Residential Life Evacuation Guidelines

Discovering a Fire:

  • Remain calm; close the door to isolate the fire if safe to do so.
  • Pull the manual fire alarm to start the evacuation and call 911.
  • Use a fire extinguisher on a small, confine fire if you have been properly trained and it is safe to do so.
  • Report any person trapped, injured or unaccounted for to 911, the University Police or the Hays Fire Department.
  • Exit the building.

When an Alarm Sounds:

  • Upon hearing an alarm, evacuate the building in an orderly fashion. If possible, close all interior doors and turn off the lights behind you. Do not lock the door.
  • Move to the closest exit and proceed down the exit stairwell in a safe and orderly manner. Do notuse the elevators! Emergency exits are conspicuously marked with an illuminated sign.
  • Residential Life staff should assist students and visitors in a prompt and orderly evacuation to a safe area at least 200 feet from the building and report any missing or trapped person to 911.
  • Remain at least two hundred (200) feet outside of the building in the safe area and await further instructions from the University Police personnel or the Hays Fire Department. In the event of inclement weather or a prolonged evacuation, the Director of Residential Life or designee should make arrangements for the temporary sheltering of displaced residents in a nearby Residential Life building or other available University building.
  • Do not go back into the building for any reason until directed to do so by Emergency Personnel. If you have a problem or concern, notify University Police or 911.

Evacuation Guidelines for Person with Disabilities:

  • Persons using wheelchairs:  If you are on a ground floor, you may not need assistance exiting the building. Proceed to a safe area 200 feet from the building and wait for instructions on when the building may safely be reentered. If you are located in a multi-level building, exit to the nearest designated evacuation point. (Designated evacuation points will be discussed at resident hall meeting to inform residents of the locations and evacuation routes.) Ask for assistance. Contact 911 or have someone notify the University Police or Fire Department as to where you are located in the building.
  • Persons with mobility impairments:  These individuals may use crutches, canes or walkers. Ask for assistance. If you are unable to use the stairs, follow the procedure for persons using wheelchairs (above).
  • Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing:  Buildings are equipped with visual fire alarm systems. Be familiar with the evacuation route in your building before an incident occurs. Ask for assistance by writing a note or using hand gestures. (Evacuation routes will be discussed at residence hall meetings to inform residents of the evacuation routes.) 
  • Persons who are blind or visually impaired:  Buildings are equipped with audible fire alarm systems. Ask for assistance evacuating and let the person know how to assist you. If you have a guide dog, instruct the person how to assist you.

Designated Evacuation Points within Residential Life:

  • Wiest Hall - North elevator lobby on each floor
  • McMindes Hall - Central elevator lobby on each floor
  • Agnew Hall - Service desk lobby on main floor
  • Custer Hall - Lobby or corridor areas adjacent to elevator
  • Stadium Place Apartments - No designated evacuation points
  • Wooster Place Apartments - No designated evacuation points

Mandated Supervised Fire Drills for Residential Life:

Residential hall fire safety will be discussed at New Student Orientation in August of each year. Additionally, the University will conduct supervised fire drills for each of the residence halls during the month of September each year. A team consisting of members from the University Police Department, Hays Fire Department, and Student Affairs Administration will supervise and critique the drills. The exact date and time of the drills will be decided by members of the supervision team. Results of the critique will be discussed with Student Affairs Staff and the University Crisis Committee and any changes in processes or procedures will be decided at that time.

Portable Electrical Appliances, Smoking & Open Flames

  • All residence hall are smoke free. Smoking is permitted outside the building. Use of incense and/or open flames in the residence halls is prohibited. Candle warmers are permitted and encouraged.
  • Cooking:  The residence halls are not equipped with the kind of wiring, plumbing or ventilation systems which permit cooking in student rooms. Each hall has a kitchenette area that residents may use for cooking. Residents are expected to clean up after themselves.
  • Microwave Ovens:  Each floor is equipped with a common microwave oven for residents to use. Only microwave-safe dishes and utensils may be utilized and food is not to be left unattended. Failure to follow appropriate cooking methods may result in excessive heat/smoke production which will trigger the hall fire alarm system. Intentional disregard of cooking methods or failure to adhere to reasonable safety procedures which results in fire safety system activation will result in disciplinary action for a fire safety violation.
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