Emergency Evacuation

Everyone should be familiar with the building alarm system and procedures for evacuating buildings at each campus they may be required to attend.

Special consideration is required for evacuating individuals with a disability since they may require some direction or assistance in the event of an emergency. Refer to the "Evacuating Persons with Disabilities (opens new window)" section for more information).

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  • Students with a disability should contact Accessible Learning Services (opens new window) to have an individual evacuation plan developed.
  • Employees should self-identify to their manager if they have a disability and require assistance for emergency situations so that an Individual Emergency Response Plan can be developed as per the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act.

Familiarize yourself with the following information for your own safety:

Upon Discovery of Fire (all buildings)

  • Leave the fire area immediately and close doors behind you.
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm
  • Evacuate the building via the nearest safe exit
  • Call Security or call 911 from a safe location

Fennell and IAHS: Single-Stage Alarm System

Upon Activation of the Fire Alarm

  • Evacuate by the nearest safe exit and leave the building
  • Close doors behind you

Stoney Creek Campus - Emergency Evacuation Procedure

The fire alarm system at the Stoney Creek campus was upgraded in November 2016 to a Two-Stage Alarm System. Please review the information below to familiarize yourself with this type of system and the two different alarm signals you may hear so you know how to respond in the event of an alarm.

Two-stage alarm systems have two different “stages” or alarm sounds and so evacuation is not necessarily automatically required when you hear the alarm. Two-stage alarm systems are designed to allow building occupants to remain inside the building and continue activities when it is considered safe to do so (First Stage), and to evacuate occupants when a fire emergency exists (Second Stage). The general advantage of two-stage alarm systems is to avoid unnecessary evacuations of occupants when it is considered safe for them to remain in the building, and to concentrate resources or evacuate areas where required for emergency situations.  Examples of buildings that operate with two-stage alarm systems typically have complex occupancies, such as nursing homes and hospitals, or they are large buildings such as office towers, office blocks, apartments and college or university buildings.

How the Fire Alarm System Operates

Upon initial activation of the alarm system (e.g. fire pull station, heat detector, smoke detector) the first-stage (Alert) alarm sounds throughout the building.  Simultaneously, an alarm signal is sent to the fire department and they will automatically be dispatched to the building. The “Alert” alarm signals to everyone the fire alarm system has been activated and to be prepared to evacuate if the signal changes to the second-stage alarm (evacuation).  The fire alarm system is enhanced with pre-recorded messaging for the alarm stages and voice communication capability for additional instructions by Security if necessary.

During the initial, first-stage alarm period, Security will have a limited amount of time (up to 2 minutes at Stoney Creek) to investigate the cause of the alarm to determine and “acknowledge” that evacuation is not necessary because a fire emergency does not exist (e.g. false alarm, malfunctioning detection device).  Once “acknowledged”, the fire alarm will continue to sound the “Alert” signal and occupants may remain in the building and continue activities.

However, if Security does not “acknowledge” the first-stage alarm within 2 minutes of the initial activation, or if their investigation confirms there is an emergency, the second-stage alarm will be activated and evacuation of the building will be required.

  • First Stage - Alert Signal 
    (slow beeps, no pause) Click to listen to the Alert Signal
    Upon activation of the fire alarm system (i.e. manual pull station or automatic fire detector), the audible fire alarm devices will sound slow beeps, at a rate of approximately 20 beeps per minute, throughout the entire building. An automatic pre-recorded voice message will also be played to inform occupants the fire alarm system has been activated and to stand by for further instructions.
  • Second Stage - Alarm (Evacuation) Signal
    (3 fast beeps followed by a pause) Click to listen to the Alarm Signal  
    Upon activation of the second-stage alarm, the audible fire alarm devices will sound a temporal pattern alarm that cycles three fast beeps followed by a pause, throughout the entire building. An automatic pre-recorded voice message will also be played to inform occupants the fire alarm system has been activated and to evacuate the building. Note: The alarm signal will automatically activate if the alert signal is not acknowledged within 2 minutes. The alarm signal can also be activated by key switch operation of a fire pull station or by pressing the alarm button at a fire alarm panel.

Emergency Evacuation Procedure

Upon Discovery of Fire

  • Leave the fire area immediately and close doors behind you
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm
  • Evacuate the building via the nearest safe exit
  • Call Security or call 911 from a safe location

Upon Activation of the Alert Signal (slow beeps, no pause)

  • There is a possible emergency in the building
  • Stand by and prepare to leave the building
  • Listen for announcements and instructions

Upon Activation of the Alarm (Evacuate) Signal (3 fast beeps, followed by pause, repeated)

  • The alarm indicates an emergency
  • Evacuate the building by the nearest safe exit
  • Close doors behind you

Important Notes

  1. Do not use elevators as you could be trapped if the power fails or is switched off.
  2. Use an alternate route if you encounter smoke.
  3. If a person with a disability cannot be evacuated from the building, assist them to a fire rated room such as an office or classroom that is away from smoke or fire, as close as possible to an exit. Preference should be given to rooms with two exits and a telephone. Notify Security and/or the Fire Department of their specific location.
  4. Take up a position away from the building so as not to interfere with emergency personnel.
  5. Remain outside the building until an "All Clear" has been given by the Fire Department, Security, designated staff and/or Fire Wardens.
  6. Fire extinguishers are located throughout the buildings. These are portable extinguishers designed for small confined fires and should only be used by trained persons. The Fire Department must be called (911) before using a fire extinguisher.
  7. All students, faculty and staff should familiarize themselves with the locations of the fire alarm stations, fire extinguishers and building exits in order to avoid confusion in the event of an emergency.
  8. Never put yourself in danger!

Extended Evacuations

In the event of an extended evacuation you will be directed by Security, staff and/or Fire Wardens to a sheltered location. If instructed, please move quickly and calmly to the designated assembly point.

Returning To Facilities

Remain outside or in the sheltered area until an All Clear has been given by emergency officials, Security, designated staff and/or Fire Wardens.

Safety-Security Checklist for Faculty

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