Environment, Health and Safety Manual - Chapter 04.02: Fire Safety - Fire Emergency Procedure


Environment, Health and Safety Manual - Chapter 04.02: Fire Safety - Fire Emergency Procedure


How you react in the event of fire depends on how well you have prepared for a fire emergency. Therefore, departments should ensure that all employees are familiar with the procedure to follow in the event of an emergency as outlined in the University’s Emergency Plan.

Procedure to Follow

Departments that need a special fire emergency procedure to meet your operations should contact the Fire Safety Section for assistance.

Most departments can follow the basic building evacuation procedure outlined in "Basic Procedures." The building evacuation procedure for your department should be posted on the office bulletin board.

Basic Procedures

1. In the event of an alarm, RACE

  1. Remove anyone from immediate danger
  2. Activate the building fire alarm system and call 911
  3. Confine the fire by closing all windows and doors
  4. Evacuate, leave the building; Extinguish the fire, if it can be done safely

2. How to Survive a Building Fire

  1. Crawl If There’s Smoke
  2. Feel Doors Before Opening
  3. Go To The Nearest Exit
  4. Always Use An Exit Stair, Not An Elevator
  5. Close Doors
  6. Use a fire extinguisher if the fire is very small and you know how to use it safely
  7. If you are on fire – Stop, Drop, and Roll
  8. If You Get Trapped
    • Close the door
    • Seal cracks
    • Open the windows if safe
    • Signal for help and phone 911
    • Don’t Jump – The fire department will reach you.

3. If You are Physically Impaired

  1. If you are disabled (even temporarily), you should do the following:
    • Learn about fire safety.
    • Plan ahead for fire emergencies.
    • Be aware of your own capabilities and limitations.
  2. Look for “areas of refuge” like stair enclosures or other side of corridor fire doors. Elevators are not safe during fires. Sometimes it may be safer to stay in your room. Follow the advice for being trapped.
  3. If there is an immediate threat to safety, ask others near you for assistance. If no help is available, seek refuge in a room with a window or stairway. If possible, call “911” to report your location and receive instructions from the Emergency Operator.

Safety Protocol for UNC Fire Watch

  • The Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) – (UNC Fire Marshal) – shall have the authority to require standby fire personnel or an approved fire watch when potentially hazardous conditions or a reduction in a life safety feature exist due to the type of performance, display, exhibit, occupancy, contest or activity, an impairment to a fire protection feature, or the number of persons present.
  • Qualified personnel shall be provided to serve as an on-site fire watch. The sole duty of fire-watch personnel shall be to watch for the occurrence of fire.
  • A fire watch should consist of trained personnel who continuously patrol the affected area. Ready access to fire extinguishers and the ability to promptly notify UNC Operations/Fire Department are critical steps to fire intervention. During the patrol of the area, the fire watch officer should not only be looking for fire, but also making sure that the other fire protection features of the building such as egress routes and proper lighting are available and functioning properly.
  • Fire watch personnel shall make 24 hour continuous walking rounds through affected building until it can be put back in operation.
  • Fire watch personnel shall carry a functional cellular phone while on duty, and be familiar with the emergency number for UNC Operations: 919-962-8100.
  • Fire watch personnel must check-in with either the manager or supervisor of the UNC facility that is performing the fire watch or the construction company operating on UNC premises where the fire watch has been determined to be necessary by the Fire Marshal’s Office. This check-in must occur at the beginning and ending of each shift. Personnel must provide UNC Fire Marshal with final documentation which includes the names for personnel, and all shift dates and times for duration of the required fire watch.

Contact Information

Policy Contact

Environment, Health and Safety
1120 Estes Drive
Campus Box #1650
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1650
Phone: 919-962-5507

Back to Chapter 04.01 - Emergency Planning and Evacuation

Proceed to Chapter 04.03 - Reporting Fires


Article ID: 131935
Thu 4/8/21 9:20 PM
Mon 7/4/22 1:26 PM
Effective Date
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01/28/2019 11:00 PM
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Executive Director
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05/10/2022 12:00 AM
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01/28/2019 11:00 PM
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09/01/2026 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
06/01/2014 12:00 AM
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Environment, Health and Safety