Fire Alarm/ Building Evacuation

When the building fire alarm system sounds:

  • Immediately begin to evacuate the area.
  • If accessible, grab important personal items such as keys, purse, wallet, and cellphone.
  • If circumstances permit, secure your area by closing and locking doors if you would normally do so when leaving for the day.
  • Ensure all stairwell doors in your means of egress are also closed.
  • As you are evacuating, inform co-workers, students, and visitors that they must evacuate immediately.
  • If the corridor is filled with smoke, stay low and crawl out. If it is too much smoke or too hot return to your office. Call 9-1-1 and inform them you are still in the building, provide them with the floor and room number. Wait for assistance.
  • Once out of the building, move at least 100 feet from the structure or as instructed by public safety officials. The area should not block egress from the building or access to the building by emergency personnel or vehicles.


  • Do not stop to investigate if the alarm is real or false. Always evacuate.
  • Do not use the elevator to evacuate the building.
  • Do not wait to shut down your computer; however, it is recommended to lock your computer if immediately accessible.
  • Do not return to your work area to retrieve personal belongings.
  • Do not attempt to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher unless you have been trained in its use and the fire is small.
  • DO NOT RE-ENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON, until all-clear signal is given.
  • As you evacuate the building it is not your responsibility to ensure other occupants evacuate. Your own safety is the highest priority.
  • Do not open windows or leave doors open to assist with ventilation. Firefighters will ventilate the building if necessary.


  • Call 9-1-1 and report your location and situation.
  • Feel door. If hot, DO NOT open.
  • Keep doors and windows closed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke.
  • Stuff towels under the door to keep out smoke.
  • Attract attention to your position if possible.
  • If you must move, stay close to the floor and crawl.


  • Pull the fire alarm and call 9-1-1.
  • TIP – Fire alarm pull stations are normally located near each exit. If the building is not equipped with a fire alarm system, notify other occupants as you exit the building.
  • Remain calm while talking to the operator. Be prepared to answer several questions as to location, size of fire, your name, number of persons in building (if known) and any injuries. Remain on the line until the operator is finished.


UF Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)


EH&S – Fire Alarm/Building Evacuation Information – Fires


Fire Safety Training

Version Date: February 2024