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Fire Safety

Residence Halls

The Fire and Emergency Services Unit promotes and supports a safety-conscious campus through professional consultation, education, training, and delivery of services designed to provide a fire-safe environment for the Drexel University community.

As part of the overall concern for life safety in student residences, all University residence halls and fraternity/sorority chapter houses, are fully equipped with automatic fire alarms, smoke detectors, automatic fire suppression equipment, and fire extinguishers. In addition, all new construction requires automatic fire detection and suppression systems.

Fire Emergencies

A fire emergency exists whenever:

  • A building fire alarm is sounding
  • An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building or area on campus
  • There is the presence of smoke or the odor of burning
  • There is spontaneous or abnormal heating of any material, an uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas, or a flammable liquid spill

What to Do If There is a Fire

Campus buildings are to be immediately and totally evacuated whenever the building fire alarm is sounding. Upon discovery of a fire emergency, an individual must accomplish or see to the following actions:

  1. SOUND AN ALARM! Activating the building fire alarm immediately notifies Drexel Public Safety.
  2. If conditions allow, shut off all machinery and equipment in your area.
  3. Leave the building at once.
  4. Notify Drexel Public Safety from a safe location:
    • From campus phones, call 215-895-2222 (2222).
    • From off-campus phones, call 911.
    • Use campus emergency telephones when possible. Give the dispatcher as much specific information as you can:
      • State that you are reporting a fire.
      • Provide the building name and address, floor and room number, and any other specific information.
      • DO NOT hang up until released by the dispatcher.

Building Inspections

As part of a proactive approach to fire safety, all campus buildings are inspected for fire code compliance on a monthly basis. Inspections ensure that all exits are free and clear, exit lights are illuminated, there is no improper storage, and that fire extinguishers are properly mounted and charged and within the current year’s certification.

Residential Fire Safety, University Housing

It is extremely important that all residents be thoroughly informed of proper fire evacuation procedures. Resident Advisors (RAs) review procedures with all residents during the first floor meeting of each term and with each student who moves into the residence hall. As a reminder of their significance, evacuation procedures are reviewed throughout the term:

  1. Building evacuation plans are posted in conspicuous locations on each floor.
  2. When a fire alarm sounds, every person is required to evacuate the building immediately:
    • DO NOT use elevators for evacuation.
    • Evacuation is required every time the fire alarm sounds, regardless of the cause.
    • Students should turn on lights, close room doors (left unlocked), and use the nearest stairway not blocked by smoke or fire.
    • Leave the building quickly and quietly and proceed in an orderly manner to the designated assembly area.
  3. When an evacuation is required, a staff member residing on the floor will meet with the residents at a pre-designated location outside of the building and account for all residents as best as possible.
  4. The staff member is to report the status of his/her floor as soon as possible to the person in charge (i.e., Residence Director, Fire Official, or University Official).
  5. Any student who remains in the building after a fire alarm sounds, for any reason, is subject to disciplinary action.
  6. The building is not to be re-entered by any student until the Residence Director, or designee, gives an “ALL CLEAR” announcement.

High-Rise Fire Safety

  • Fire Drills
    It is important and mandatory that all occupants of high-rise buildings on campus participate in scheduled fire drills. Since occupants normally enter the elevator from the lobby, ride to a particular floor, and walk along known paths to their destination, they aren't necessarily aware of other exits that could be used in a fire or other emergency. Fire drills create the opportunity to plan ahead for such emergencies, and decreases the chances of confusion and panic that can cause injuries or fatalities. Always react to fire alarms as though there is an actual fire.

  • Fire Towers
    Fire towers are enclosed stairways that have fire-rated doors and walls that provide a refuge from smoke and heat in a fire emergency. Doors leading into fire towers are inspected periodically to ensure that they open and close properly and should never be tied or propped open. Fire towers cannot be used for storage or as smoking areas. All Drexel University buildings are designated smoke free. Fire towers are to be clean, well-lit, and free of obstructions at all times.

  • Elevators
    DO NOT USE ELEVATORS IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE! Elevator shafts are like chimneys; smoke can enter the elevator and asphyxiate occupants trying to evacuate. In all emergency situations, occupants should use fire towers to exit a building.