Evacuation Guidelines

Building evacuation is required when directed to do so either by fire alarm or other means of notification. Fire alarms include, but are not limited to accidental alarm, false alarm or conditions caused by fire and/or smoke. Individuals requiring special evacuation assistance in the event of an alarm should evacuate according to the terms of their plan and by following the directives of on-site emergency personnel which may include Building Evacuation Coordinators (BEC's) or Public Safety personnel.


Persons with Limited Mobility

Individuals who walk with canes, crutches, walkers, etc. and those who utilize wheelchairs or have difficulties ambulating should decide whether or not they can descend stairs or evacuate a building in an emergency with little assistance from others. If not, they should –

  • Where available, use sky bridges to move to an adjacent, unaffected building
  • Move to an area of evacuation assistance

Persons Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Persons who are blind/low vision can, with the assistance of others, evacuate a building using the stairs, if they are familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes and if stairs are safe to use. If the blind/low sight person is unfamiliar with the emergency evacuation route, they should either –

  • Request Assistance from Others in the Area
  • Move to an area of evacuation assistance

Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Some buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm strobe lights; however, some are not. Emergency instructions can be given by writing a note to evacuate.

Evacuation Options

Persons with special needs and/or disabilities have four basic evacuation options –

  • Horizontal evacuation: using building exits to the outside ground level or where available, use sky bridges to move to an adjacent, unaffected building
  • Stairway evacuation: using steps to reach ground level exits from the building
  • Stay in place: unless danger is imminent, remaining in a room with an exterior window, a telephone and a solid or fire resistant door
    • Notify others (if possible) that you are doing so
    • Close the door to prevent smoke and fire entry
    • If necessary, pack under the door with towels, blankets or other appropriate material
    • Call 911 and report your location so that on-site emergency personnel can be informed and respond
    • Move to the window with a brightly colored cloth to wave so that emergency personnel can see where you are
      • Do not break the window unless absolutely necessary, since doing so could injure you or others and allow smoke to enter the room

The Stay in place approach may be more appropriate for sprinkler protected buildings or buildings where an area evacuation assistance is not nearby or available. It may also be more appropriate for an occupant who is alone when the alarm sounds.

Area of Evacuation Assistance

Is an area that can be used as part of the required means of egress for persons that are disabled. These areas are typically stairwell landings. These areas can be used by people with special needs or people with disabilities until rescue can be facilitated by emergency responders. Other areas may be determined in the development of individual plans.

Contact Us

Salem Campus
Building 2, Room 174
Phone: 503.399.5192
Fax: 503.399.6178