Fire Safety Alarm Procedures

All residence halls are equipped with a fire alarm system. Fire Drills are conducted to practice Emergency Preparedness such as escape routes & evacuation plans. Announced and unannounced Fire Drills are conducted various times throughout the fall and spring semesters. This joint effort involves Residence Life, Public Safety, and Facilities Management departments.


  1. Public Safety officers will activate the alarm.
  2. Evacuation assistance and movement to designated assembly area by Public Safety;
  3. Facilities and Public Safety representatives check for proper operation of alarm horns, exit and stairwell lights, fire doors and presence of fire extinguishers;
  4. Public Safety Command Center will ensure that alarm relays are in working order;
  5. Residence Life Coordinator and Public Safety selects random block of rooms to insure evacuation occurred; fire safety violations and other violations in plain view are documented;
  6. Evacuation maintained until Public Safety, Residence Life and Facilities sounds "all clear";
  7. Public Safety, Facilities and Residence Life Staff follow-up as required.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures 

Before a fire:

  • Students should know the location and route for their first and second means of egress.
  • Students should keep fire doors closed.
  • Students should know the location of all fire extinguishers in their area. (Note: Do not attempt to extinguish a fire unless you have been trained or the fire is between you and the exit.)

Whether you sense a fire or the building fire alarm system is activated, put the evacuation procedures into action. Never Ignore A Fire Alarm! When a fire alarm sounds, you must evacuate the building. If you are not in the vicinity of your room when the alarm sounds, do not return to your room, but leave the building immediately. In the event of a fire alarm or if a student suspects a fire, you are to follow these steps before evacuating the building:

  1. Activate the building alarm. (Pull the alarm on your way out of the building if the alarm horn is not already suspended.)
  2. Call Public Safety at (215) 572-2999 and give as much information as possible. Your first action should be to grab your room keys and proceed to the nearest exit. Be sure to alert any other occupants in the room.
  3. Close the door behind you and lock the door.
  4. If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and evacuate the building.
    • Never use the elevators! Elevators will stop during a fire.
    • Follow the evacuation plan established for this building.
    • Do not re-enter this building until instructed by Public Safety and/or Fire Department.
    • Report to the gathering location for your building as designated by Residence & Commuter Life and Public Safety.  Upon instructions, report to your assigned Emergency Evacuation Location and await further instructions from Public Safety.  
    • Return to the building quietly when a University official gives permission.
    • Tampering with or misuse of fire safety equipment is illegal. Violators are subject to appropriate sanctions and prosecution.

Leave the firefighting to the professionals.

  1. Feel the door from top to bottom-if it is hot, do not open. Keep calm. If trapped in a room, do the following if possible.
    • Place towels or clothing, preferably wet under the door to keep smoke out.
    • Clear the window of blinds, attract attention. If you have a phone available contact Public Safety at 2999 or 215-572-2999 and tell the dispatcher that you are trapped, give your name and room number.
    • Stay low; breathe fresh air near the ground.
    • Stay calm and await help.
  2. If the door is cool, crouch low and open door slowly. Close door quickly if smoke or fire is present.
  3. If it is clear, exit via nearest stairwell. Stay low if smoke conditions exist. Report to your designated evacuation area.
  4. If you encounter heavy smoke in a stairwell, go back and use an alternate route.

All persons present in the residence hall are to evacuate the building whenever the alarm sounds. If you fail to participate in fire drills, you will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to, a $50 fine. Students shall be subject to other disciplinary action for any violation of Fire Safety. Specific procedures to follow in case of fire are posted on public bulletin boards in each residence hall. Please make sure to take note of these regulations and familiarize yourself with the emergency exits in every building. 

Prevention and Educational Efforts

  • Residents are told NOT to bring: hot plates, toaster ovens, space heaters, any appliance with open heating element, candles, incense and potpourri burners.
  • All appliances and cords must be UL approved.
  • The Department of Public Safety provides information and safety brochures for Campus Fire Safety.
  • Floor plans, evacuation routes, evacuation assembly locations, drill procedures and fire safety policies are reviewed by RAs at floor meetings.
  • Floor plans with exit locations are publicly posted on each floor of each residence hall.
  • The University celebrates Fire Prevention Week to promote Campus Fire Safety
  • Hands on fire extinguish training is offered each semester where employees and students are offered an opportunity to extinguish a fire.


  • Comprehensive alarm system installed in every building.
  • Facilities Management checks and tests fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers.
  • Buildings are zoned with smoke detectors that sound alarm for smoke or fumes.
  • Alarms sound within the building and at the Public Safety department headquarters which are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Annunciator panel within the buildings identify the locations of tripped detector or pull box.
  • Strobe light at top of each building alerts fire department to correct building.
  • Sprinklers are an important part of the fire protection system. All residential living areas are equipped with sprinkler systems in student rooms and common areas.
  • All Arcadia residence halls are equipped with fast-acting smoke detectors that sound fire alarm when triggered.
  • All hallways are equipped with fire extinguishers
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