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Emergency Safety Evacuation Guide

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In the event of a fire or other emergency, every second ​​counts. The safe, orderly and prompt evacuation of building occupants depends on having the physical safety features of a building in operating condition as well as having an emergency evacuation plan.

The cooperation and participation of every building's occupant is essential. Every person who works in a building on campus has an individual responsibility to know how to evacuate in an emergency and to accomplish the evacuation when the fire alarm device sounds or when directed by an official authority.

This guide will help you to prepare for emergency situations that might arise within buildings on the UHD campus.

Helpful Hints

  • Enter the UHD Police phone number in your cell phone
  • 713-221-8911

Quick Links

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Preplan Your Escape

  • Know the location of at least two stairways/exits. The alarm pull stations are located at each stairway/exit. Know where fire extinguishers are located on your floor.​
  • Make sure your area has at least two unobstructed ways out.
  • Do not use the elevators. Use is reserved for the Fire Fighters and Emergency Response Teams.
  • Become familiar with the sound of your building's fire alarm. (More details are below.)
  • Know where your department's outside Assembly (Muster) Point is located and go to the area if a total building evacuation is required.
  • Take personal items with you, such as keys, purses, briefcases and backpacks.

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In the Event of an Alarm

  1. Step out into the hallway.
  2. Listen and follow the announcers instructions.

The Automatic Alarm

One continuous whooping tone is heard with the following message:

"This is the University Police. We have an alarm on your floor. The Fire Department has been notified. If the alarm is sounding on your floor, please proceed to the nearest stairwell and prepare to exit. If there is evidence of a fire on your floor, please evacuate the floor using the exit stairwells."


Fire/Smoke Reported Alarm

Two short tones are heard followed with a live message:

"This is the University Police. We have an emergency on the (Floor of Incident) floor. The Fire Department has been notified. Floors (Floor of Incident). (Floor Above) and (Floor Below) must evacuate immediately."


All Clear Alarm

Two short tones followed with a live message:

"May I Have Your Attention Please. This is the University Police. The situation is clear. You may return to your offices and classrooms. The elevators are now in service (provided they were taken out of service) and you may move about the building. Thank you for your cooperation."

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If No Visible Fire or Smoke

Proceed to the nearest stairwell and wait for further announcements or an official authority (Police, EHS, or Facilities Management).

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If There is Visible Fire or Smoke


  • ​When you discover a fire or smoke condition:
    1. Sound the building alarm by activating the nearest pull stat​ion.
    2. Immediately make a follow-up call to UHD Campus Police at x8911 (713-221-8911) or ​from a Yellow Emergency Call Box to verify UHD Police received the alarm and to give more information. [Note: Put the number in your cell phone.]
  • Whenever you hear the fire alarm sound, LEAVE YOUR AREA IMMEDIATELY! Don't assume the fire alarm is false or a test and wait to see what others do. In a fire, seconds count.
  • Take personal items with you, such as keys, purses, briefcases and backpacks.
  • Try to help others, if you can do so safely.
  • When leaving, close (do not lock) the door behind you. If the door locks automatically, take your key with you in case you need to get back in for refuge.
  • Unless unusual conditions dictate otherwise, the best evacuation route is the nearest stairway and out the nearest exit.
  • Once outside, meet at your designated Assembly (Muster) Point and report to your supervisor so he or she can take a head count to make sure everyone is out of the building and accounted for. Never attempt to re-enter the building to search for someone missing. Let fire or police officials know where they were last seen.
  • Is the Door Hot? During an alarm, check for fire on opposite side of your door by using the back of your hand to touch the door, door knob, or door frame. If anything feels hot, don't open it, there's probably fire on the other side. If cool, open the door slowly, leave the area, and close the door behind you.​
  • Stay Low if there is Smoke. If you encounter smoke with escaping, crawl or get as low as you can until you enter a clear area or are outside. The cleanest air will be within 1 to 2 feet off the floor. If the main exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you should use your alternate route.

If you cannot escape, return to your room and do the following:

  • Close all doors between you and the fire.
  • Seal cracks around doors with cloth (wet, if possible) to keep the smoke out.
  • ​Call the UHD Campus Emergency Number at x8911 (713-221-8911) to notify them of your location.​

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Additional Planning for Persons with Physical Disabilities

If you have a temporary or permanent disability that might prevent your safe, orderly, and prompt evacuation during an emergency, you need to do some additional planning.

