Carnegie Mellon University

The Word

Student Handbook

On-Campus Emergencies

University Police Emergency Phone Number: 412-268-2323

If You Discover a Fire

  1. If you can, quickly put out the fire using a proper fire extinguisher. Report the incident promptly to University Police at 412-268-2323.
  2. If you see that a fire cannot be quickly extinguished, activate the nearest fire alarm station and evacuate the area.

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Basic Evacuation Instructions

  1. Whenever an alarm sounds, evacuate immediately. If you can safely close all windows in your area before leaving, do so.
  2. Close your door as you leave, making certain that you have your keys with you (heavy concentrations of smoke may make your return necessary). In dormitory buildings at night, turn the room lights on as you leave to signal your evacuation.
  3. Help retard the spread of smoke and flames by closing fire doors behind you as you pass through the building. Fire doors should never be obstructed or blocked open. 
  4. Move quickly to the nearest building exit, but refrain from running.
  5. Do not attempt to use elevators for evacuation purposes.
  6. If you encounter heavy smoke, change your exit route to the next available exit. Help guide others if you appear to be more familiar with the building.
  7. As you exit, move well away from the building exterior to assure your safety and to provide ample room for responding firefighters and emergency equipment.

No one is to re-enter an evacuated building until it has been determined safe to do so by the ranking fire department officer at the scene.

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Aid to the Physically Challenged

Blind and mobile persons should first be moved out of the rush of traffic, and then promptly assisted to the nearest exit. Deaf and mobile persons may be unaware of the need to evacuate, and should be calmly advised and guided to the nearest available exit.

Immobilized persons

To reduce the risk of personal injury, attempts to carry immobilized persons are discouraged. Wherever stairs are a part of the evacuation route, the following procedures are to be applied:

  1. As soon as a fire alarm sounds, the physically impaired person is to be quickly moved to reasonable safety, preferably to an enclosed room or space that smoke or flames cannot easily enter. This action needs to be accompanied by a verbal explanation so that the person being assisted understands what is happening and why these actions are being taken. Again, elevators cannot be used safely for evacuation purposes.
  2. If a telephone is available, University Police (412-268-2323) should immediately be contacted and advised of the individual's name and location within the building and the phone number from which the call is being made. If alone, the disabled person may wish to remain on the phone with University Police.
  3. If available, a companion, or other responsible person may stand by to remain with and assist the physically challenged individual.
  4. Upon clearing the building, a floor marshall or other designated person from the same floor area should alert responding firefighters and/or University Police to the exact location of the person or persons. If it becomes necessary for removal from the building, this can then be carried out by trained, equipped, emergency personnel.

Additional information can be found on the Environmental Health & Safety website.

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CMU Alert Emergency Notification Service

CMU-Alert is Carnegie Mellon's emergency notification service, which sends voice and/or text messages to your registered phone in the event of a campus emergency.

All students are pre-registered for CMU-Alert. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register for the service (login required) if they have not already done so. You can register by clicking on the link in the box to the right. 

Your contact information will be treated confidentially. You will be contacted by the CMU-Alert service only if there is an incident/event that threatens public safety or during tests of the system in the spring and fall semesters.

Note that the text and voice options may carry a nominal fee for recipients, depending on your mobile phone carrier and mobile phone plan. Questions or concerns about the service can be emailed.

More information on registering for CMU-Alert is available on this website

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