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Generic building evacuation procedures

Building evacuation procedures

Building evacuations are divided into two types of evacuations:

  1. Fire evacuations, which are initiated by the sound of the fire alarm in response to a fire in the building.
  2. Controlled evacuation, which are initiated by a phone message from the University of Waterloo Police in response to a non-fire hazard in the building.

Responsibilities of the faculty evacuation coordinator

  1. Appoint Building Evacuation Coordinators.
  2. Review evacuation plan with the Safety Office every 2 years.
  3. Maintain and circulate Evacuation Plan.
  4. Inform Building Evacuation Coordinators and the Fire Wardens of any structural changes due to renovations.
  5. Review Evacuation Plan with Building Evacuation Coordinators and hold evacuation drills at least annually.

Responsibilities of building evacuation coordinators

  1. Co-ordinate building evacuations, liaison with Faculty Evacuation Coordinator or appropriate authorities.
  2. Report any noticeable deficiencies in fire safety equipment to the Plant Operations service number (Ext.33793).
  3. Appoint fire wardens and assign duties.
  4. Inform the appropriate authorities of the location of persons requiring assistance during an evacuation.
  5. Define areas requiring special attention in the event of a building evacuation (computer rooms, hazardous processes, cash, etc.).
  6. Maintain a list of persons normally located in the building requiring assistance to evacuate
  7. Distribute air horns to wardens conducting fire watch duties

Responsibilities of fire wardens

  1. Fire wardens are to assist with quick and orderly evacuations. This is to be discharged without endangering the life and health of the appointed Fire Wardens or building occupants.
  2. Review Fire and Evacuation Plan for your building or area. Familiarise yourself with your specific duties and assigned areas. Be prepared for changes resulting from building renovations or construction.
  3. Observe in your assigned area that all fire doors are closed and unobstructed and that stairs and corridors are clear of obstructions.
  4. Conduct fire watches when building fire systems are non-functional due to temporary issues such as emergency repair or routine maintenance.
  5. Fire Wardens will be issued and maintain the following equipment:
    • Do Not Enter Sign
    • Identification hats
  6. Inform the Building Evacuation Coordinator of any lengthy absences from the work place(vacation, illness etc.) in order that an alternative warden may be trained.
  7. Participate in annual evacuation plan review and evacuation drills.
  8. Report to Building Evacuation Coordinator difficulties, ambiguities and suggestions for improvement.

Duties of the faculty evacuation coordinator during a controlled evacuation

  1. Receive instructions from the University of Waterloo Police regarding the evacuation.
  2. Call Building Evacuation Coordinators instructing them as to the nature of the emergency form up area and any special instructions.
  3. If a Building Evacuation Coordinator is not available assign someone to perform their duties.
  4. Liase with uWaterloo Police or appropriate authorities.
  5. Proceed to the form up area and relay information to the Building Evacuation Coordinators.

Duties of building evacuation coordinator during a controlled evacuation

  1. Receive instructions from Faculty Evacuation Coordinator regarding building evacuations.
  2. Call fire wardens instructing them as to the nature of the emergency, form up area and any special instructions.
  3. If no fire wardens are present to clear an area then assign someone to perform the duty.
  4. Proceed to the form up area and relay information to staff and students as received from the Faculty Evacuation Coordinator.
  5. Lock exterior doors.
  6. Co-ordinate the evacuation of the building and liaison with Faculty Evacuation Coordinator and appropriate authorities.
  7. After evacuation, assign someone to perform a head count where practicable to ensure that all regularly known occupants are accounted for.

Duties of Fire Wardens during a controlled evacuation

  1. Fire Wardens will perform the following duties during a controlled evacuation (bomb threat, chemical spill, physical plant failure, etc.).
  2. The Building Evacuation Coordinator will notify fire Wardens of the nature of the emergency and the form-up area.
  3. Ensure that all persons are instructed to evacuate from your assigned area. Briefly state the nature of the emergency, the procedures to follow and the form-up area, if designated, to which the occupants are to go.
  4. Proceed to your assigned exit.
  5. Place sign on the door stating:
    DO NOT ENTER
    CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

  6. Proceed to form-up area and await instructions from Building Evacuation Coordinator.

Duties of a Building Evacuation Coordinator during a fire alarm

  1. Proceed to the annunciator panel and if possible bring the building evacuation plan.
  2. Relay any information you have to uWaterloo Police or the Fire Department concerning hazardous process left on, hazardous materials, disabled persons left in the building or persons not evacuated.
  3. After evacuation the Building Evacuation Coordinator will assign someone to perform a head count where practicable to ensure that all regularly known occupants have been accounted for.
  4. The Fire Department or uWaterloo Police will inform the Building Evacuation Coordinator that it is safe to re-enter the building. The Building Evacuation Coordinator will instruct the fire wardens to allow people to re-enter the building.
  5. Pass on evacuation reports to the Safety Office for evaluation.

Duties of Fire Wardens during a fire alarm

 Advise all persons to evacuate to the form-up area as stated in the evacuation plan. Take any action necessary to prevent panic.

  1. Check that all doors are closed in your evacuation area.
  2. When the evacuation has been completed, the Fire Wardens shall proceed to their assigned post and await instructions from the Building Evacuation Coordinator.
  3. Ask persons with mobile difficulties to seek an area of refuge (most classrooms or offices should be provided with a 1-hr fire resistance rating) and only if necessary go to the exit stairwell, being mindful of not impeding the egress of other occupants.
  4. Report to the Building Evacuation Coordinator the location of any disabled persons awaiting evacuation and the location of others not evacuated.
  5. Report to the Evacuation Coordinator the location of hazardous materials, equipment or processes.
  6. Advise persons not to enter the building until notified by the Building Evacuation Coordinator.
  7. Complete evacuation report and send to Building Evacuation Coordinator (Forms available from the Safety Office).

UWaterloo Fire Watch Procedures

The primary role of the Fire Watch personnel is to serve as a "human smoke detector" and to notify the Waterloo Fire Rescue and uWaterloo Police at the first sign of smoke/fire.

The log will need to be updated ever half hourly by Fire Watch personnel. Please Note: Inspections need to begin within 2 hours of being notified of the need for a Fire Watch.

Post Fire Watch Notices at:

  • In dorms/apartments, post notices on exterior doors.
  • In academic / staff halls, post notices in lobby, elevators, on bulletin boards, and on bathroom doors throughout the building.
     
  • Obtain an air horn from building coordinator or supervisor
  • Every 1/2 hour patrol your assigned area complete the fire watch log Remain alert to signs of smoke and/or fire.

Fire watch procedures

  • Patrol your designated area at least once each half hour.
  • Listen for in-room smoke detectors sounding (residence building).
  • Look for observable signs of smoke and/or fire.
  • Enter all stairwells - open doors and look into each stairwell.
  • Enter all common areas including basement, lounges, laundry room, and dining areas.

At first sign of smoke or fire, Fire Watch personnel must:

  • Call 911.
  • Yell "FIRE!" to notify as many of the building occupants as possible
  • Call 911, from a safe location
  • Call UW Police at ext. 22222 or 519-888-4911
  • Do not put yourself in jeopardy - only use a fire extinguisher if you have been trained in its use.