Fire Evacuation Plan

Fire Safety Evacuation Plan

All members of the Montclair State University Community are, by State law, required to review the Fire Evacuation Plan and to review the staging areas and emergency exit plans for the building in which the community members work, attend class, and/or reside; this information is available under Section XI, Staging and Accountability, of this fire evacuation plan. This is required to be done by all campus community members on an annual basis.

I. Objectives

The objective of this document is to provide the campus community access to a comprehensive emergency evacuation procedure for the evacuation of buildings with activated fire alarms, and, in doing so, to comply with the International Fire Code, as adopted by the State of New Jersey in effect as of February, 2009.

II. Scope

This document is applicable to all persons on the campus of Montclair State University, including faculty, staff, students,and visitors.

III. Fire Evacuation Procedure

Staging areas and building evacuation maps.

1. Emergency Evacuation

  • Become familiar with your work area and exit locations in advance of an emergency.  Always know at least two ways out of a building.
  • If a fire alarm sounds, prepare to evacuate immediately.
  • Do not panic. Walk quickly to the closest emergency exit.
  • Do not use elevators. If power is disrupted, elevators will stop working.
  • Walk in a single file. Stay to the right when walking through corridors and stairwells.
  • Avoid unnecessary talking and keep the lines moving.
  • Individuals requiring assistance in an evacuation should proceed to a stairwell entrance area and wait for assistance.
  • If smoke is encountered, drop to the floor and crawl along the wall to the nearest exit.
  • When approaching a closed door, feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door is cool, carefully open the door and, if safe, proceed with the evacuation.
  • No one is to return to the building until permission is granted by the local fire department or University Police.

2. Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities:

  • Be aware that faculty, staff and students with disabilities may need individual assistance. Assist them whenever possible. A list of students with disabilities, which is updated each semester, is available for emergency responders in the event of an emergency. All faculty and staff with disabilities may contact the Department of Fire Safety at 973-655-5401 or with their work schedule if they would like to be placed on this list.
  • If evacuation cannot be done safely, contact University Police at 973-655-5222 and provide them with your name, location (including floor and stairwell), the reason why you are unable to evacuate, and if immediate assistance is required. This information will be relayed to responding emergency personnel.
  • Students with visual and physical disabilities (whether permanent or temporary) are permitted to await the arrival of emergency personnel at the stairwell landing from which they called. However, the student must contact the University Police Department, if opting to shelter in place.
  • We advise students with permanent and temporary disabilities to contact Meghan Hearns in the Disability Resource Center ( to be placed on the disability list and for other guidance.

3. Hearing and Visual Impairments:

  • Assist people with these disabilities by notifying them of the emergency and assisting them out of the building.

4. To Evacuate People with Permanent and Temporary Mobility Disabilities:

  • Individuals at ground floor locations may be able to exit without help.
  • Assist and accompany them to the evacuation site, if possible.
  • Proceed to the stairwell or area of refuge.
  • Notify emergency responders of the mobility impaired person’s location, by calling University Police at 973-655-5222.
  • Stay with the mobility impaired person, if possible.

5. In the Event of a Fire Alarm Activation:

  • Leave the building immediately–use the stairwells–not the elevator.
  • If you are a mobility-impaired person on an upper floor, proceed to the stairwell landing on your floor and instruct someone to notify emergency response personnel of your location.
  • No personnel will be allowed to re-enter the building without permission from University Police or the local fire department.
  • Assist any person in immediate danger to safety, if it can be accomplished without risk to yourself.

6. To Report a Fire:

  • Signs of a fire include: smelling smoke, seeing smoke, or seeing actual fire; these are emergencies and need to be reported.
  • If you encounter signs of a fire, immediately activate the building fire alarm system.  (Note:  Pull stations are shown on building evacuation plans.  Pull stations are located by stairwells and exit doors). This will sound the fire alarm bells or electronic horns to evacuate the building and will automatically notify University Police. It is better to have these agencies respond and not be needed than it is to have them arrive too late for potential rescue.
  • Notify University Police of the location and size of the fire by calling 973-655-5222 or by using an emergency telephone (which connects directly to University Police).
    Always call from a safe location (i.e. from outside the building).
  • When a fire alarm sounds, all personnel in the affected areas should evacuate the building immediately. However, if the fire is small enough and it is safe to do so, use a nearby fire extinguisher to control and extinguish the fire. Don’t fight the fire if the fire is too large or out-of-control, if the atmosphere is toxic, or if you do not feel comfortable doing so.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
    • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
    • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
    • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
  • If the first attempt to put out the fire does not succeed, evacuate the building immediately.
  • If possible, doors and windows should be closed as the last person leaves a room.
  • Do not use elevators–use building stairwells.
  • Upon evacuating the building, personnel shall proceed to the designated staging area.
  • NO personnel will be allowed to re-enter the building without permission of University Police or the local fire department.

