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Fire Safety and Evacuation Instructions

The following is the full policy as it appears in the Vassar College Regulations, Part D. Emergency Resources and Information.

Vassar students must become familiar with the policies and procedures outlined by the Office of Residential Life to prepare and respond properly whenever a fire alarm sounds,

A. Evacuation Procedure for All

When the fire alarm rings in a building, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. Shut the windows and doors, if you are in your room. Do not, however, attempt to return to your room or your office from another part of the building.
  2. GET OUT of the building at once, using stairs. Elevators are NOT to be used during a fire or fire drill. Do not use fire escapes unless stairways are blocked or otherwise cut off.
  3. Walk rapidly to the nearest exit, DO NOT RUN. Avoid panic; get out in a calm, orderly fashion.
  4. Once out of the building, stay outside until the fire chief gives permission to return to the building or until instructions are given by a fire officer.
  5. During a fire, the telephones in a building may not be used for incoming or outgoing calls except by authorized fire personnel. If you need to make a call, use a cell phone. 

  6. During a fire, avoid the scene of the fire and keep campus roads clear for emergency responders.

B. Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities

The safe evacuation of all members of the Vassar College community in the event of a fire or emergency is of the utmost importance. The college therefore asks all individuals who may need assistance in an emergency to self-identify themselves to the Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity. Once an individual has self-identified, the college will work with the individual to develop a personal emergency plan that includes specific evacuation procedures from any building on campus including their residence, sheltering procedures, and means of communication in the event of an emergency.

Any individual who cannot evacuate a building in an emergency independently or safely with little assistance from others should stay in place within their room or office, or move to an area of refuge. If forced to stay in place during an emergency or if you need evacuation assistance:

  1. Notify others evacuating that you are remaining in your room and ask them to contact Safety and Security with that information immediately upon exiting the building.
  2. Call Safety and Security at (845) 437-7333 or 911 to notify emergency personnel of your exact location and need for assistance. Security will then dispatch an emergency responder to the location to assist with evacuation. You are strongly encouraged to have a cell phone with you at all times and program the Safety and Security emergency phone number (845) 437-7333 and 911 into your phone.

Any individual requiring evacuation assistance is encouraged to update her/his/their self-identification information semi-annually, no later than September 30 and January 30 of each calendar year, or whenever circumstances warrant an update (e.g., changes in her/his/their condition that would require a change in assistance). A list of persons needing evacuation assistance will be distributed to Safety and Security as well as the Arlington Fire Department.