6014.1 General Policy

  1. Fire safety standards promulgated by OSHA are contained in 29 CFR 1910.38, Fire Prevention, and in Subpart L, 29 CFR 1910.155-165, Fire Detection, Alarms and Suppression. The standards mandate that Wright State University develop and implement a fire safety plan that includes:

    1. determining the response level to incipient stage fires;
    2. developing a plan based on selected response level; and,
    3. maintaining fire detection, alarm, and suppression systems.
  2. This policy applies to university employees at the Dayton Campus, Lake Campus, Yellow Springs Family Health Center, Cox Institute, Duke E. Ellis Institute, Eugene W. Kettering Center, Wright State University Research Park, Wright-Patterson AFB, and university operations at affiliated hospitals and leased facilities.

  3. University employees are required to read and understand the contents of the University Fire Safety Plan and to take appropriate action in the event of a fire emergency in any university facility.

6014.2 Definitions

  1. University employee. Any faculty, staff, or student employee who receives compensation from the university for his/her employment and who is covered under Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

  2. Incipient stage fire. A fire in the initial or beginning stage that can be controlled by using a portable fire extinguisher and that does not require using protective equipment.

  3. Designated personnel. University employees who have received annual training on the proper use of portable fire extinguishers.

6014.3 Response Level

  1. OSHA provides three options for the response level to incipient stage fires.

    1. Option A. Requires all employees to evacuate the workplace when a fire alarm sounds.

    2. Option B. Provides portable fire extinguishers and designates certain employees to use them to fight incipient stage fires.

    3. Option C. Provides portable fire extinguishers and permits all employees to fight incipient stage fires.

  2. Dayton Campus, Lake Campus, Yellow Springs Family Health Center, Cox Institute, Duke E. Ellis Institute, Eugene W. Kettering Center, and Wright State University Research Center.

    1. The university has elected to exercise OSHA Option B whereby university personnel (on a voluntary basis) are designated to fight incipient stage fires. Designated personnel are employees of the Departments of Environmental Health and Safety, Parking and Transportation, Physical Plant, Police Department; staff at the Ervin J. Nutter Center; academic/research laboratory supervisors, and, university employees in select specialty work areas (Printing Services, Instrument Shop, Electronics Shop, etc.).

    2. By electing to exercise OSHA Option B, the university has provided a copy of the University Fire Safety Plan to each employee and has instructed all employees not designated in paragraph 6014.3 b) 1) that they must take no action to fight an incipient stage fire and must evacuate a building immediately when a fire alarm sounds.

  3. Wright-Patterson AFB and university operations at affiliated hospitals.

    1. Wright State University employees working at the Wright-Patterson AFB and other affiliated hospitals are to follow the instructions outlined in the fire safety plans of those institutions.

    2. If a university employee working at the Wright-Patterson AFB or affiliated hospital has not volunteered to fight incipient stage fires and has not received specified training in using portable fire extinguishers, he/she is required to evacuate a building immediately when a fire alarm sounds.

6014.4 Emergency Action Plan

  1. All university employees must be notified of the elements of the Emergency Action Plan contained in the University Fire Safety Plan. All university employees are required to fulfill those elements.

  2. All employees are expected to read and understand the information presented in the Emergency Action Plan, particularly their responsibilities regarding identifying building exits and knowing when to activate a fire alarm and what action to take following activation of an alarm, i.e., identifying to the responding emergency response personnel the location of the alarm station activated and the location of the fire/smoke.

6014.5 Emergency Action Plan: Employee Responsibilities

  1. Fighting incipient stage fires in university buildings. If a university employee is not a designated employee who has received the required training in using portable fire extinguishers, he/she is responsible for activating the nearest fire alarm and immediately exiting the building in the event of a suspected or observed fire. Under no circumstances should the employee attempt to extinguish the fire.

  2. Emergency procedures and escape route assignment. University employees are responsible for determining the location of the closest exit from the work area that leads to the outside of the building. This is the primary emergency exit. University employees also are responsible for determining the location of a secondary exit from the work area, in the event that the primary exit is not accessible. All outer doors will be marked as an EXIT.

  3. Procedures to be followed by employees who remain in a building to conduct critical plant operations. Employees who are required and permitted by the responding fire department to remain in a building to conduct critical plant operations should perform their duties only if they are not in the smoke/fire area. Employees should never risk injury when performing work related duties.

  4. Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed. Supervisors or employees in lead positions are required to develop a procedure to account, to the maximum degree possible, for all employees, students, and visitors after an emergency evacuation has been completed. The procedure should designate an area outside the building to which employees, students, and visitors should report during an emergency evacuation.

  5. Rescue and medical duties. Rescue and medical treatment for injured employees will be provided by the responding fire department. On the Dayton Campus, Wright State University police officers will assist responding fire department personnel.

  6. Preferred means for reporting fires. The preferred means for reporting a fire is by using the fire alarm system in a building. As quickly as possible after activating a fire alarm, employees are responsible for meeting responding police officers and/or fire department personnel and identifying the location of the alarm activated and the location of smoke and/or fire.

  7. Safe and orderly evacuation of building occupants. The following procedures represent acceptable guidelines for ensuring the safe and orderly evacuation of building occupants.