7. To Report an Outdoor Fire:

  • Notify University Police of the location and size of the fire by calling 973-655-5222 or by using an emergency telephone (which connects directly to University Police). Always call from a safe location.
IV. Procedures for Faculty
  • Review the fire evacuation procedure (Section III of this plan) for the room(s) in the building(s) in which you are assigned to conduct class(es) and in which you have an office.  Locate all exit routes, secondary exit routes, and staging areas.  During the first week of class or when a new student transfers to the class, review the evacuation plan, routes, and staging area with the students.
  • In the event of an alarm, escort/lead students out of the building and report to the staging area.  Upon arrival at the designated staging area, account for your students and report any missing students to the building manager.  For further information on building managers, see page 6 of this plan.
V. Procedures for Staff/Contractors/Other Employees
  • Review the fire evacuation procedure (Section III of this plan) for the room(s) in the building(s) in which you are assigned to work.  Locate all exit routes, secondary exit routes, and staging areas.  In the event of an alarm, immediately leave the building and report to the staging area.  Managers and department heads are responsible for designating a person to be responsible to account for the persons in their department or area(s) in the event that an emergency evacuation must occur.   This person will take a head count (henceforth, “accountability”) and report any unaccounted-for individuals to the building manager.
  • Staff members have the responsibility to ensure that, in the event of a fire alarm, all visitors and contractors are escorted out of their area of control, while the staff member is exiting the building.  In larger areas, such as in dining facilities, libraries, retail stores, and bookstores, employees shall perform a sweep of their area while exiting.  The staff members are to direct visitors and contractors to the designated staging areas, to await instructions from emergency responders.  If any individual is not accounted for, such findings shall be reported immediately to the building manger.
VI. Procedures for Residence Halls

VI. Procedures for Residence Halls

  • Community Directors are ultimately responsible for the fire evacuation procedure (Section III of this plan) in their respective buildings.  It is the Community Director’s responsibility to make sure that each Resident Assistant, Service Assistant, and resident is familiar with the fire safety plan for their respective building(s).
  • During their initial floor meeting each semester, Resident Assistants will give fire safety information to the students who reside in their area of responsibility. If a resident has a guest in their residence hall, that resident is responsible for escorting their guest(s) out of the building, in the event of an emergency evacuation.
  • Upon a fire alarm activation, Resident Assistants, Service Assistants, and Community Directors are to evacuate the building along with the students, guests, and/or residents and report to their designated staging area. Once at the staging area, the Resident Assistants, aided by the Service Assistants, are to account for their residents. Any abnormalities (e.g. missing or otherwise unaccounted for students, staff, and/or guests) are to be immediately reported to the Community Director or to University Police. Under no circumstance should any student, student employee, guest, or staff member remain in a building during a fire alarm activation, unless expressly directed to do so by emergency personnel.
VII. Assembly Use Groups

1. Notification:

Assembly Use Groups are buildings or areas used for the public to assemble.  Examples of such buildings or areas on our campus include Kasser Theater, Memorial Auditorium, Student Center Ball Rooms, University Hall Conference Center, etc.  When these areas are used for public gatherings (e.g. not for a class) an audible announcement shall be made not more than ten minutes prior to the start of each program to notify the occupants of the location of the exits to be used in the event of a fire or other emergency and the location of the building’s staging area.

2. Training:

Those employees assigned to evacuate persons from assembly use groups shall receive training in fire safety, exit and evacuation plans, and their duties during an emergency.  They shall receive this training at their orientation and annually thereafter.

