Fire Safety

Purdue Fire Statistics | Fire 101: The Dangers of Fire | Fire & Life Safety Tips

Fire Safety Preparedness

  • Learn your building's exiting system.
  • Know at least two separate exit routes from your area to an exit or exit stairway.
  • Know the location of your building's fire alarms and learn how to use them.
  • Know that 911 is the emergency telephone number for the area.
  • If you have a disability that could delay your escape, let someone in authority know about it. Be sure that there is a plan to assist you.
  • Never block fire exits, doorways, corridors, or stairways.

In Case of Fire

In all cases, when a faculty, staff, student, or visitor becomes aware of fire and/or smoke, the Purdue Fire Department must be notified immediately.

  • Go to the nearest safe location and activate the fire alarm system at the pull station, or shout the alarm as you evacuate the building. If possible, telephone 911 and provide the following information:
    • Name of the building.
    • Location of the fire within the building.
    • A description of the fire and (if known) how it started.
  • If you can hear instructions coming over the building’s emergency public address system, listen carefully and follow the instructions.
  • Evacuate the building following the established building evacuation procedures. (See Building Evacuation).
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers, fire exits, and alarm systems in your area and know how to use them. Do not fight a fire if you have not been trained. Make sure the fire department has been called and the building alarm has been sounded. In all cases, avoid possible injury and excessive risks. If the fire is, or could get, out of control, the building should be evacuated.
    • Stay calm and take steps to protect yourself.
    • If possible, move to a room with an outside window.
    • If there is a telephone, call 911 and tell the police dispatcher where you are. Do this even if you can see fire department personnel from the window.
    • Stay where rescuers can see you through the window and wave a light-colored item to attract their attention.
    • Stuff clothing, towels, or paper around the cracks in the door to help keep smoke out of your refuge.
    • If possible, open the window at the top and bottom. Be ready to shut the window quickly if smoke rushes in.
    • Be patient. Rescue of occupants within large structures will take time.

Fire Safety Equipment

  • Portable fire extinguishers at Purdue are intended for use by trained individuals. Most such extinguishers are appropriate for only small, contained fires, such as fire in a wastebasket. Some extinguishers will not work on flammable liquids, combustible metals, or electrical fires. Do not fight a fire if you have not been trained, if you are unsure about the type of extinguisher or how to use it, or if the fire is spreading or blocking your escape.
  • Sprinkler systems and water-flow detection devices are present in some buildings on campus. Water flow in these devices is monitored by the University Police Telecommunications Center and automatically triggers a response.
  • Smoke detectors are provided where required. Residential facilities — battery-powered detectors that sound a low battery signal (a chirping sound at approximately one-minute intervals) should be reported to Residence Hall management.
  • Manually activated pull stations are located at exit points in buildings that have fire alarm systems. If any sprinkler, heat detector, or pull station is activated, an alarm will sound throughout the building. Some smoke detectors also will activate the building alarm. The location and type of device that was activated will be indicated on the central station monitoring equipment in the Purdue Police Department. This will reduce the amount of time spent locating the emergency area.
  • Elevator fire control may cause the building elevators to come to a halt at the main floor when the fire alarm system is activated. The elevators then can be accessed by emergency personnel using a key override. Do not attempt to use the elevators to evacuate any building.
  • Emergency lighting is provided in some buildings. The lighting will activate automatically in a power failure and will last for at least 20 minutes.
  • Illuminated exit signs are provided throughout the buildings.