Emergency Evacuation Procedures

(ie. Fire, Gas Leak, Bomb Threat, etc.)

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

Personal Duties/Reponsibilities

A.  Hesburgh Library Safety Alarm System

The safety alarms will signal ONLY on floors that are threatened by an emergency situation. In most cases the alarm will sound only on the emergency floor, the floor directly above it and the floor directly below. The Fire Department will issue a voice message to all floors as the situation warrants.

B.   In case of fire, gas leak, bomb threat, etc.,  do the following:

  • Call 911 immediately or activate the nearest wall mounted safety alarm.
  • Leave the area/building and close doors.
  • Do NOT use elevators.

C.   When the safety alarm sounds,   do the following:

  • Evacuate the building quickly. (NOTE: It is a federal offense to disregard a safety alarm,)
  • Do NOT use elevators.
  • Once outside, move far away from the building. (Staff should immediately report to their designated areas, see Unit Evacuation Designated Muster List)
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized by the Library Security Monitors. Until then, keep clear of the surrounding library area.

D.   Important Safety Tips:

  • Be informed about stairway and emergency exit locations and safety evacuation procedures.
  • Know two ways out of the building.
  • Get out quickly-DO NOT DELAY!
  • Do NOT use elevators - use the stairs.
  • Know which aisle ways or corridors are "dead ends".
  • If smoke or heat is present, stay low and crawl under the smoke to safety. Smoke will rise to the ceiling, leaving cooler, cleaner air close to the floor. Crawl on your hands and knees, not belly, because heavier poisons will settle in a thin layer on the floor.
  • If you are trapped:
       o Close doors.
       o Block openings around doors or vents with towels or clothing.
       o Wait at a window and signal for help.
  • When evacuating, test doors before opening them. If the door is hot, use another escape route.
  • Enclosed exit stairways can serve as temporary places of shelter.
  • Know how to activate the safety alarm.
  • Be familiar with the sound of the safety alarm.
  • Stay away from windows. (unless trapped in a room)
  • Do NOT panic or jump - remain calm.
  • Exert good judgment.
E.   Important Safety Facts:
  1. Most disasters happen DURING or IMMEDIATELY AFTER a renovation.
  2. 6000 office building/tower fires occur in the United States each year.
  3. Tower fires are caused by the same things that start a low-rise office fire:
  • Smoking
  • Cooking
  • Arson
  • Electrical systems
  • Improperly stored/handled combustible materials
      4. It is a federal offense to disregard a safety alarm, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!

II.    List of Safety Personnel Duties/Responsibilities

A.   Library Security Monitors:

  1. Upon sounding the safety alarm or receiving reports from staff or patrons of safety alarms sounding on one of the floors, the Library Exit Monitor will alert the Library Rounds Monitor. The Library Rounds Monitor will proceed to the safety control panel on the loading dock and ascertain the location of the alarm.
  2. Once the above step has been carried out, the Library Rounds Monitor will proceed to the circle drive on the east side of the building and provide any pertinent information to the Fire Department.
  3. The Library Exit Monitor will remove any chains from the entrance and break loose the doors on both the inside and outside concourse sliding doors to allow free access. The Library Exit Monitor will continue to tell patrons not to enter the library and alert patrons in the entrance area to leave the library.
  4. Once the Fire Department confirms danger, the Library Exit Monitor will proceed to the south end of the reflecting pond and establish the control center.
  5. The Library Exit Monitor will have the section check-off sheet and will check off each library section as they report the results of their muster.
  6. Once the all clear has been announced, the Library Rounds Monitor will relay the information to the control center at the south end of the reflecting pond either by radio or face-to-face communication with the Library Exit Monitor.

B. Building Safety Officer (Building Supervisor)

  1. Function as the Safety Committee's Liaison to the Library Administrators & Managers (LAM)
  2. Coordinate the section evacuation plan and assist the Department Heads in establishing evacuation routes and section meeting points.
  3. Provide support during an emergency

C. Safety Committee (Hesburgh Library)

  1. The committee will promote safety within the Hesburgh Library and maintain the Hesburgh Library Safety Committee's website.
  2. On a yearly basis, during January, the committee will update the safety procedures making any necessary modifications or additions that reflect current information.
  3. The committee will be responsible for scheduling yearly safety drills.
  4. The committee will provide support during an emergency.
  5. Within 24 hours after an emergency evacuation or drill, a ULON will be sent out soliciting feedback from any staff or faculty about their observations regarding the evacuation. A link will be provided to the form. The completed form will be sent to Barb C. for the committee to use in their assessment procedures.

D. Department Heads Responsibilities

  1. Work with the Building Safety Officer to establish a department assembly area outside the building.
  2. Immediately establish the status of all staff members and student workers known to have been in their section once assembled at the predetermined location outside the building.
  3. Insure that the results of the muster and any emergency circumstances are reported to the Library Exit Monitor who will be stationed at the control center at the south endc of the reflecting pond.
  4. Insure that all personnel stand by at the muster area until the all-clear signeal is given by the Library Exit Monitor allowing re-entry into the building.

E. Floor Section Safety Officers
  1. Work with the Building Safety Officer to establish evacuation routes for their perspective sections.
  2. Insure that all staff and library patrons have evacuated their section of the building.

F. All Hesburgh Library Occupants
(All visitors & patrons, including library staff, faculty and students)

  1. Unless otherwise notified, all Hesburgh Library occupants are expected to respond immediately when a safety alarm sounds by quickly, quietly and calmly exiting the building via the nearest exit. (Staff should report to their designated assembly area once outside the building).
  2. Persons needing assistance should ask any available occupant for help or ask that they notify the Library Rounds Monitor of their location. The Library Rounds Monitor will be stationed in the library circle on the east side of the building.
  3. Do not take time to shut down computers, turn off lights, or wait for friends or other staff members.
  4. If safe to do so, close all doors on the way out of the building.
  5. Do attempt to help anyone needing assistance or notify the Library Rounds Monitor, who will be located in the library circle, of the location of anyone needing assistance in exiting the building.

III.    Safety Alarm Response / Evacuation Assessment

  • The Building Safety Officer, Safety Committee Members and Floor Section Safety Officers will meet within two workdays to discuss the success of a building evacuation and/or safety alarm response.
  • Noted problems will be discussed.
  • Recommendations will be listed to improve safety plans and procedures.