Alarm Response & Building Evacuation

UCSF Health developed procedures to expedite evacuation of the hospitals in unforeseen events.  If a fire is SUSPECTED or CONFIRMED, remain calm and immediately do the following:                                                          

  • Remove patients and personnel from the immediate fire area if safe to do so.
  • Announce/Activate Alarm and notify others.
  1. Activate nearest manual pull station (fire alarm)
  2. Call 911 to report the fire
  3. Provide (a) location of fire including building, floor, and room number; (b) description of problem; (c) your name and contact number. 
  4. Notify other staff members in the area and obtain assistance.
  • Contain the fire and the smoke by closing all doors leading into and surrounding the fire area. Do not lock doors.
  • Extinguish the fire if safe to do so, or Evacuate (a) if the fire cannot be extinguished safely; evacuate the area horizontally to the next safe smoke compartment; (b) do not open doors that feel hot to the touch near the top; (c) if it is not safe to evacuate horizontally, evacuate vertically down a safe stairwell to the designated vertical evacuation staging floor/unit
Evacuation Procedures

Ambulatory or Clinic Locations
Non-essential staff not directly attending to patients should assist visitors and ambulatory patients to the nearest emergency exit and evacuate the building.  Upon exiting, staff should notify arriving first responders of any staff members and non-ambulatory patients who may still be in the building (provide floor, stairwell location, room, etc.).  Staff assisting non-ambulatory patients should begin preparing to evacuate or move patients to an “Area of Refuge” (stairwell) as circumstances require.  The minimum number of staff needed to attend to a patient should stay in effect.  All others should evacuate.  Detailed procedures on evacuating outpatient clinic locations are outlined in Appendix 2 of the Fire Life Safety Policy.                

Hospital or Inpatient Locations
Hospitals are “defend-in-place” structures built with fire protection features including fire doors and smoke compartments meant to limit the spread of fire and/or smoke. It is however important to pay attention to critical conditions that will require one of the following: closing all patient doors in the area to prevent movement of smoke; evacuation of the smoke compartment; and moving patients out of the unit beyond the set of double doors and into a neighboring unit or building.  Staff should be alert for possible need to evacuate and listen for further instructions. If an evacuation is ordered, staff should close all doors once rooms are evacuated and checked for occupants/patients.  Learn more about the Medical Center's fire response procedures by reviewing the Fire Life Safety policy.




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