You should plan to:

  • Complete and turn in an Emergency Evacuation Assistance Form as instructed on the form.
  • Identify primary and secondary routes out of an area to the exits or a safe area of refuge. Stairwells are designed to provide protection from smoke and fire; however, doors to these areas must be kept closed in order to afford you this protection.
  • Locate communication devices (phones, call boxes).
  • Talk to your supervisor and establish a Buddy System with individuals who are familiar with your disability to obtain assistance during an evacuation.
  • Be prepared to call University Police (x8911, 713-221-8911) and describe where you are located within the building. (Put the number in your cell phone.)
  • When the alarm sounds, proceed to the nearest exit and evacuate the building with assistance from your buddy.
  • If no one is able to assist you down the stairs, proceed to the stairwell or designated area of refuge and inform other evacuees that you need immediate rescue. Ask individuals to inform rescuers of your whereabouts.
  • Some individuals can plan for a horizontal exit from an operational elevator to a floor that connects to another building (Main One to Academic Building) or to the ground floor.

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Keep Exits Clear

All stairwells, exits, corridors shall be kept free of all obstructions at all times. No furnishings, decorations, other combustible objects or flammables shall obstruct exits. Corridors and other portions of the means of egress are required to be a certain width so that the expected numbers of people in the building can quickly exit or evacuate in a fire situation.

Any time there are obstructions, the possibility of people becoming trapped or slowed down in a fire, increases greatly. Since the prime function of corridors is to allow people to escape during a fire, these areas should not be the origin of fire, or a means to allow fire to spread. This can very easily happen if combustibles are stored and allowed to accumulate in corridors.

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Fire Drills

Every building occupant should know what to do in case of fire. Fire drills are conducted to provide the opportunity for all building occupants to practice the fire evacuation plan. Every building occupant is expected to participate in drills occurring within their building. Each drill should be treated as if it were the real thing by showing a sense of urgency, immediate evacuation, and following the instructions of the Evacuation Coordinators conducting the drill.

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Laboratory/Hazardous Operation Procedures

All areas that have hazardous operations, including laboratories, must have an emergency plan that details the emergency shutdown procedures. If the equipment requires numerous steps for emergency operation or shutdown, this plan must be in writing.

In the event of an emergency evacuation, hazardous operations and equipment must be shutdown. This would include:

  • Turning off flames and other ignition sources.
  • Unplugging electrical equipment that cannot be shut down or secured, for example, a coffee pot.
  • Securing all process equipment and hazardous materials, including compressed gases.
  • Closing the fume hood sash.

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Remaining indoors, restricting ventilation, and sealing outdoor access may be necessary in situations where harm can come to you by evacuating through the hazard area outside your office, the building, or campus. Bio-terrorism or leaking hazardous chemicals from a laboratory, rail car or tanker truck on the street or highway may involve sheltering in place.

  • Notify Facilities Management to shut down all ventilation.
  • Shut all doors and windows.
  • Seal cracks around doors and windows as best as possible (e.g., duct tape, wet paper towels, etc.).
  • Do not move until an official authority has made the all-clear announcement.

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Accidents and Injury

Accident Reporting Forms

  • For Major Medical Emergencies immediately CALL UHD Campus Emergency Number at x8911 (713-221-8911). The UHD Police will coordinate the arrival of Emergency Medical Technicians.

  • If you use a personal phone to directly dial 911 (i.e. any phone other than a UHD phone), you will also need to contact the UHD Police Department.
  • Work related Medical Emergencies involving employees must immediately be reported to:
    1. The supervisor of the injured person and
    2. The Environmental Health and Safety Office @ x8040 (713-221-8040).
    3. The supervisor should then contact ESO @ x8060 (713-221-8060).
  • An accident, "near miss" or hazardous situation not involving an injury should be reported to the Environmental Health and Safety Office @ x8040 (713-221-8040). Near misses will be tracked to identify areas of concern.
  • Please ensure the injured person receive proper medical care as soon as possible.
    After hours please call the UHD Campus Emergency Number at x8911 (713-221-8911).

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UHD Outside Assembly (Muster) Points

Map of Muster Points 

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Last updated 3/23/2021 4:17 AM