Fire Safety Procedures:
Risk Management - Northwestern University
In case of fire:
- Stay calm.
- Always sound the building fire alarm immediately. If the alarm fails to operate, warn other occupants by knocking on doors and shouting warnings.
- Call 911 from a safely located phone. Give as much information as possible to the dispatcher. Do not assume that someone else has already notified the University Police. The University Police will immediately notify the Fire Department and dispatch officers to the scene. Do not hang up until told to do so by the dispatcher.
- Before opening the door, feel it with the back of your hand. If it is hot, do the following:
- Do not open the windows, unless you are having trouble breathing.
- Seal cracks around the door with towels, tape, bed clothing or similar items to keep out the smoke.
- If you are trapped, hang a sheet, jacket, shirt or other object out the window that will attract attention. Shout for help. Call the University Police on the phone and tell them that you are unable to get out of your room. The University Police will be in direct radio contact with officers at the fire. Remain calm until firefighters reach you from the hallway or window. Their first duty upon arriving at a fire is to search for persons trapped in the burning building.
- If you are able to leave the room, do so immediately and:
- Take your key with you in case you are forced to return. Close all doors behind you as you exit. This will retard the spread of smoke and lessen damage.
- Go to the nearest exit or stairway. DO NOT USE AN ELEVATOR.
- If smoke, heat or fire blocks your exit, go to an alternate exit.
- If all exits from a floor are blocked go back to your room and follow the procedures described above.
- If smoke is present keep low to the floor. Take short breaths to avoid inhaling any more smoke than necessary.
- Leave the building immediately. When the University Police and/or firefighters arrive, direct them to the fire.
- After exiting the building, do not congregate at or around the building exits. Follow the directions of University Police and firefighters. DO NOT REENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON UNTIL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS DECLARED IT SAFE.
If you hear the fire alarm, follow the steps above.