Fire Emergency


1. Preplan your response to a fire emergency.

Review the Emergency Action Plan for your building. Know where the nearest fire alarm pull station (if available), fire extinguisher, exit stairwells, and outside assembly area are located. Remember, elevators cannot be used in a fire emergency.


2. If you discover a fire, know and follow the acronym E.S.C.A.P.E.:

Evaluate the situation.

Secure the area by notifying and removing all occupants from the immediate danger area.

Close door(s) to the room or area where the fire is located, after all occupants are out of the room.

Activate the building fire alarm system. If there is no alarm system, begin evacuation of the building.

Phone Tulane (or facility) Police* and state the exact location of the fire.

Extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher (if possible) and you are trained on how to do so.

  • *  Phone numbers for Tulane Police or other emergency responders vary depending on the facility. Be sure to check your facility’s fire emergency plan for important details.

TUHSC 988-5555 (x 55555 from downtown campus phone)

Uptown 865-5200 (x 5200 from uptown campus phone)

TNPRC 985-871-6411


3. When using a fire extinguisher, know and follow the acronym P.A.S.S.:

Pull the pin on the handle.

Aim nozzle at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher, and

Sweep the fire extinguisher from side to side across the base of the fire.

OEHS Safety Guide - March 2011


4. Use correct type of fire extinguisher:

  •  Class ABC Multipurpose (dry chemical) extinguishers can be used on all general types of fires. These extinguishers are generally located in hallways.
  •  Class BC carbon dioxide extinguishers can be used ONLY on flammable or combustible liquid fires or energized electrical fires. These extinguishers are commonly found in laboratories, mechanical equipment rooms, etc.
  •  Class D extinguishers are used for fires associated with combustible metals such as sodium, potassium, lithium, aluminum, etc. These extinguishers may be found in some specialized laboratories.
  •  Class K extinguishers are used for vegetable oil or fat fires in commercial food service areas.

For further information on portable fire extinguishers, see the NFPA pamphlet “Fire Extinguishers at Work.” These are distributed to new employees during orientation. Additional copies of the pamphlet can be obtained from the OEHS.

4. Before entering the fire room with an extinguisher, feel the closed door with the back of your hand. If the door is warm or hot to the touch or the room is full of smoke, proceed with area evacuation. NEVER let the fire come between you and the exit door. If the door is not warm, open it slowly, stay low, and extinguish the fire by applying the extinguishing agent toward the base of the fire.

5. Be familiar with the alarm system (if provided) in your building. (Some one and two story buildings do not have a fire alarm system.) If you hear the fire alarm:

  •  Standby for evacuation orders if the building is equipped with a public address system. If there's no PA system or you don’t hear the announcement, don't delay, evacuate the building immediately.
  •  Use the nearest stairwell or ground floor exit door to exit the building. Do not take the elevators. Stay with other departmental personnel and account for all persons.
  •  Once outside, proceed to designated assembly area (per the EAP) and stay at least 100 feet from the building. Do not interfere with fire department personnel and equipment.
  •  Do not re-enter the building until an "All Clear" is issued by Tulane Police or Fire Department officials.


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 - Some photos courtesy of the Peace Corps -