Emergency Evacuation of the Morris Library

The sounding of the fire alarms is always treated as an emergency. The building may also need to be evacuated during a power outage. All Library staff and users are expected to leave the building as quickly as possible. Library staff members are not responsible for clearing the building. Public Safety Officers will respond to the facility to assist with the evacuation.


  1.  When the fire alarm sounds or when the order to evacuate the building is given:
    1.  Leave the building using the stairs. DO NOT use elevators as they can be unsafe in case of fire. In addition to the front doors, you may exit the building by using any emergency exit. To exit through an emergency exit, push and hold down the panic bar for 15 seconds until the door latch releases. If you release pressure before 15 seconds has passed, it will be necessary to again push and hold down the panic bar until 15 seconds has elapsed.
    2. Move away from the building at least 200 feet. In the front of the Morris Library, this would mean moving off the library patio, down the steps, across the walkway perpendicular to the steps and down the walkway intersecting the Green. It is critical that the walkway immediately adjacent to the front steps of the Morris Library be kept clear for fire trucks and emergency vehicles. Staff should proceed to the waiting area east of the Library adjacent to Alison Hall. Please see the map below. A common meeting place will permit units to account for staff and receive instructions related to the evacuation.emergencyevacuation2011_clip_image001
    3. Staff who self-identify as having a mobility impairment that makes it difficult for him or her to reach the waiting area may sit at the benches near the fountain in Magnolia Circle.
    4. A designated staff person from each department will have a list of staff and students working in their department and be responsible for checking off those who have exited the building or are known to not have been at work. The designated staff member should check in with the staff member from the Circulation Unit who will have a clipboard and be in the center walkway perpendicular to the Library entrance and east of the fire lane. The Circulation Staff member will inform Public Safety of anyone thought to be missing.
    5.  In the event that re-entry to the building is expected to be delayed, Library staff will be told when to report for further information. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., a member of the Library Executive Council will be responsible for discussing the situation with Department of Public Safety personnel and communicating instructions to Library Staff. On weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays, the evening supervisor in the Circulation Unit will be responsible for communication with Public Safety and the Library Staff.
    6. Staff and users are NOT to re-enter the building until a Public Safety Officer indicates that it is “ALL CLEAR.” The cessation of the audible evacuation alarm DOES NOT necessarily mean that the emergency is over.
    7. When the “ALL CLEAR” is given, staff should enter the Library through the front or Commons terrace doors.
  2. In a fire or other life-threatening emergency (for example: abnormal heating of material, gas leaks, hazardous materials or flammable liquid spill, smoke or odor of burning). Staff are to:
    1. Sound the nearest FIRE ALARM to evacuate entire facility.
    2. Notify Public Safety by dialing 911 or by picking up one of the red emergency telephones located near the elevators and stair towers.
    3. Use a portable fire extinguisher if necessary to assist yourself or another to evacuate the building.
    4. If possible and with regard to your personal safety, use a portable fire extinguisher to control a small contained fire. Otherwise, leave the building.
  3. Evacuation of Library users with disabilities:

    Library users who are not able to use the stairs to evacuate the building should move to one of the three interior stairways designated as an Area of Rescue. The stairway landings of the South Central, North Central and East Central interior stair towers on the Lower Level, Second and Third Floors are designated as Areas of Rescue. Each of these stairway landings has a fire protection rating of two hours. Each is marked by a gray sign with a wheel chair symbol to the right of the stairway door.  There is also an 11” by 17” sign on the stairway door with the following information:

    Area of Rescue Assistance
    (Fire Rated for Two Hours)

    Please do not use the elevator to evacuate the building during a fire alarm.

    If you are not able to use the stairs to evacuate the building in an emergency, please contact Public Safety by using the red emergency telephone or by calling 831-2222 on your cell telephone.

    Be sure to indicate your location. The location Is posted both inside and outside of the Area of Rescue and above the red emergency telephone.

    Please wait inside the stairway.

    In the event that the source of the alarm is a fire or other emergency that poses risk, the fire department will assist you to evacuate the building.

    If during an emergency evacuation, a library staff member encounters someone that appears to have mobility or other impairment, the staff member should direct the library user to an area of rescue and ask them to contact Public Safety using the red telephone. The Library staff member should then evacuate the building. Library staff should not stay with the person in the area of rescue or attempt to assist the person down the stairs.

    In addition to responding to anyone calling from a red emergency telephone, Public Safety staff will check the Assistive Technology Center to be sure that no one is in the Center awaiting evacuation.

  4. Medical Emergencies:

    In the event of a medical emergency dial 911. The Library has two Semi-Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) for use by trained library staff or users to assist someone who has experienced cardiac arrest. One AED is located on the first floor next to the elevator adjacent to the hallway leading to the Reserve Room. A second AED is located on the Lower Level next to the elevator near the Instructional Media Collection Department.

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