Fire Alarm Procedures - ERP802

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure an effective response upon the activation of fire alarm systems of the protection of the Mohawk College community and building occupants.

The fire alarm systems at the Fennell and Stoney Creek campuses operate as two-stage alarm systems.  These have two different “stages” or alarm sounds and so evacuation is not necessarily automatically required when you hear an alarm.  Two-stage systems are designed to allow building occupants to remain inside the building, but to stand by and be prepared to evacuate, during the First Stage while Security Services investigates. Evacuation is required when the second-stage alarm sounds. 

The IAHS campus and Aviation Campus operates on a single-stage fire alarm system and evacuation is immediately required upon hearing the alarm. 

On this page 

1. Application and Scope

This procedure applies to all College owned buildings and members of the Mohawk College community including staff, students, contractors and visitors on College property. 

2. Definitions

“Individual Emergency Response Plan” is a written document that details all assistance that an employee, student or member of the community needs during an emergency.   Person may need assistance with various tasks involved in responding to an emergency, including:

  • Activating an alarm, or finding out that an alarm is sounding or flashing
  • Locating or following paths to building exits
  • Communicating with emergency responders
  • Moving through crowds in stressful situations
  • Travelling through and out of buildings without using elevators
  • Finding and using designated waiting areas

3. Fire Alarm Procedures

3.1 All Buildings/Campuses

Upon Discovery of Fire:

  • Leave fire area immediately and close doors behind you.
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building via the nearest safe exit.
  • Call Security at 55, IAHS at 88, or CALL 911 from a safe location.

3.2 Fennell and Stoney Creek Campuses

Upon Activation of the Fire Alarm System:

First Stage – Alert Signal (slow, intermittent beeps)

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

Second Stage – Fire Alarm Signal (3 fast beeps followed by a pause)

  • There is an emergency in the building.
  • Evacuate the building via the nearest safe exit.
  • Close doors behind you.

3.3 IAHS Campus & Aviation Campus

Upon Activation of the Fire Alarm System:

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

4. Special Notes for All Fire Alarm Situations

  • Do not use elevators.
  • Use an alternative exit if you encounter fire or smoke.
  • 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 the specific location of any individuals that were not evacuated.

5. Returning to Facilities

Do not re-enter the building until authorized by the Fire Department, Security, or by receiving an electronic all clear message. 

6. Extended Evacuation

In the event of an extended evacuation, you will be directed to a sheltered location.  If instructed, please move quickly and calmly to the designated location.

7. Traffic Control

With the exception of emergency service vehicles, access to the campus may be denied to all oncoming traffic when the order to evacuate has been given. Parking Officers and/or Security Services will be responsible for safely controlling any vehicular traffic wishing to leave the Campus.

8. False Alarms

The willful activation of a fire alarm, without reasonable cause, is a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada (s. 437). Anyone witnessing the initiation of a false alarm should notify Security Services immediately.

9. Fire Drills

Fire drills will be conducted at least once per year.  Failure to respond and react to an alarm in the correct manner or refusal to evacuate when required will lead to disciplinary action. 

10. Responsibilities

Everyone in the building is required to respect the fire alarm systems and immediately evacuate when the alarm sounds for single-stage systems, and when the second stage alarm sounds for two-stage systems. 

10.1 Employees

  • Be Prepared and know the procedures to be followed when fire or smoke is detected or when the alarm sounds.
  • Know the requirements for individuals with and Individual Emergency Response Plan and plan accordingly for their evacuation
  • Ensure all students, visitors and other employees evacuate when required. 
  • Faculty must provide instruction to students at the beginning of each semester on how the fire alarm system operates, the procedures to be followed and the nearest escape routes to be used in the event of an emergency. Signage is posted in all classrooms as a reminder.
  • Ensure that machinery and equipment in offices, classes/labs and service areas are shut off prior to evacuation, providing doing so does not endanger the safety of any person.
  • Close doors.
  • Advise Security Services and/or the Fire Department of the location of any endangered occupants.
  • Inform your manager if you have accessibility needs and require assistance for emergency situations. Once you self-identify, an Individual Emergency Response Plan will be prepared.

10.2 Security Services 

  • Overall campus security and emergency response involving police, ambulance and fire at Mohawk College owned campuses.
  • Fire alarm system monitoring and control in coordination with Facility Services.
  • Respond to, and investigate fire alarms.
  • Ensure the building has been evacuated and move people from entrances.
  • Announce the “all clear” signal for building re-entry.
  • Reset the fire alarm system upon approval of the fire department.
  • Prepare, revise and distribute approved Fire Safety Plans
  • Communicate information for employees, students and building occupants regarding fire alarm procedures.
  • Coordinate fire drills at least annually.

10.3 Facility Services 

  • Overall operation and maintenance of campus buildings, utilities and services at Mohawk owned campuses. 
  • Fire alarm system monitoring and control in coordination with Security Services.

10.4 Students

  • Review the Fire Alarm Procedures at the beginning of the semester.
  • Inform your Accessible Learning Services if you have accessibility needs and require assistance for emergency situations. Once you self-identify, an Individual Emergency Response Plan will be prepared.
  • Know the location of the nearest exit and an alternate route in case the preferred route is blocked
  • Know the location of the nearest fire alarm pull station. Pull to sound the alarm.
  • Close doors
  • Know that failure to respond to an alarm in the correct manner or refusal to evacuate will be managed as a violation of the Student Behaviour Policy.
  • Ask the instructor or class advisor if there are any questions regarding the above information.

11. Procedure Revision Date

March 25, 2024

12. Attachments

Intentionally left blank. 

13. Specific Links