VIII. Procedures for Summer Camps and Overnight Groups

As with all groups staying overnight on the Campus of Montclair State University, Summer Camps and other related groups will be responsible for their emergency evacuation and accountability. The person responsible for the entire group (henceforth, the “Supervisor”), is responsible for ensuring that all of his or her campers or building occupants are aware of this plan. In the event that the “Supervisor” has counselors, or other similar staffing to whom this duty may be delegated, he or she may delegate this duty to those individuals.

“Supervisors,” and/or their delegated counselors, are to review the emergency egress plan with the building occupants. (Section III of this plan) Please take note that the way you enter a building is not necessarily the closest exit. Familiarize yourselves with the building before an emergency occurs. Additionally, all occupants should be aware of the designated staging areas prior to the occurrence of an emergency.

In the event of an alarm, all building occupants are to immediately exit the building. Elevators are not to be used. Upon exiting the building, all occupants are to gather at the designated staging areas. Once the occupants are staged, accountability, in the form of a head-count, is to be taken. If counselors are taking the accountability, their findings must be reported to the “Supervisor” immediately. Any discrepancy is to be immediately reported to the University Police Department, by either reporting to an officer upon his or her arrival on scene or by dialing campus police at 973-655-5222. It is important to remember to always err on the side of caution.

In the event that an individual is unable to exit the building, whether because of a physical impairment or due to a fire condition in the hallway, that person is to remain in his or her room and notify University Police at 973-655-5222. As a general practice, any group staying overnight should have the University Police Department’s telephone number programmed into their cellular telephones.

Finally, a fire drill will be conducted within 24 hours of each group’s arrival; participation in this drill is mandatory.

IX. Procedures for Critical Employees to Remain in a Building

At no time should an employee of Montclair State University remain in a building when an alarm is sounding. The only exceptions to this are emergency personnel (e.g. the police department or a representative of the Department of Fire Safety). In the event that an unsafe condition exists, all such persons are to leave the building immediately.

X. Other Employee Responsibilities

Those employees who, as part of their job, are tasked with assignments which pose a fire hazard are to receive fire safety and extinguisher training. Examples of such employees include, but are not limited to, plumbers, welders, electricians, and employees assigned to conduct or oversee “hot work.”

XI. Staging and Accountability

All employees will report to the building’s staging area, in the event of a building evacuation.  It is the responsibility of the hall directors, managers, and department heads to identify a responsible person (or persons, such as in the case of the residence hall directors) and a back-up person (or persons) to account for all employees, faculty, staff, students, and guests in their area at all times.  This person will establish a meeting area within the staging area designated for each building (See maps of staging areas and building evacuation plans for more details on staging areas) where, in the event of an emergency, his or her employees will meet.  At the staging area, this person will account for all employees that are in his or her work area and report his or her findings to a Building Manager or an Assistant Building Manager.  A Building Manager and Assistant Building Manager will be assigned to each building by the Dean or Vice President who is in charge of said building.  The Building Manager is to remain at a centralized area within the staging area until accountability is taken and reported.  In the event that a Building Manager is unavailable, the Assistant Building Manager will act as the Building Manager.  Once all departments have checked in with the Building Manager, he or she will report to the front of the building and give his or her findings to a University Police officer.

XII. Emergency Aid

Emergency aid (including emergency medical, fire, and rescue needs) will be provided by the University Police Department, the University Emergency Medical Services, and local fire departments. To receive services from these organizations, contact University Police at 973-655-5222.

XIII. Occupant Notification

In the event that a building needs to be evacuated and no fire condition exists, emergency responders may activate the fire alarm system to signal the need to evacuate the building. Notification may also be made through electronic voice communication systems (located in several of the University’s buildings), the campus text message alert system, and through e-mail. In the event that a fire exists in a building, the automatic alarm system will notify the occupants of the hazard. Manual pull stations may also be used to activate this system.

XIV. Notification of Activated Fire Alarms and Emergencies

All fire alarm systems and campus wide emergency phones are monitored at University Police headquarters. In the event of an activated fire alarm, the University Police Department will contact the appropriate fire department via phone or local police and fire radio frequencies. After they evacuate, assuming they have pertinent information, employees, students, or others are asked to contact University Police in the event of a fire. The additional data that can be gathered through your phone calls greatly helps responders in their response to our campus.

XV. Further Information

For further information and explanation of the duties under this plan, you may contact Robert Ferrara, Director of Fire Safety, at 973-655-5401.