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Dixon University Center Emergency

Evacuation Procedures

Dixon University Building Center Evacuation Procedures


  • If you see a fire, or other emergency requiring people to leave the building immediately, activate the building alarm.
  • When the building evacuation alarm is activated, leave by the nearest marked exit (if deemed safe) and alert others to do the same. Know the location of the nearest fire exit and have an alternate exit pathway identified if your primary exit is blocked by smoke or flame.
  • Take all personal belongings with you upon evacuation (if readily available); assume that you may not be able to return to the building. 
  • When evacuating rooms/offices, do not close the door behind you. Floor Wardens are assigned the task of checking each office/room and closing the door once it is “cleared.” This policy/procedure should be relayed to the Incident Commander/Fire Chief so that they know a closed door means it has been checked and cleared.
  • If needed, or asked to do so by a Floor Warden, assist individuals with disabilities in exiting the building (see below).
  • If the fire alarm has been activated, do not use the elevator; activation of the fire alarm automatically disengages the elevators. If a building evacuation is being conducted for reasons other than fire (and without fire alarm activation), only use elevators if absolutely necessary (e.g., mobility impaired personnel).
  • Once outside, move a safe distance away from the building and proceed to the designated mustering point (view here); do not block emergency responders as they enter the building.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until the all clear sign is provided by the Fire Chief, a Police Officer, the Safety Officer, or other official.

By Stairwell

  • Stay Calm.
  • Keep talking to a minimum.
  • Enter the stairwell single file.
  • Stay to the wall side of stairwell while descending as firefighters/emergency personnel will typically come up the inside portion of the stairwell. 
  • Move quickly but do not run and utilize handrails.
  • Remove high-heeled shoes to avoid tripping (carry them with you).
  • Be alert to other traffic entering/descending down the steps from other floors.
  • Use courtesy and allow others entering the stairwell from other floors to merge in with the flow but do not unnecessarily hold up traffic.
  • Do not carry open containers of liquids as a potential spill may cause a slip and fall.
  • Gain assistance for those who are slower moving or physically impaired.
  • Complete the evacuation, and do not congregate in the stairwell. Once out immediately proceed to the assembly area.
  • Dispel any false information or rumors you might hear during the evacuation by other evacuees, and follow the instructions sounding over the fire/life safety system or by emergency personnel.

Ground Floor and Stairwell Exit Points

  • Proceed directly out of the building using the nearest ground floor exit point or where the stairwell exits, and proceed directly to the designated assembly area using the fastest and safest route.

Emergency Evacuation Suggestions for Individuals with Diabilities

Individuals with Vision Disabilities

  • People who are visually impaired need to be familiar with an evacuation route for use in emergency situations ahead of time. It is also good to learn at least one alternate route, just in case.
  • Use the buddy system. The buddy should be someone familiar with the person having the impairment, specifically knowing how to provide guiding assistance, and they should be familiar with the guide dog or other service animal. Additionally, back-up or alternate buddies should be recruited and trained.
  • Buddies should go to the person’s workstation or an agreed meeting place to look for the individual with a disability. If the person is not found, the buddy should then immediately vacate the building.
  • During the semi-annual zone evacuations or when a full evacuation drill is conducted, it is good to participate, as this improves familiarity with the evacuation procedures and routes for the person, their service animals, and the buddy(s).

Individuals with Hearing Disabilities

  • If visual alert devices are not present or not working properly, the Building Coordinator and/or Floor Warden needs to ensure that someone alerts the individual to the evacuation and if necessary, assign a buddy to assist.

Individuals with Disabilities – Non Ambulatory

  • A non-ambulatory individual can be described as someone who would need assistance in evacuating a floor or area. These can be individuals who use a wheelchair, crutches, cane, walker, or other device and would need assistance in evacuating. This can also include individuals who are in the later stages of pregnancy or have a severe physical ailment other than a mobility issue. These individuals should have a buddy assigned to them and should stay with them throughout the event. These individuals should proceed to the freight elevator landing, with their buddy to await evacuation.
  • Persons with significant mobility impairments should be directed to an elevator and they should go to the lowest floor of the building and evacuate; however, when the fire alarm activates, the building elevators will disengage (i.e., the elevators will automatically descend to the lowest level and the doors will lock in the open position). The person should then be directed to a stair tower.
  • In the stair tower, evacuation and rescue will be provided by emergency responders such as the Harrisburg Fire Department.
  • If feasible, another person should wait with the mobility-impaired person in the stair tower until rescuers arrive.
  • It is imperative that someone communicates to the arriving rescue personnel the location of all people with disabilities in the building and their exact location(s).
  • Firefighters and emergency personnel will prioritize these areas for rescue operations. In ideal situations, one or more people exit the building and find the emergency responders to communicate this information, while another individual waits with the mobility-impaired person in the stair tower.
  • If an immediate evacuation is necessary, the person with a mobility disability may not be able to wait for rescue by emergency responders. In this situation, it is best to ask the person with a disability how best to aid them to facilitate the evacuation. Some persons may need to be carried, while others may need assistance walking. This should always be a last resort and necessary only when an immediate threat is determined to be present.
  • Persons with disabilities, especially mobility disabilities, like all students and employees, need to be familiar with the location of primary and back-up exit pathways, elevators, stair towers, etc.
  • Some people with disabilities, especially students, should make prior arrangements to have friends come and assist them if they are on the top floors of our buildings, in the event of a fire or emergency. This practice is encouraged.
  • Building Coordinators should establish a list, in advance, of personnel in their building that may require additional help/support during a building evacuation.

Individuals with Disabilities – Ambulatory

  • An ambulatory individual can be described as someone who may have a minor respiratory ailment, or other minor physical ailment, that would not necessitate the need for a buddy; however, the individual would not be able to typically ascend stairs during an evacuation. These individuals should proceed to the freight elevator landing to await evacuation.

Individuals with Mental/Cognitive Disabilities

  • If necessary, assign a buddy to the individual and assist as needed.

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