Evacuation Coordinators Procedures

Location - Main Academic Building

Policy – To ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors the following procedure has been developed and will be implemented in emergencies during an alarm or when an order to evacuate is given by university officials. The position of a building “Evacuation Coordinator” plays a critical role in assisting the Department of Public Safety in many emergency response procedures in each building on campus.

Selection – Senior Department Officials with the assistance from Public Safety will appoint persons who are assigned full time and/or have functional responsibility in specific building areas and are readily available to perform the functions defined below.

Orientation – Evacuation Coordinators’ will receive an orientation of their assignment, conducted by the Department of Public Safety regarding the responsibilities of this important position. Evacuation Coordinators will receive periodic refresher training on safety and emergency response procedures.

Procedures - An evacuation may be required any time a condition exists which has been deemed an emergency or potential hazardous condition by the Department of Public Safety or University Officials. Therefore, when the fire alarm sounds, the designated Evacuation Coordinators will:

  • Announce that all persons must exit the department and proceed to nearest exit.  The usual indication for evacuation will be the sounding of the fire alarm horn and the flashing strobe lights. Evacuation procedures will commence immediately at the sound of the alarm. 
  • The Evacuation Coordinator will wear an identifying jacket stating - SHU Evacuation Coordinator.
  • The Evacuation Coordinator will conduct a quick sweep of their designated area to ensure all persons are complying with the alarm notification.
  • (Office and department doors should be closed as you exit leaving room lights on.)
  • Assist with communication by informing building occupants of emergency issues and consolidating response functions, such as maintaining a “call tree” to communicate with department heads and others during normal hours, who maybe absent at the time of an emergency.
  • Act as the point of contact for discussions with SHU Public Safety officials in evacuation procedures.
    • Remember, elevators are reserved for use by the handicapped.
    • Report any missing or persons who need special assistance to a Public Safety Officer immediately upon exiting the building. 
  • Personal Items - When evacuating the building, please take personal belongings with you that are immediately at hand. 
    • It is important that you do not delay leaving your location.
  • There may be other emergency situations that call for evacuation without the sounding of an alarm; in such a case, Public Safety Officers and/or Evacuation Coordinators will respond and notify building occupants of the need to evacuate.

Follow any instructions given by Public Safety Officers, Municipal Police or the Fire Department.

Evacuation Coordinators upon exiting the building will report to a Public Safety Officer the condition status of their assigned area as secure or not secure. Thereafter, the Evacuation Coordinator will remain at their assigned exit post to notify persons the building is under evacuation orders until further notice by SHU Department of Public Safety.

The presence of SHU Evacuation Coordinators at each exit or initial rally point will allow SHU Public Safety Officers to conduct secondary inspections of the building to ensure all persons have exited. Additionally, DPS Officers will be available to conduct additional assignments to resolve the incident or emergency condition. Therefore, all persons must respect the importance and authority of the SHU Evacuation Coordinators, as safety to the university community is paramount. Once persons exit the building further instructions from Public Safety Officers and/or Evacuation Coordinators will be provided. All faculty, students and staff members should be familiar with evacuation procedures and must follow the instructions of Public Safety Officers and Evacuation Coordinators to ensure life and safety conditions.

When the building alarm sounds or an oral evacuation order is given, all persons should remain calm. Persons should quickly shutdown any hazardous operations or processes and render them safe, if it is possible to do so. If an unsafe situation exists that will not allow a shutdown before evacuating, report this to a Public Safety Officer or Evacuation Coordinator as you exit the building. (Note: When the fire alarm sounds only DPS officials can silence the alarm upon determining the incident is not an emergency condition. Therefore, if the alarm is sounding an emergency situation exists and you must exit the building.)

Faculty, Students, Staff – Actions required:

  • When a building is in full alarm (horns, sirens, strobe lights), immediately evacuate the building. Once outside, move to a clear area at least 500 feet away from the affected building(s). Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrants and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews. Faculty & staff should lead students by example. Classes should assemble together to ensure that everyone has evacuated the building.
  • Instructors must ensure all students evacuate the classroom.
  • Do not use elevators to exit a building.
  • Report to the nearest exit and await further instructions from Public Safety Officers.
  • If you are away from your office or classroom when an alarm sounds, you should exit the building immediately and not return to said office or classroom.
  • Do not reenter the building until Public Safety Officers and/or University officials give the “all clear” signal after the alarm has been silenced and reset.

Fire conditions - If you become trapped due to smoke, heat, flames, or some other hazard:

  • Before opening a closed door, use the back of your hand to ensure the door is not hot. If the door is hot, do not open it.
  • Leave the room door closed. Seal the door cracks and ventilation grills with cloth or wet towels or clothing, if possible.
  • Telephone Public Safety at 203-371-7911 or 911 and let them know your location. If possible, hang an article of clothing out a window for emergency responders to observe.
  • If smoke enters the room and there is an operable window, open it and let the smoke ventilate. Also, use a piece of clothing as a mask around your nose and mouth to filter out smoke. Stay close to the floor where the air is cleaner and temperature cooler.
  • Await assistance from Public Safety and First Responder Municipal Agencies stay calm.

Persons with Disabilities – Fire Evacuation

  • Instructors are not responsible for determining whether a student is disabled, however students which self-identify themselves as disabled to the instructor must receive adequate assistance from instructors in the event of a building emergency.
  • If above or below the ground floor relocate or be moved to an AREA of RESCUE or the safest area located on each floor in the building, to await assistance from emergency response personnel. Call Public Safety at 203-371-7911 with your specific location and officers / first responders will be sent. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  • If you cannot access an Area of Rescue, proceed to the nearest exit stairs that have doors, which separate the stairs from the hall corridor.  Enter the exit stairwell and wait there for assistance.  Have the evacuation coordinator inform the Department of Public Safety or Fire Department of your location.
  • If using a stairwell, attempt to position yourself so that you will not block evacuees who may be accessing the same exit stairwell.
  • The Fire Department shall be responsible for evacuating all persons with disabilities from the building, unless prior special arrangements have been made with the individual.


This Evacuation Plan has been developed to meet the needs of the University in case of an emergency evacuation situation. It is in compliance with:

  • National Fire Protection Association:  Life Safety Code - NFPA 101
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration:  Employee Emergency Plans and Fire Prevention Plans - CFR 1910. 38C (2) ;  38E
  • Connecticut General Statutes: Fire Officer Authority - CGS  7-313c

Updated: 11/07/08