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FIRE /SMOKE

The most effective method of fighting fires is to prevent them from occurring.  All Columbia University  Medical Center staff are responsible for contributing to the University’s fire prevention efforts.  Personnel should neither create nor tolerate conditions that could cause or fuel a fire.

In the event of a fire, REMEMBER: RACE and PASS

RACE (in the event of a fire)
R = RESCUE anyone in danger
A = ACTIVATE the nearest ALARM
C = CONTAIN the fire (close doors as you leave)
E = EXTINGUISH small, manageable fires
Fire alarm and
fire
PASS (for fire extinguisher use)
P = PULL the pin
A = AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire
S = SQUEEZE the handle
S = SWEEP from side-to-side

Protect yourself by remembering these tips:

  • If your clothing is on fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL.
  • Stay low and crawl under smoke.
  • Use stairwells to exit 2 floors below the fire—DO NOT use elevators.
  • Never assume that a fire alarm is a false alarm.
  • Never enter a room that is filled with smoke or if the top half of the door is warm to the touch.

A CONTROLLABLE fire is one that can be smothered with one fire extinguisher and without evacuation.  All other fires are considered to be UNCONTROLLABLE.

Procedures for CONTROLLABLE FIRES

  • Pull the fire alarm handle for FDNY response and alert people by shouting “CODE RED.”
  • A small fire (e.g. in a container) can be smothered with a nonflammable cover.  If the area of the fire is free of other fuels, it can be extinguished with an appropriate fire extinguisher.
  • Avoid smoke and/or fumes.
  • Notify Public Safety at 305-7979 after evacuating.
  • Notify NYSPI Security at 543-5555 if you are in the Kolb Annex, or NYSPI Building 5.

Procedures for UNCONTROLLABLE FIRES

  • DO NOT stay to fight a large or rapidly growing fire.
  • Alert people in the area to evacuate.
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm.
  • If it can be done safely, on your way out of the room, turn off equipment and move any flammable/explosive materials away from ignition sources.  Remember to close doors as you leave to  confine the fire.
  • Notify Public Safety at 305-7979 after evacuating.
  • Notify NYSPI Security at 543-5555 if you are in the Kolb Annex, or NYSPI Building 5.