If you discover a fire:

  • Activate the nearest fire alarm in the building.
  • Call 911 or 205-348-5454.

The Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service and the University Police Department will respond to the call.

  • Remember to tell the communication’s operator your name, address, the location and extent of the fire.
  • If you know of any people with disabilities in the building, tell the communications officer.
  • If you think it is possible, confine the fire by closing nearby windows and doors, but do not delay in leaving the building.


Once the fire alarm is activated:

  • Exit the building quickly and calmly.
  • Warn others on your way out.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Follow lighted signs to closest exit.
  • When possible, follow the posted evacuation route.
  • An escort should be assigned to each person with a disability.
  • Meet emergency officials outside the building and direct them to the fire.
  • Remain outside at a safe distance and keep others away the building and from emergency vehicles.
  • In all cases, follow the instructions of fire and police personnel on the scene.


If caught in smoke:

  • Do not breathe the smoke.
  • Drop to your knees and crawl to the closest safe exit.
  • Cover nose and mouth with a shirt or towel and breathe through the nose.


If trapped in a building:

  • Close all doors and windows.
  • Wet and place a cloth or material around and under the door to prevent smoke from entering
  • Attempt to signal people outside the building.  Call for help using a telephone or cell phone.


Using a Fire Extinguisher:

  • Report the fire first (call 911 or the University police at 205-348-5454).
  • Use a fire extinguisher only if you have been trained to do so.  Improper use of an extinguisher can increase the hazard.
  • If you have any doubt of your ability to fight the fire, exit immediately.
  • If you decide to use the fire extinguisher, place yourself between the fire and your exit from the area.


To use the fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin. This will break the seal if one is provided
  • Aim low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until the fire is out.
  • Watch the area.  If the fire reignites, repeat the steps above.


Fire prevention tips and guidelines are available at Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) web site.


This simulated training video was produced by Rowan University.