Residence Fire Procedures

Fire in your residence

  1. Remain calm
  2. Activate fire alarm using pull station located at stairwell exits
  3. Leave the building by nearest exit
  4. Do not use the elevator
  5. Report to Waterloo Fire Department or University of Waterloo Special Constable Service if anyone is suspected of being in building after evacuation
  6. Leave fire area closing doors and windows

Ambulance/Fire - 911

Evacuating for fire alarms:

  1. Be prepared to encounter heavy smoke in your evacuation.

  2. If time allows, turn off stoves and appliances; close doors and windows; put on shoes and a heavy coat in winter for protection Cover nose and mouth with cloth, preferably wet.
  3. Test the tops of all doors before opening. If the top of the door or knobs feels hot, deadly heat and gases under considerable pressure have already filled the corridor. Even if the door is cool, be prepared. Brace yourself against the door and open it a crack. If you feel air pressure of a hot draft, close the door quickly.
  4. Remain in your residence and take precautions.
  5. If the corridor is clear, take your keys, close the residence door behind you and leave the building via the nearest exit stairway.
  6. If you encounter smoke or fire, use an alternative exit. If an alternative exit cannot be reached safely, either return to your residence or seek refuge in a neighbour's residence.
  7. Do not re-enter building until given permission by Waterloo Fire Department or University of Waterloo Special Constable Service.

If unable to evacuate:

  1. Call 911 and give them your location.

  2. A closed door can provide good protection against fire and smoke. Use wet towels or bed sheets to seal cracks. If smoke begins seeping through air ducts, outlets, plug them as well.
  3. Move to the most protected room and open the windows.
  4. If smoke enters the room, crouch low. Remember, heat and gases rise.
  5. Signal your position by waving a sheet or shirt from a window.
  6. Wait to be rescued.

Duties and responsibilities

Responsibilities of residence life coordinators

  1. Provide dons with a list of their duties and responsibilities during fire evacuations.
  2. Inform dons of any structural changes due to renovations.
  3. Review evacuation plan with dons and hold evacuation drills in September and May.

Responsibilities of dons

  1. Dons are to assist with quick and orderly evacuations. This is to be discharged without endangering the life and health of the don or building occupants.
  2. Review Fire and Evacuation Plan with the residence of your floor. Complete the "Residence fire training checklist (PDF)" and forward to your Community Coordinator or Residence Life Coordinator.
  3. Observe in your assigned area that all fire doors are closed and unobstructed and that stairs and corridors are clear of obstructions.
  4. If possible maintain an updated listing of personnel normally in your assigned area with physical disabilities and require assistance during an evacuation.
  5. Participate in annual evacuation plan review and evacuation drills.
  6. Report to your Community Coordinator or Residence Life Coordinator difficulties, ambiguities and suggestions for improvement.

Duties of dons during a fire alarm

  1. Advise all persons to evacuate to the form-up area as stated in the evacuation plan. Take any action necessary to prevent panic.
  2. Insure all residents have evacuated to their form up area.
  3. Proceed to the annunciator panel.
  4. Relay any information you have to the Fire Department or UW Special Constables concerning people unable to evacuate or anyone remaining in the building.
  5. The Fire Department will inform the Don that it is safe to re-enter the building.
  6. Pass on evacuation reports to the Safety Office for evaluation.

Additional resources and information