Fire Response Plan

Policy

The following fire emergency plan has been developed and shall be implemented during fire emergencies to ensure the safety of students, staff, faculty, residents, and visitors.

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Authority and Responsibility

All University of Chicago departments shall be responsible for following the fire emergency plan in accordance with this policy.

The following response shall take place during all fire alarm activations.

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Fire Response Procedures

The University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) shall follow these procedures during a fire response:

  1. Provide a dispatch call center available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week;
  2. Respond to an emergency with appropriate personnel; and,
  3. Follow the University of Chicago’s Emergency Management Plan.

The UCPD Dispatch Call Center shall follow these procedures during a confirmed fire response:

  1. Determine the location of the fire;
  2. Instruct the caller to follow the University of Chicago’s Fire Response Plan – RACER;
  3. Notify the Chicago Fire Department Dispatch Center to report the alarm activation/fire;
  4. Follow the call list to contact the appropriate personnel; and,
  5. Contact Environmental Health and Safety only for confirmed fires.

The responding UCPD Police Officer shall follow these procedures during a confirmed fire response:

  1. Respond directly to the scene and assist in first response as necessary;
  2. Ensure entry into the affected area(s) is unobstructed for Chicago Fire Department vehicles;
  3. Ensure communications are maintained; and,
  4. Ensure site security is maintained until relieved of the responsibility.

Environmental Health and Safety shall follow these procedures:

  1. Provide an “On-Call” Safety Officer twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week;
  2. Respond to UCPD pages of confirmed fire scenarios; and,
  3. Follow the University of Chicago’s Emergency Management Plan.

The On-Call Safety Officer shall follow these procedures during a confirmed fire response:

  1. Establish communication with on-site UCPD personnel to evaluate the severity of the situation;
  2. Communicate with the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, or Senior Specialist in his/her absence, to evaluate the proper actions to be taken;
  3. Mobilize to the scene to assist campus partners with remediation efforts after the fire has been struck, as needed; and,
  4. Write an incident report and forward to all parties involved within twenty-four hours.

The appropriate Facilities Services – Operations & Maintenance engineering group supervisor, Facilities Services – Operations & Maintenance electric shop supervisor, Residence Halls and Commons building manager/supervisor, and Facilities Services – Residential Properties building managers shall follow these procedures during a confirmed fire response:

  1. Upon notification, dispatch a building engineer/electrician to respond to the incident;
  2. Make the building engineer available at the entrance of the building to direct the Chicago Fire Department to the building’s fire suppression system;
  3. Monitor all utility systems in the area along with assisting with the fire response, as directed by the on-scene incident commander;
  4. Inspect all fire protection devices and equipment as needed after the fire has been struck and the scene secured;
  5. Replace or repair any used or damaged fire protection devices; and,
  6. Reset the fire detection system according to Fire Detection System Policy upon direction of the on-scene incident commander.

The University of Chicago’s fire response plan is summarized by the acronym RACER. This fire response plan shall be implemented at all times.

Building occupants shall follow these procedures during a fire response.

  • Rescue: Rescue people from the immediate area of smoke and/or fire. Make people aware that there is a fire alarm activation or actual fire within the building.
  • Alarm: Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station. In campus buildings, contact the University of Chicago Police Department at extension 123 when calling from a University telephone, or 773.702.8181 when calling from a non-University telephone. In the University of Chicago Medicine, contact Public Safety at 773.702.6262. Provide your name, location of the emergency, telephone number from which you are calling, and type of emergency you are reporting (e.g., fire, medical fire alarm, hazardous chemical spill).
  • Contain: Contain the smoke or fire by closing all windows and doors to rooms, stairwells, and corridors.
  • Extinguish: Extinguish the fire using the appropriate fire extinguisher for the type of fire being fought. Only attempt to fight the fire if you are comfortable using a fire extinguisher and if the fire is small, contained, and not spreading beyond the immediate area. Refer to Portable Fire Extinguishers for proper extinguisher selection.
  • Relocate: Relocate to a safe area. In campus buildings, relocate outside of the building and away from the main entrance. In University of Chicago Medicine buildings, relocate patients/visitors in accordance with your department’s relocation plan. Fire evacuation routes and fire alarm codes are posted by the fire alarm pull stations or in elevator lobbies. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS within the building as a means of exit, only use the stairways. If anyone is unaccounted for, immediately notify a representative from the Chicago Fire Department. Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by one of the aforementioned agencies.

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Emergency Actions Plans (EAPs)

Ensuring a safe working environment for the students, staff, faculty, and visitors occupying University facilities is of vital importance. Accordingly, the Office of Emergency Management develops EAPs for campus buildings. The EAP details safety procedures for building occupants including evacuation, shelter-in-place, lock down, and social distancing. In addition, the EAP assign roles and responsibilities for alerting occupants of potential emergencies and for notifying the appropriate responding units.

Although not part of the University's Emergency Management Plan (EMP), the EAP serves to protect occupants in the initial stages of an emergency and will integrate into the EMP as the situation escalates.

Through procedures outlined in the EAP, all building occupants will serve an integral role in reducing injuries, death, and damage during an emergency.

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Storage in Corridors

Corridors, exits stairs, and fire escapes are typically the primary escape routes in an emergency. Storage in corridors, exits, stairs, and fire escapes is strictly prohibited in all buildings on University premises. This includes, but is not limited to temporary, short-term or long-term storage or spill over from offices, laboratories, classrooms, or from shipping and receiving areas. No storage is allowed in any corridor with the exception of recessed vestibule areas and no storage is allowed in or under any stairwell.

Fire protection system controls, and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system controls shall be accessible to the Chicago Fire Department; therefore, prohibiting excessive storage in mechanical rooms. University Policy also dictates that there is to be no storage of any material inside electrical rooms.

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Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities

Refer to Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities.

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Training

Per regulations promulgated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), fire safety and emergency evacuation training shall be completed by every full-time University employee on an annual basis. This mandatory training course can be completed via the Chalk website.

To meet your training requirements through the online module, please use the following instructions:

  • Using the preferred browser, Mozilla Firefox, go to the Chalk website;
  • Login using your CNetID or your UCHADID and password;
  • Click "Community" on the right side of the screen where the full catalog of online safety training classes are available;
  • Click on the appropriate class and it will take you to the Self Enrollment page;
  • Click "Submit" on the right side of the screen, and click "OK" on the lower right side of the next page;
  • Click the "Learning Module" link to open the course documents; and,
  • Remember to turn up the volume on your computer speakers to hear the audio.

Reviewed: February 2016

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