Fire Prevention

Every year, both wildfires and structure fires effect thousands of California residents. These fires are a natural occurrence and a part of life in California, but there are steps you can take to keep your family and your property prepared for fire.

Prepare for Fire

  • Note the location of alarms and extinguishers.
  • Clear obstructed corridors, aisles and room exits.
  • If a door is permanently blocked, label it as no access.
  • Use only grounded electrical outlets.
  • Do not use an extension cord for permanent use.
  • Do not use mechanical rooms, or utility rooms, or stairwells for storage or block the entrance to these rooms.
  • Know the location of the emergency exits and stairwells and have a strategy for evacuating.
  • In laboratories, teach students about fire safety first thing.
  • Practice. During a fire drill, immediately evacuate the building you are in.
  • Report strange smells which could be smoke or electrical overload.
  • Practice and familiarize yourself with all escape routes.

When a Fire Occurs

  • Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
  • Feel doors for heat. If cool, exit carefully. If hot, do not open the door. Stay where you are until help arrives. If a telephone is available, call 911 and describe the emergency and your location. Place cloth material around the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from entering. Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire. Be prepared to signal from a window, but do not break glass unless necessary since outside smoke could enter your room.
  • If caught in smoke, drop to your hands and knees and crawl as you exit. Hold your breath a long as possible. Breathe shallowly through your nose and use clothing as a filter.
  • If you see fire, confine it by closing doors and windows.
  • Start an orderly evacuation (even for small fires, a closed room can reach 1500 degrees within three minutes).
  • From a safe location call 911 from a campus telephone.
  • Use extinguishers on small fires only if it is safe to do so and when there is no personal risk. When operating a fire extinguisher, remember P-A-S-S: Pull the pin; Aim at the base of the fire; Squeeze the lever; Sweep from side to side.
  • Never use an elevator during a fire.
  • In laboratories, follow the fire safety training provided by the instructor or other department personnel.
  • If your clothing catches fire - STOP, DROP AND ROLL to extinguish the flames