Xavier University is a strong believer in fire safety. In addition to publishing fire prevention and emergency action plans for each building, we conduct full-building evacuation drills as part of our fire preparedness efforts. Xavier is also required to conduct fire drills in all of its buildings by the Ohio Fire Code and the Cincinnati Fire Prevention Code. We conduct drills in administrative, academic and residence hall buildings. The procedures for each kind of drill vary slightly.
It is important to periodically conduct these drills to test the evacuation plan and confirm:
- Occupants know what the alarm sounds like and what to do when it sounds
- Where to meet once safely outside the building
- All of the fire safety equipment functioned properly
- The evacuation plan worked as designed
- All occupants reacted appropriately and evacuated the building immediately in an orderly fashion
- If any revisions or modifications to the plan are required
- Building occupants had the opportunity to ask questions about the plan and procedures and make suggestions for plan improvement
Full-building fire evacuation drills are conducted at least once each school year for administrative and academic buildings. Every effort is made to minimize disruption to the normal operation of the building while at the same time trying to conduct a realistic exercise. Fire drills are conducted at the beginning of each school year for all residence halls after the students have first received fire safety training.
By law, occupants are required to immediately evacuate the building when a fire alarm sounds whether they believe it to be a false alarm or a real alarm. According to the Ohio Fire Code and the Cincinnati Fire Prevention Code, failure to evacuate any structure upon the sound of an alarm or interfering with an evacuation in any manner is a misdemeanor and penalties may be a fine of not more than $1000, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both. In addition, the penalty for students who fail to evacuate their residence hall is $100.00, per the student handbook, and cannot be appealed.
If you are not sure of what to do when the fire alarm sounds, see the emergency action plan for your building under the Emergency Action Plans heading at left. This information is particularly important for faculty, both full and part time, because your students are looking to you to know what to do in the event of an emergency. You should review the plan for every building in which you teach a class as well as your office building. A copy of the emergency instructions is posted near the door of each classroom.