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Fire Procedures


Building occupants are required by law to evacuate a building when the fire alarm sounds.

  1. Inform people in the immediate area to evacuate.
  2. If you witness a fire, activate the nearest building fire alarm and exit the building.
  3. When safe, immediately call 911. 
  4. If the fire is small (wastebasket sized or smaller) and you have been trained to use a fire extinguisher, you may attempt to extinguish the fire. Make sure that you have a safe exit from the fire area and use the buddy system. If you cannot put out the fire in 5 seconds, evacuate.
  5. On your way out, warn others.
  6. Move away from fire and smoke. Close doors and windows behind you, if time permits.
  7. Before opening a door, place the back of your hand on the door to check for heat.  If cool, slowly check the door handle for heat and proceed to exit. 
  8. If the door is hot, do not open it. Find or create an alternative exit (windows).  If no other exit is available and you only see smoke, open the door slowly, move to a crawling position, staying low, and quickly crawl to an exit. 
  9. If the door is hot and fire is present, keep the door shut. Place any type material at the base of the door to keep smoke from entering the room.
  10. Exit using stairs. Do not use elevators during a fire.
  11. Evacuate the building as soon as the alarm sounds and proceed to the designated evacuation zone.
  12. Do not re-enter the building or work area until you have been instructed to do so by the emergency responders.
  13. To use a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS:

    P - PULL safety pin from handle.
    A - AIM nozzle at base of fire.
    S - SQUEEZE the trigger handle.
    S - SWEEP from side to side   

Remember acronym: R-A-C-E


Rescue anyone (including yourself) who is in immediate danger from the fire. Remove these people to the closest safe area, simultaneously notifying other building occupants to evacuate the area.

Use the stairs. Do not use elevators.


Sound the fire alarm by pulling the nearest fire alarm pull station and dialing 9-1-1.


Confine the fire by closing all doors and windows in and around the fire area. This will help prevent the spread of smoke and fire. Shut off appliances and other equipment. Leave lights on.


Extinguish the fire by using a portable fire extinguisher only if safe to do so. 


In the event of a wildland fire, emergency responders may advise the campus to shelter in place or to evacuate.  

Shelter in Place

If the campus is advised to shelter in place, air quality may be an issue, especially for those with health conditions. 

  1. Stay inside.
  2. Stay tuned to changing conditions though local media, news, emergency notification system, and the campus web page.
  3. Close all doors and windows.
  4. If air quality becomes a factor, obtain a respirator from your personal emergency supply kit (N95 quality recommended). N95s can be purchased at local hardware stores 
  5. If you do not have a personal respirator, create a makeshift mask by dampening a shirt or towel and cover your nose and mouth until the air improves. 

Campus Evacuation

If first responders order an evacuation, campus officials will employ the campus evacuation plan as referenced above. Directions for evacuation will be communicated via the emergency notification system, campus web site and campus social media accounts.  

Wildland Fire Incident Information

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) maintains a log of all current and recent wild land fire incidents statewide. Major fires will usually have an incident-specific page created and linked to from this page.

Air Quality During a Fire

Smoke can have a dangerous effect on air quality during a wildland fire, especially for individuals with health concerns. Review the Fires, Air Quality and Your Health bulletin for response techniques and resources for monitoring air quality. 


  • Build a Personal Emergency Kit(include a personal respirator in your kit)
  • Fire, Air Quality, and Your Health

 Wildfire Smoke Information

Specific smoke advisories during wildfires are issued by the San Diego Air Pollution Control District and can be found on the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District page if available.

General information about the health effects of wildland smoke can be found in the following documents: