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Building Evacuation Guidelines

Residence Halls

Awaken any sleeping roommate or suitemates. Prepare to evacuate by putting on shoes and coat if necessary. Feel the doorknob and the door. If they are hot, do not open the door. If they are cool, open slowly, but if heat or heavy smoke rushes in, close the door immediately and remain inside.

When leaving your room, be sure to take your key in case it is necessary to return to the room should conditions in the corridor deteriorate. Make sure to close the door tightly when evacuating.

All staff members who are present on their floors should facilitate the evacuation of their floor/section. When the alarm sounds, shout (example: "There is an emergency in the building. Leave by the nearest exit") and knock on doors as they make their way to the nearest exit and out the building.

When exiting in smoky conditions, keep your hand on the wall and crawl to the nearest exit. Always know more than one path out of your location and the number of doors between your room and the exit.

Each resident assistant should report to their assigned assembly area. Assembly assignments should be made by the Head Resident. Make sure that students have cleared the building (they are gathered in the designated meeting area),and do a head count. Do not allow re-entry into the building until directed to do so.

The Head Resident will meet emergency responders outside their building to provide information, i.e. persons still in building, as needed.

Following the evacuation, the Head Resident will meet briefly with the student staff at a predetermined location to process the evacuation and provide the information necessary to complete the Fire Alarm Evacuation Report. This report must be completed by the Head Resident (or another staff member in case of unscheduled alarms) and submitted to the Residence Life Administrative Assistant within 24 hours of the evacuation.

If exit is not possible: Shelter In Place

If for any reason you are not able to leave your room, dial 911 or on cell phone (804) 289-8911 and inform authorities of your location.

Make sure the door to your room is tightly closed and use a bed sheet or blanket to fill the cracks around the door.

If possible, open the window two-thirds at the top to allow hot air and gases to escape, and one-third at the bottom. Keeping your face near the bottom opening will allow you to breathe fresh air while waiting for help to arrive. Never break the window. If you do, you will no longer have the ability to control the influx of smoke from other floors. Wave a towel or brightly colored shirt from the window, and yell for help.  This will aid rescuers in locating you. The Fire Department looks for this type of signal.

Academic and Administrative Buildings

The University of Richmond has developed emergency building plans for all academic and administrative buildings. Each building has a building coordinator and multiple floor monitors to assist in the event of an emergency.

Each building has designated safety routes, identified safe and secure shelters within the building, and assembly areas on the exterior. Drills will be conducted annually to ensure occupants understand their responsibilities during an emergency.