Fire Safety at Vanderbilt
University for more information.
if you smell smoke, see a fire, or hear a
- IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE THE BUILDING. Always use the stairs.
Never use elevators during a fire.
- If the fire alarm has not been activated, then pull the manual fire
alarm pull station by the nearest exit.
- Before opening doors, check for heat:
- IF THE DOOR IS COOL:
- Open the door carefully and proceed to the nearest exit.
- Close doors behind you and leave the lights on.
- If there is light smoke, stay low and cover your face with a
cloth to filter out particulates.
- IF THE DOOR IS HOT, DO NOT OPEN IT!
- Seek another exit.
- If you are on a ground floor, try to exit through a window.
- If you are trapped in a room on an upper floor:
- Call 911 to report your building, floor, room number, and
the number of people with you.
- Prevent smoke from entering the room. If accessible, place
wet towels or cloth material at the bottom of the door and cover
- If the room begins to fill with smoke, you can open the
window slightly. Never break the window because this might cause
a chimney effect and help spread the fire.
- Assist the physically impaired as you evacuate the building.
- Offer to guide the visually impaired.
- Instruct the hearing impaired to evacuate with you. If you encounter a wheelchair-bound person, assist them to a refuge
point and instruct them to wait for Fire Department assistance.
- The first choice for a refuge point would be a widened stairway
landing that will accommodate a wheelchair without impeding patrons as
- If no stairway refuge exists, then have them remain in a room with a
- Make every attempt to ensure they have a phone or cell phone
- Make note of their exact location and continue to evacuate the
- After you safely evacuate from the building, report to your designated
- Report to your supervisor or designated point of contact and tell them:
- The location of anyone who could not be evacuated.
- the location and phone number of any mobility impaired person you
- about any problems you witnessed while exiting the building, such as
hallways/stairs filling with smoke or blocked by fire.
- DO NOT go back into the building until the Fire Department or VU
emergency personnel give the All Clear.
To contact the Vanderbilt University Police Department in an emergency:
- Call 911 from any campus phone.
- Call (615) 322-2222 from any other phone.
Evacuation - General
Evacuation - Disabilities
Shelter in Place
Hazardous Materials Spill
to these Security guides requires
login with VUNet ID & e-password.)
Medical Center students, staff and faculty should also refer to the
VUMC Emergency Response Quick Reference Guide
and the VUMC
Safety & Emergency Operations Manual.