Fire, hazardous materials and building evacuations

If there is a fire or a hazardous material emergency such as smoke, a burning odor, the uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas, or a material spill, here are some steps that should be taken immediately:

  • Activate the nearest fire alarm.
  • If you are not able to locate the fire alarm, knock on doors and shout "Fire!" as you exit the building, closing doors as you leave. It is university policy to evacuate whenever the fire alarm in a building is activated.
  • Evacuate the building by the nearest exit.
  • Call 911 once you are safely out of the building, and follow the instructions of safety officials. Be prepared to give details about the location of the emergency.

To survive a building fire

  • Crawl if there is smoke. Clearer and cleaner air is near the floor. Stay as low as possible.
  • Feel closed doors with the back of your hand; do not open if doors are hot. When opening the door, if there is heavy smoke and high heat present immediately close the door.
  • Use stairways to leave a building. Do not use an elevator.
  • Assist disabled individuals to safe refuge areas.
  • Activate the fire alarm for small fires and call 911. Then attempt to extinguish a very small fire if you know how to use the fire extinguisher.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, prevent smoke from entering your room by keeping the door closed and placing a wet cloth under the door. Signal for help by hanging a piece of clothing out the window. Do not break the window glass unless absolutely necessary because outside smoke could be drawn into the room. Call 911 or the Department of University Safety to report your location in the building.
  • If your clothes catch on fire, STOP, DROP AND ROLL. Rolling smothers the fire. For burns, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

People with disabilities

If you are disabled, you need to do the following.

  • Plan ahead. Know how you will evacuate a building in the event of an emergency.
  • Inform your instructors of your situation and any limitations you may have in the event of a building evacuation.
  • If you are in a multistory building, utilize the area of refuge, usually on a stairway landing, if one is available.

Department of University Safety




[email protected]

Emergency contact numbers

Emergencies in the U.S.

Emergencies in France


To arrange a SafeRide, call 404.253.3333 in Atlanta or 912.525.4500 in Savannah.