Fire Procedures

Reporting a fire

From a campus phone, call: 9-911

From a cell phone, call: 209-228-2677 (CAT-COPS)

Overview

  • It is a UC Merced guiding principle that we provide an environment that is as safe and secure as possible for faculty, staff, students and visitors, and to educate the members of the campus community about their roles and responsibilities during emergencies. 
  • Fire Procedures for UC Merced is a guide for all members of the UC Merced community regarding reporting and responding to fires at the UC Merced campus and auxiliary locations.

Outline

If there is a Fire in Your Work Area

  • If you have been trained and are able to safely extinguish the fire, do so. However, make sure that you have a safe exit from the fire area. 
  • Leave the area immediately and pull the fire alarm. From a safe location on campus, call 9-911 from a campus phone, or                         209-228-2677 (209-CAT-COPS) from a cell phone. 
  • Evacuate the building as soon as the alarm sounds and proceed to the designated Emergency Assembly Area. (See Addendum A) 
  • On your way out, warn others nearby. 
  • Move away from fire and smoke. Close doors and windows if time permits. 
  • Touch closed doors. Do not open them if they are hot. Use stairs only; do not use elevators. Elevator shafts and stairwells can produce a chimney effect that draws up heat and smoke. The elevator should be programmed to go to a pre-designated floor when the fire alarm is activated to be available to emergency responders using manual controls. 
  • Move well away from the building and go to your building’s designated Emergency Assembly Area. 
  • Do not re-enter the building or work area until you have been instructed to do so by fire or police emergency responders.
  • If the route does not contain excessive smoke and heat, proceed with evacuation. 
  • If there is excessive smoke and heat, or the door is warm or hot to the touch, remain in the room and follow these procedures:
    • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, lab coats, throw rugs, etc., to keep out as much smoke as possible. 
    • Go to the window. If it is clear outside (no smoke or flames), open the window at the top (to exhaust any heat or smoke in the room) and at the bottom (for a source of outdoor air). 
    • Signal for help by hanging a “flag” (sheet, jacket, etc.) out of the window. 
    • If a telephone is available, call 9-911 or 209-CAT-COPS (209-228-2677) 
    • Never attempt to jump from the upper floors of a multi-story building — jumps from heights of three floors or more are usually fatal. 
 

Fire Safety and Protection

  • The potential for loss of life or injury from a fire-related incident can be a serious risk on campus. In addition, few occurrences on campus represent a greater potential for property loss than a serious fire or explosion. 
  • UC Merced takes a proactive approach to recognize and evaluate fire safety risks and institute appropriate steps to remove or reduce them. 
  • The UC Merced Fire Safety Program includes code compliance, education of the campus community in fire safety practices, fire drills and enforcement to correct fire safety violations. Beyond basic life-safety code compliance, fire safety is a primary component in the design and construction of new or renovated campus buildings. Equally important are the inspection, testing and maintenance of alarm systems, sprinkler systems, emergency signs lighting and inspection of smoke detectors. 
 

A Fire Emergeny Exists When:

  • A building fire evacuation alarm is sounding; 
  • An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building or area of the campus; 
  • There is the presence of smoke, or the odor of burning; or
  • There is spontaneous or abnormal heating of any material, an uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas or other material, or a flammable liquid spill. 
 

Procedures

  • Campus buildings shall be immediately and totally evacuated whenever the building evacuation alarm is sounding. 
  • Upon discovery of evidence that a fire emergency exists, an individual shall accomplish, or cause to be accomplished, the following actions:
    • Sound an alarm. Activate the building fire alarm in buildings equipped with a manual fire alarm system.
    • If safe to do so shut off all machinery and equipment in your area.
    • LEAVE THE BUILDING AT ONCE.
    • CALL UC MERCED DISPATCH FROM A SAFE PLACE.
    • On-campus phones dial:  9-9-1-1 
    • Cell phones dial: 209-228-2677 (209-CAT-COPS)
    • Use Campus Blue Light emergency phones.
  • A UC Merced police officer will be the first emergency responder to arrive. Meet the police officer outside and direct them to the emergency. 
  • All fires, even if extinguished or found extinguished, must be reported. 
  • All fire alarms, even if suspected to be false or accidental, must be reported to the UC Merced Dispatch. 
 

