Emergency Action Plan (Evacuation Plan)


This Emergency Action Plan policy is applicable to all University buildings with the exception Residence Halls, Facilities Operations, Police Station and Energy Center.  All persons within these buildings whether employee, student or visitor shall comply with the requirements of this policy.

Initiation of Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

  • Any person may initiate emergency action upon noticing a problem.
  • Incidents which require that the building should be evacuated are announced by activating the building fire alarm.  Manual fire alarm stations are located next to every exit door from the building and various locations within the building.  All occupants should know the location of the nearest fire alarm box to their normal work area.  A follow up call should be immediately made to New Haven Dispatch Center 911 or University Police from university phones 888 or University Police outside line of 203-392-5375.
  • Major incidents which do not involve a building evacuation such as a major medical problem should be directed to New Haven Dispatch 911, University Police Dispatch, 888 or 392-5375.
  • Bomb threats shall follow University Policy for reporting bomb threats.
  • Chemical spills shall be handled in accordance with the Universities Chemical Hygiene, Laboratory Plan or SPCC plan as appropriate for the situation.
  • Incidents such as minor medical incidents or minor chemical spills, or unsafe conditions or to request any other assistance should be reported to the University Police at 888 or 392-5375.

Emergency Personnel Reporting

  • University Police

    • Dial 888 on any campus phone
    • Dial 203-392-5375
    • Use inside emergency phones
    • Use emergency phones located outside the building marked with a blue light.
  • City of New Haven Dispatch
    • Dial 911 from any phone.

Notifying Personnel  of an Emergency

In the event of emergency at Southern Connecticut State University, employees are alerted by:

  • The sounding of the fire alarm.

    • The central fire alarm system in each building is the only means of notifying all personnel in most buildings that an emergency exists within the building.  There are no other systems installed in the buildings that can notify all the occupants.  This system used to signal the complete evacuation of a building for any number reasons, including but not limited to fire, chemical spill, bomb threat, power failure, gas leak, etc.
    • Public address system announcement.
      • Some of the larger buildings have a public address system incorporated into the fire alarm system. Emergency personnel have access to this system. It allows emergency personnel to provide specific instructions during an emergency. All announcements using this system are preceded by an alert tone to get everyone's attention. The voice system will override the evacuation signal while it is being used to give instructions.
    • Verbal announcements.
      • Any person can make a verbal announce to alert other people in the direct area of a problem and request them to call for assistance.  
      • Emergency personnel may go through a building to make verbal announcements of a problem to clear or restrict certain actions in an area, to lead people away from a problem, or to assist in evacuation.
      • Assigned crowd control managers in assembly areas may make verbal announcements for many various reasons.

Response to Building Evacuation Command

  • Upon activation of the building fire alarm system or verbal command to evacuate a building:

    • All personnel shall evacuate the building immediately.

      • Staff in labs or in locations with power machinery should insure equipment is placed in a safe condition prior to leaving.  Many locations are equipment with emergency gas shutoffs located next to the door as you exit the lab, however, do not place yourself in danger trying to do this.
      • Some staff may need to secure safes or other items, but this should be done expeditiously as possible if it can be accomplished safely.
      • Personnel shall evacuate by means of the nearest available marked exit.  The buildings at the University are all public access buildings and comply with the Connecticut State Fire Code for location, number and marking for "means of exit".  Other exit signs will have chevrons (arrows) directing you to exits which are not visible from your current location. 
      • All personnel should take the step of advance planning to learning where the exits are located in the building in which they normally work.  University personnel are in many different buildings during the day and may not be familiar with the building.  As stated before, if you follow the installed exit signage, it will lead you to an exit.
      • Instructors/lab assistants should become familiar with the location of exits from the classroom or labs where they teach.  They should inform their class of the nearest exits if an evacuation is ordered.
      • Persons visiting the University should be assisted in evacuation by the people they are visiting or by any other employee who sees someone having difficulty or not evacuating.
    • Personnel who cannot evacuate a building without assistance.
      • They should seek areas of refuge.  In all buildings, the stair landings are a safe area.  In some buildings, there are actually designated areas of refuge which you should become familiar with.
      • In buildings which are fully sprinklered, areas of refuge are not required.  Go to any room and close the door to block smoke and insure that someone is notified of your location.
      • The fire department will not evacuate all persons with disabilities.  They have a protocol of which areas around the fire they will search and evacuate all persons.  Persons outside this area will not be evacuated by the fire department.  

