Fire Evacuation

Fire can spread rapidly, leaving as little as a few minutes to escape safely after the alarm sounds.  Know the escape route for the building you are in and your department’s or family’s meeting place. When a fire alarm sounds in a University of Michigan (U-M) facility, you must:

  • Immediately exit the building
  • Close the doors behind you while exiting
  • Walk to the nearest exit (do not use elevators)
  • Gather at the designated assembly area
  • Notify U-M Police Department (UMPD) officers or the Fire Department personnel if you suspect someone is injured or trapped inside the building
  • Only re-enter the building after U-M Police (UMPD), the Fire Department, or your Building Emergency Coordinator or Floor Marshal gives the “all clear”

Training and Education

Media Library:  Click Emergency Evacuation: Getting Out Alive (DVD0019) DVD.  My LINC and the name of the DVD will display.  Click Register.  You will receive a confirmation email stating your request was received.  EHS will contact you for your campus address and send the DVD by campus mail.

Roles and Responsibilities when Evacuating a Building

Each and every occupant of a building, must evacuate the building when a fire alarm is activated.  The following table describes the roles and responsibilities for occupant and building representatives:

Floor marshals (if safe to do so)
  • Immediately communicate with occupants in their assigned area and assist in evacuation of the building
  • Conduct a sweep of their assigned area
  • Conduct checks of designated Areas of Rescue Assistance for persons with disabilities and convey this information to emergency responders


  • Assist U-M Police officers and other emergency responders as directed – this could include monitoring of building entrances
  • Perform other functions as designated in the Building Emergency Action Plan and as directed by the Building Emergency Coordinator
  • After being given the “all clear” by UMPD or Fire Department personnel, floor marshals will communicate to occupants that it is safe to re-enter the building
Building Emergency Coordinators will:
  • Act as the primary point of contact for emergency responders
  • Assist in coordinating the response
  • Monitor the activities of floor marshals and building occupants
  • Communicate to floor marshals and building occupants after the “all clear” to re-occupy the building has been given by UMPD or the Fire Department
  • Perform other functions as designated in the Building Emergency Action Plan

Emergency Responders

Emergency responders include UMPD, Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), Plant, and the Ann Arbor Fire Department.

  • U-M police officers responding to an alarm will determine if there is a fire or other emergency and will summon the appropriate resources, such as the Fire Department, EHS, or Plant.
  • Reset the alarm
  • Inform the Building Emergency Coordinator, Floor Marshal(s), or occupants that it is safe to re-enter the building
  • Coordinate the emergency response
  • Provide further direction to the Building Emergency Coordinator, Floor Marshals, and occupants
  • Give the “all clear” when the incident has ended and the building is determined to be safe for occupants to re-enter the building
  • EHS, Plant, and Ann Arbor Fire Department will be notified to respond by UMPD.
  • Assist in air quality monitoring
  • Assist with hazardous material evaluation and mitigation
F&O Maintenance Services
  • Assist in resetting alarms
  • Help investigate alarm malfunctions, when needed
  • Assist UMPD and the Ann Arbor Fire Department by turning building equipment or utilities on or off
  • Take other steps to mitigate damage
Ann Arbor Fire Department (AAFD)
  • Assume command of the incident in conjunction with UMPD
  • Take any necessary action to:
    • Rescue building occupants
    • Extinguish the fire
    • Preserve the contents of the building
  • At the conclusion of the incident, the AAFD will assist in evaluating the safety of the building and determining if the building can be reoccupied
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