Surviving a Building Fire-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Surviving a Building Fire

It is possible that you may be unable to leave a building during a fire. If so, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Activate the fire alarm if it is not already sounding.
  • Feel the doors before you open them. If the doors are hot, do not open the door. If they are cool, brace yourself against the door and open it slowly. If you detect the presence of heat or smoke, close the door and stay in the room.
  • Seal off openings around doors to keep smoke out, as described in Sheltering in Place.
  • Call University Police (412-268-2323, or 8-2323 from campus phones). Give them your location, including room number.
  • Get close to the floor where the air is coolest and free of smoke.
  • Draw attention to yourself by signaling from a window. Turn lights on and off, wave an article of clothing, or shout to those outside.
  • Place a damp cloth over your nose and mouth to aid in filtering smoke. Use whatever is available, such as a moistened towel or article of clothing.
  • If your clothing should happen to catch fire, remember the instruction to stop, drop, and roll to put the fire out.