    1. Building occupants are not to use elevators.
    2. Building occupants are to use the primary emergency exit whenever accessible. When the primary emergency exit is not accessible, building occupants are to use the secondary emergency exit. Occupants evacuating the building should go immediately to the designated meeting point away from the building. Supervisors or employees in lead positions should account, to the maximum degree possible, for employees, students, and visitors.
    3. Building occupants are to assist individuals with disabilities (non-wheelchair) in exiting the building.
    4. Building occupants who use wheelchairs and are on floors above ground level are to go to the closest enclosed stairwell. A university employee should remain with building occupants who use wheelchairs until a rescue is completed or the emergency is terminated. Building occupants who use wheelchairs and are located in the basement of buildings are to use the tunnel system and go to the closest adjacent building not involved in the alarm situation. No individuals, regardless of physical limitations, are to stay in tunnels connected to the building in which the fire alarm has been activated.
    5. The responding fire department personnel or public safety officers are to be informed as soon as possible of the number and location of building occupants who use wheelchairs.
    6. Building occupants are not to reenter affected buildings(s) until permitted to do so by local fire department personnel or by the responding law enforcement officers.

6014.6 Emergency Action Plan: Building Fire Alarm System

  1. All university owned or leased facilities of general occupancy are equipped with fire alarm systems. On the Dayton Campus, the system feeds into the Police Department Communications Center. Personnel in the Communications Center are responsible for notifying the Fairborn Fire Department, which has jurisdiction for the Dayton Campus. At all other campus locations, the fire department having jurisdiction is notified, either directly or indirectly, of the activated alarm.

  2. Using a building fire alarm system normally is restricted to situations where smoke and/or fire has been observed. In situations where an odor (i.e., chemical, electrical, natural gas, etc.) is detected, employees are to observe the following procedures.

    1. Dayton Campus.

      1. During normal work hours employees on the Dayton Campus are to notify the Physical Plant Customer Service Center (065 Allyn Hall) at 775-4444. The Customer Service Center is responsible for contacting the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and appropriate Physical Plant personnel who jointly will conduct a search of the area.
      2. Outside normal work hours, employees on the Dayton Campus are to notify the Police Department Communications Center by dialing 911 or 2111 or by using a designated emergency telephone. Outside normal work hours, an area search will be conducted jointly by university police officers and Physical Plant maintenance personnel.
      3. Responding personnel will determine the necessary response and the immediate disposition of building occupants. Should evacuation be necessary, instructions will be given over the university's emergency notification system and supplemented by verbal directions from on-the-scene emergency response personnel.
      4. When fire and/or smoke is not evident, the emergency response personnel (university police officers, Environmental Health and Safety, and Physical Plant) will activate the fire alarm system when they determine that a fire is imminent and immediate evacuation is required and when they determine that the alarm can be activated without danger of causing an explosion. The alarm also will be activated at the instruction of the Fairborn Fire Department. The decision to activate a building fire alarm system when there is a detected odor but no visual sighting of fire and/or smoke will be made only at the discretion of emergency response personnel.
    2. Lake Campus, Yellow Springs Family Health Center, Cox Institute, Duke E. Ellis Institute, Eugene W. Kettering Center, and Wright State University Research Center.

      1. During normal work hours, university employees will notify the building manager and/or maintenance personnel of a detected odor (i.e., chemical, electrical, natural gas, etc.). The building manager and/or maintenance personnel are responsible for conducting a search of the building and for making the determination whether or not to notify the designated fire department and to activate the fire alarm system. If any questions arise as to the seriousness of the situation, the building manager and/or maintenance personnel are not to hesitate in ordering an immediate evacuation of the building. If there should be any concerns about an explosive mixture from chemical or natural gas concentrations in the air, the fire alarm is not to be activated.
      2. Outside normal work hours, employees are responsible for notifying the designated fire department and immediately evacuating the building.
    3. Wright-Patterson AFB and affiliated hospitals. University employees located at the Wright-Patterson AFB and affiliated hospitals are responsible for following the procedures outlined in the fire safety plans of those institutions. At no time should university employees place themselves or others at risk. If any doubt arises as to the seriousness of the situation, employees are to evacuate the building immediately.

  3. Upon hearing a building fire alarm, all occupants must evacuate the building immediately. Faculty members and instructors are required to cease instruction and assist students in exiting the building. The only exception for remaining in the building applies to "designated personnel." [as defined in paragraph 6014.3 b) 1)] who are required to operate or shut down critical systems. Should smoke and/or fire be in the area of a critical system, "designated personnel" shall immediately evacuate the building and report to their respective supervisors.

  4. The individual(s) activating the fire alarm is responsible, after evacuating the building for meeting responding fire department personnel and/or public safety officers and identifying the location of the smoke and/or fire.

  5. The Dayton Campus utilizes an emergency notification system to announce the activation of a building alarm system and to provide verbal instructions for exiting a building. The emergency notification system is the primary means for ordering evacuation from a building for reasons other than smoke and/or fire.

  6. University personnel are to notify the maintenance department or the building owner of any known areas within a building where the fire alarm appears not to be working or cannot be heard over ambient noise. Any system that is not operating properly is to be repaired immediately.

  7. National and local fire codes require that all manually operated pull stations be unobstructed, conspicuous, and readily accessible.

  8. It is the responsibility of a building owners maintenance personnel to ensure that the fire alarm and public address systems are operational at all times. Any questions regarding maintenance or testing of those systems can be directed to the Physical Plant Casualty Prevention Supervisor.

6014.7 Training

The information contained in sections 6014.4, 6014.5, and 6014.6 of this policy meets OSHA requirements for training all employees designated to remain in a building and fight incipient stage fires. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety and the Physical Plant Casualty Prevention Supervisor are responsible for identifying and training designated personnel.