Accounting for Personnel During an Evacuation

  • A university poses unique problems in accounting for all personnel in the event of an evacuation.  The numbers of people in a building can change by over a 1000 in a period of 10 minutes.  In order to account for this, a two pronged approach is going to be used to insure the safety of staff, students, and visitors
  • The first phase is for each department head or chairman to have a copy of attachment A filled out listing all the employees in their department.
    • This attachment A will be updated whenever the list of employees changes.
    • Several copies of this document shall be conspicuously posted and readily accessible as someone is evacuating the department, such as near the main door.
    • It shall list
      1. Department or unit.
      2. Building and area
      3. Department supervisor or chairperson
      4. Staging area where staff should report to upon evacuation.
      5. Primary and alternate personnel who will account for personnel
    • The second portion of the evacuation procedure applies to all University employees.
      •  It is the responsibility of all University employees to assist with the execution of all the requirements of the Emergency Action Plan.
      • During evacuation of a building, it is the duty and responsibility of all University Employees as they evacuate to look for any person who cannot evacuate the building for any reason and to notify emergency personnel outside the building of the problem. Dialing 888 on any University phone using any of the emergency phones in the buildings or the blue emergency phones outside directly contact the police dispatcher who can pass this information to the appropriate responding personnel. Outside line 392-5375.  Outside emergency phones all have blue lights on top of them.
      • People who work in offices should look throughout their offices areas, especially back offices, to insure that everyone has left or is in the process of leaving.  Any problems noted should be brought immediately to the attention of responding personnel or called to the Police 888.
      •  In classrooms and labs, the instructor should be the last one out of the room to insure all students have left.  The instructor should also be familiar with the exits from the classrooms where they teach and be able to direct their classes to the most expedient way of exiting the building and remind them to move at least 300 feet from the building and not to smoke after exiting the building.
      • All employees as they exit should be looking for people who cannot or are not evacuating the building and inform them to leave and notify emergency personnel if they do not leave.
      • Once outside, is it the responsibility of all university employees to assist in moving people at least 300 feet from the building and to insure that no one remains around the exit preventing other people from exiting the building and to allow access for emergency personnel to enter the building.
      •  All university personnel shall assist emergency personnel and insure no one attempts to smoke.  The evacuation may be the result of a gas leak inside or outside the building or chemical spill etc.
      • All university personnel should assist in insuring that no one enters the building until emergency personnel have given the clearance to re-enter the building.  Many times the audible alarms are silenced to allow emergency personnel to communicate within the building.  The silencing of an alarm is NOT a signal to re-enter the building.
      • Emergency personnel will notify personnel when the building may be re-entered.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

  • In accordance with the Connecticut State Fire Code, portable fire extinguishers are provided in the workplace. In the event of fire, any employee may, but are not required to use portable fire extinguishers to extinguish a fire during its incipient stage so long as they do not place themselves or anyone else in danger.  Emergency notification or activation of the fire alarm should be done before attempting to fight the fire or have someone else perform the notification.
  • Maintenance personnel assigned as fire watches in conjunction with permitted hot work operations or performing other specialized operations are expected to use portable fire extinguishers in the course of their work, if they can safely do so.  These personnel must be specifically trained and designated for this purpose.
  • The types of portable fire extinguishers located within any area of the University are designed for the fire threat within the area.    Extinguishers are located in accordance with the requirements of the Connecticut State Fire Code, specifically NFPA 10.  At the University, class A/C or ABC are use for normal threats.  
  • Specialized areas such as labs with flammable liquids will have Class BC, CO2, and sometimes specialized extinguishers for unusual threats in a lab, such as burning metals.
  • High hazard restricted areas with have extinguishers designed for the specific threat such as ABC, BC, Purple K, CO2, AFFF Foam or FFFP Foam. These areas are normally only accessed by facilities operations personnel.

Search and Rescue Duties

All search rescue functions will be performed by responding New Haven Fire Department and other responding emergency personnel.

Medical Response

New Haven Fire Department and University Police are designated to perform emergency medical duties.

Emergency Action Plan Training

All new employees are to be trained and provided with a copy of this program prior to starting their normal duties. 

  • All employees will be trained on Attachment A when they first report to their respective departments.
  • All applicable employees will be trained when the EAP plan is modified.
  • All instructional personnel will review the program during their first class meeting of the semester and notify the department head of completion.  Applicable Deans will be notified in writing by the department head or chair by the end of the second week of classes.
  • All existing employees will have the program reviewed annually by September 30th by their department head or chairman.  The applicable Vice Presidents will in turn notify the Provost in writing when this training has been completed.

Fire Extinguisher Training

  • All personnel are to receive at least one time training in the use of portable fire extinguishers at their time of employment in accordance with the Connecticut State Fire Code.
  • All personnel designated to use portable fire extinguishers as part of their assigned duties shall be trained at the start of their employment and annually thereafter.

Fire Prevention

  • Southern Connecticut State University comes under the jurisdiction of the Connecticut State Fire Code (CSFC) which adopts many sections of the National Fire Protection Association  (NFPA) codes.
  • The CSFC specifies the installation, maintenance, upkeep, and testing of all life safety systems and components at SCSU.  The CSFC exceeds the standards specified in OSHA, 29CFR1910.

Referenced Documents Incorporated

  • Connecticut OSHA
  • Connecticut State Fire Code
  • SCSU Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • SCSU Laboratory Standard
  • SCSU Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC)

Questions and Assistance

  • For further assistance or questions concerning the Emergency Action Plan, contact the Director of Engineering / University Fire Marshal,  phone 392-6053 or the Director of Public Safety, phone 392-5375.
  • For questions or assistance with the Bomb Threat Plan, Contact the Director of Public Safety, phone 392-5375.