Evacuation Procedures

  • It is the responsibility of every person to immediately leave campus buildings whenever the fire alarm is activated or a fire emergency exists. 
  • All students, faculty and staff are required to leave the building and remain outside until the emergency is over. No one shall restrict or impede the evacuation. 
  • Department heads are expected to review annually fire prevention and fire survival information with faculty and staff, or to schedule such a presentation with the campus rire marshall or the campus emergency director. 
 

Fire Watches

  • Whenever it is brought to the attention of the staff of residential buildings, or department personnel, that the fire alarm or sprinkler system is inoperable or has been placed out of service, a fire watch shall be established. 
  • Responsible personnel shall be assigned to the fire watch. 
  • The entire building shall be toured at least one time during each hour of the fire watch. 
  • The emergency dispatcher (209-228-2677) shall be notified each hour that the watch has been performed. 
  • The fire watch shall be maintained at all times that the building is occupied until the fire protection system is repaired. 

 

Interruption of Fire Alarm:

  • No person may shut off any fire protection or alarm system during a fire emergency incident without the permission of the fire department officer in charge or police officer in charge. 
  • No person may shut off any fire protection or alarm system during a bomb threat emergency without the permission of the police officer in charge. 
  • It shall be the responsibility of fire or police personnel to reset or cause the alarm to be reset. 
  • It shall be the responsibility of Central Plant to have any fire protection or alarm system repaired after an emergency incident when notified by the fire or police department in charge. Central Plant personnel shall inspect each system immediately after every emergency incident and place the system in serviceable condition. 
  • The fire and police department may reset an alarm system only if there is no damage to the system and when it is within their technical capabilities to do so. 
  • Any person desiring to interrupt service to any fire protection or alarm system must obtain permission from the UC Merced Police Department and Central Plant.
 

Information Release to Media and Public

  • All information regarding fires will be released through the hancellor or designee in cooperation with University Communications. 

 

Required Fire Safety Instruction Components 

For Employees

  • All employees are required to follow the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to provide the safest possible response to emergencies. 
  • Faculty members are required to instruct each class on the appropriate evacuation routes assigned to the room in which their class is held. 
  • Staff are required to respond to emergencies based upon their assigned duties and training. 
  • NO ONE will be asked or required to place himself or herself in harm’s way. 
  • IF IT IS DANGEROUS TO YOU – LEAVE! 
  • Provisions must be made to assist challenged individuals. 

For Students

  • In the event of an emergency, students are expected to comply with all directions given by university personnel in order to effect a safe and orderly evacuation. 
  • Students will be given instruction as to what is expected of them in each class should an emergency occur. 

For Visitors

  • In the event of an emergency, visitors are expected to comply with the direction given by university personnel in order to effect a safe and orderly evacuation. Your cooperation and understanding is appreciated in this matter. 

For Contractors

  • Contractors are required to adhere to all current codes, standards and safety rules that are in effect at the time of the work being performed. These include (but are not limited to) building codes, plumbing codes, electrical codes, safety codes and university personnel/property protection codes. 

For Administration Offices

  • Evacuation plans are to be posted. 
  • Evacuation plans are to be communicated to all personnel in the area. 
  • Aisles are to be maintained free and clear. 
  • Exit signs are to be visible from all areas of the room. 
  • Doors are to be kept unlocked when the room is occupied. 
  • Sprinkler heads are to be kept unobstructed – no storage of anything within 18 inches. 
  • Fire alarm pull boxes should be kept free and clear for instant access. 
  • Fire extinguishers should be kept free and clear for instant access. 
  • Covers on electrical switches and outlets may not be broken or discolored. 
  • Electrical power strips are plugged into wall outlets and not into each other or extension cords. 
  • Extension cords are to be used for temporary power – not to exceed 90 days. 
  • All employee-provided appliances (fans, coffee makers, lights, etc.) must comply with campus standards. 
  • Storage of material must not present an overhead hazard. 
  • When leaving for the day, the area supervisor shall turn off all appliances and lights and close/lock the door. 

