit, or if necessary, to an alternate exit by following EXIT signs.

2. Close doors as you leave your area (except if there is a natural gas leak).

3. In the course of an emergency evacuation DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS; they are not reliable if the building power is lost.

4. Once outside the building, stay clear of all entrances and DO NOT REENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON.

5. Call UVM Police at 911 and explain the reason for evacuation. Have a person knowledgeable of the situation meet the arriving officer.

7. Assemble with other occupants at a convenient location.

8. UVM Police or the Fire Department will permit re-entry, once the building is considered safe, by turning off the fire alarm.

Note: Fire extinguishers should be used only by trained individuals. It is better to call UVM Police immediately upon discovering a fire than to try to extinguish a fire beyond your control. If you decide to use a fire extinguisher, be sure to leave yourself an escape route, so that you do not endanger your own safety. Do not try to extinguish a fire larger than a waste basket.

Questions concerning laboratory emergency plans should be directed to Environmental Safety at

(*Adapted from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Office of Laboratory Safety web site.)

Last Updated: October 12, 2006