In the event of a fire, the safe and rapid evacuation of the affected area is the joint responsibility of Building Management and the tenants in that area. It is imperative that each employee become familiar with the following procedures.
The fire alarm system is called a “High Rise” system and works in the following way:
If there was a real fire on the 5th floor, the fire alarm will activate on the 5th floor. The alarm will also activate on the floor above (6th floor) and the floor below (4th floor). You will only hear the alarm on floors 4, 5 and 6 and only floors 4, 5 and 6 are to evacuate the building. Once the fire department arrives and assesses the situation, they would determine if the rest of the building will need to evacuate.
Smoke / Fire Emergency Procedures
If You Discover a Fire / or Smell Smoke:
- IMMEDIATELY CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT - DIAL 911. PULL THE NEAREST FIRE ALARM.
- Advise the fire department of the floor and area as well as the street address and what you have observed. Do not assume anyone else has called them.
- Notify the Safety Warden.
- Before trying to leave your suite, place your hand on the door, palm down. If the door feels warm to the touch within five (5) seconds, do not attempt to open it as this indicates the presence of a dangerous fire condition in the corridor.
- If the door is not warm to the touch, carefully open it slightly to check for the possible presence of a dangerous fire condition in the corridor.
- If you feel the corridor can be used, alert occupants of the other areas on your floor and proceed to the closest exit stairway. Be sure to close your door and the stairway door behind you. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE ELEVATORS.
- If smoke is present, stay as close to the floor as possible.
- IN THE EVENT OF FIRE/EVACUATION, AT ALL COSTS, AVOID PANIC.
If All Escape Routes are Blocked
- Move as far away from the fire as possible closing all doors as you go.
- Stuff clothing or wet towels around ventilation ducts and cracks in door to prevent smoke from penetrating the area.
- If possible, dial 911 and give them your precise location.
When to Evacuate
- When you hear the fire alarm.
- Follow the evacuation instructions precisely, which is to go the nearest safe stairwell and exit directly outside Wootton Parkway.
- DO NOT use the elevators unless otherwise instructed. Use available stairwells only.
Fire Safety Program
Our Safety Warden should be responsible for the development and implementation of the fire safety program. This program should include:
- Development of evacuation plans.
- Familiarize employees with the location of all exit stairwells and fire pull stations.
- Inform employees who is responsible for the order to evacuate.
- Inform the Building Engineer of all handicapped people who might require assistance during evacuation.
- Train employees in emergency response procedures.
- Practice emergency procedures to assure familiarity with individual responsibilities.
- In the event of an actual fire or emergency, make sure the alarm is activated.
Tenant Evacuation Procedures
The following evacuation procedures should be observed:
- If possible, take purse and wallets with you as you evacuate. You will not be allowed back into the space until the Fire Department or Building Management says it is safe to re-enter.
- Do not carry any food, drink, or hand held items (i.e., laptop computers, boxes, etc.) into the stairwell during an evacuation.
- Before opening any door to the corridor, check the door and doorknob for heat.
- If door is warm, stay in your office and “caulk” around the door seams using wet towels or duct tape. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Find another exit to the corridor.
- If both your door and doorknob are cool, and you leave your office:
- Check for smoke in the corridor.
- When smoke is present, stay low by crawling since clean air is closest to the floor.
- Everyone should proceed quickly, but calmly to the nearest stairwell. DO NOT RUN.
- DO NOT PANIC. Panic is the most harmful and most difficult element to control in an emergency. Panic will be avoided if employees are prepared with the following information:
- Knowledge of procedures which must be followed.
- Confidence in the responsible personnel’s ability and guidance
- Calmness and self-confidence of responsible personnel.
- Knowledge of procedures which must be followed.
- DO NOT USE ELEVATORS
- Check stairwells for smoke.
- If the corridor and/or stairwells are smoke filled, RETURN TO YOUR OFFICE.
- Once you are in the stairwell, should you encounter smoke on your decent, get out of the stairwell into any clean corridor and proceed to a different stairwell. There are three (3) separate stairwells on each floor.
- Evacuate to the exact area designated by the Building Manager, Safety Warden, or Fire Department.
- If your designated evacuation area is outside of the Building, move to areas well away from the building to ensure you do not inhibit fire-fighting activities.
- One person (possible an Alternate) should be designated to walk the suite to assist employees and make sure everyone is aware of the evacuation order.
- The last person leaving any enclosed office area should close the office door, without locking it. This will help to confine any fire until the arrival of the Fire Department.
- Form a single-file line at the stairwell exit door and proceed calmly and carefully down the staircase to the floor designated in the evacuation instructions. Never open any door without first checking to see if it is hot. If the door is hot, there is undoubtedly a fire on the other side. Proceed to another floor.
- Conversation should be kept to a minimum. Stay in a single-file line on the right side of the staircase.
- During evacuation, mobility impaired persons should be helped into a “safe room”. This safe room should be an outer perimeter office with a window and telephone. One person should remain with the mobility impaired individual and another designated person should contact the fire departments’s non-emergency number (240) 777-0744 and notify them of the mobility impaired person’s exact location (floor, room number). The telephone number shown above should be posted on or near the telephone in the designated “safe room”. Do not assist mobility impaired individuals down the stairwell during the initial evacuation, as the entire evacuation effort will be slowed. Building and Fire Department personnel will assist the evacuation of all mobility impaired individuals after the evacuation is complete.
- The Safety Warden or Alternate should proceed to take a head count. If someone is missing, this information should be relayed to the building staff or Fire Department.
Fire Prevention Tips
- Unplug electrical appliances like coffee pots or water heaters when not in use.
- Arrange for proper use and storage of adhesives, cleaning fluids, and other flammable liquids and, where possible, substitute with less flammable products.
- NO EXTENSION CORDS OR MULTI-JACKS SHOULD BE UTILIZED. These items are not permitted by the Fire Department or Electrical Codes. Eliminate extension cords by providing more power outlets or relocating some electrical equipment.
- Make sure the power is shut off on all office equipment like copying machines, printers, or computers.
- Electrical closets within tenant spaces should be kept locked at all times. Nothing should be stored in these closets due to fire hazard.
- Hallways on all floors should be kept clear at all times to provide access for emergency equipment. Tenant belongings, deliveries or trash may not be stored in hallways.