For Academic Classrooms

  • Evacuation plans are to be posted. 
  • Evacuation plans are to be communicated to all personnel in the area. 
  • Aisles are to be maintained free and clear. 
  • Exit signs are to be visible from all areas of the room. 
  • Doors are to be kept unlocked when the room is occupied except in case of an emergency that a locked door would provide greater safety for occupants. 
  • Sprinkler heads are to be kept unobstructed – no storage of anything within 18 inches. 
  • Fire alarm pull boxes should be accessible. 
  • Fire extinguishers should be accessible. 
  • Covers on electrical switches and outlets may not be broken or discolored. 
  • Electrical power strips are plugged into wall outlets and not into each other or extension cords. 
  • Extension cords are to be used for temporary power – not to exceed 90 days. 
  • All employee-provided appliances (fans, coffee makers, lights, etc.) must comply with campus standards. 
  • Storage of material must not present an overhead hazard. 
  • When leaving for the day, the faculty member shall turn off all appliances and lights and close/lock the door if appropriate. 

For Laboratory Classrooms

  • Evacuation plans are to be posted. 
  • Evacuation plans are to be communicated to all personnel in the area. 
  • Aisles are to be maintained free and clear. 
  • Exit signs are to be visible from all areas of the room. 
  • Doors are to be kept unlocked when the room is occupied. 
  • Sprinkler heads are to be kept unobstructed – no storage of anything within 18 inches. 
  • Fire alarm pull boxes should be accessible for instant access. 
  • Fire extinguishers should be accessible for instant access. 
  • Covers on electrical switches and outlets may not be broken or discolored. 
  • Electrical power strips are plugged into wall outlets and not into each other or extension cords. 
  • Extension cords are to be used for temporary power – not to exceed 90 days. 
  • All employee-provided appliances (fans, coffee makers, lights, etc.) must comply with campus standards. 
  • Storage of material must not present an overhead hazard. 
  •  Ensure that all chemical containers are labeled as to content and hazards. 
  • DO NOT STORE CHEMICALS ALPHABETICALLY, except within a hazard class. Hazard classes that shall be stored separately include:
    • Caustics (bases) 
    • Inorganic acids 
    • Organic acids
    • Oxidizing acids
    • Flammable/combustible material
    • Oxidizing materials
    • Pyrophoric materials
    • Radioactive materials
    • Water reactive materials
    • Poisons (Generally laboratory reagents separated into organic and inorganic groups)
  • Provide physical separation between hazard classes. 
  • Store flammable liquids in approved flammable liquid storage containers. 
  • Store oxidizers well away from flammables. 
  • Compressed flammable gasses shall be stored 20 feet from oxidizing gasses or by a physical barrier having a 1.5-hour fire rating. 

For Sports and Recreation Facilities

  • Prior to events – General instruction to attendees on emergency evacuation will be provided. 
  • Prior to use as an instructional area – Staff will instruct students in the appropriate Emergency Action Plan. 

For Campus Housing

  • Smoking policy 
  • Barbecue fire safety policy 
  • Candle-usage policy 
  • Cooking policy 
  • Emergency Action Plan (EAP) – post/train/practice 

For Vehicles/Motorized Equipment

  • Only authorized campus employees shall be allowed to operate campus vehicles/equipment. 
  • No smoking or cellular phone use when fueling vehicles/equipment. 
  • Employees must follow all fueling directions to prevent fires. 
  • Employees must follow proper battery disconnecting/connecting procedures in order to prevent fires. 
  • Only approved portable safety containers will be used for transporting flammable liquids. 
  • Approved safety containers will be placed on the ground when filling. 

For Facilities Management

  • Facilities Management employees, by the nature of their jobs, have a wide range of responsibilities that affect fire safety on school campuses. They will be involved in all levels of the fire safety program including hazard identification, hazard elimination, and emergency response. 
  • Maintenance employees will be trained in fire safety issues for the entire campus. 
  • Maintenance employees will provide information assistance to the local fire department in the event of an emergency. 
 

Evacuation Areas

If you are in:

Evactuate to:

Science & Engineering Academic Core Quad
Library West Wing West side of Library parking
Library East Wing Academic Core Quad
Classroom Office Building Academic Core Quad
Central Plant Le Grand Parking Lot
Tel-Comm, Police, Facilities, LSSF Le Grand Parking Lot
Recreation/Wellness Center Sidewalk south side of Scholars Lane
Dining Facility and Terrace Center Buildings Sidewalk south side of Scholars Lane
Valley Terraces Lake Parking Lot
Sierra Terraces Recreation and Wellness Entrance
Mondo Building Bob Hart Square
Castle Facility North Parking Area
Academic Affairs Trailers Academic Core Quad