A major fire occurring on the Texas A&M campus could involve areas where multiple-occupancy residences and/or facilities are clustered closely together, increasing the possibility of rapid spread of a structural fire. Thus, it is very important for the campus community to recognize fire hazards, practice building evacuations and know what to do when the fire alarm sounds.

In Preparation for a Fire

  • Plan and practice an escape route.
  • Post emergency numbers near telephones.
  • Get training from Environmental Health and Safety on using fire extinguishers.
  • Extension cords can be dangerous. Never run them under carpets, or anywhere they can be pinched under or behind furniture. Avoid overloading electrical sockets and plugging extension cords together.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from anything that can catch fire. Remember to always turn them off at the end of the day.
  • Pay attention to housekeeping issues. Do not clutter exits, stairways, and storage areas with waste paper, empty boxes and other fire hazards.
  • Do not store combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.

In Case of Fire Inside a Building

If there is a fire inside a building:

  • Activate a fire alarm or pull station.
  • Call 911 and give your name, building name, address, floor, location and related information.
  • Evacuate the building using building evacuation instructions.

Building Evacuation

When the building fire alarms sound:


  • Immediately evacuate using building emergency plan procedures.
  • Walk to nearest exit/stairwell (close doors behind you).
  • Proceed to the designated gathering area outside the building and report to your floor proctor (for a headcount).
  • Assist with the evacuation of individuals with specials needs.


  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Do not re-enter the building until cleared by authorized personnel.

In Case of Fire Outside a Building

If the fire is outside a building:

  • Call 911 and give your name, building name, address, floor, location and related information.
  • Do not activate the building fire alarm system.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

You can use a portable fire extinguisher if:

  • You are properly trained (you have had hands-on training).
  • It is a small, contained fire (e.g. wastebasket).
  • You can extinguish it within 12 seconds (evacuate if it takes longer).

Shelter in Place

If you are unable to leave the building, you should create an area of refuge:

  • Seal the room. Use wet cloth to stuff around cracks in floors and seal up vents to protect against smoke.
  • Stay low under smoke. The freshest air is near the floor. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth; breath through your nose only.
  • Signal for help. Call 911 or hang something in the window.
  • Do not break windows, unless as a last resort for escape.

After a Fire

  • Give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured or burned victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. Return to buildings when local fire authorities say it is safe.
  • Look for structural damage.
  • Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Do not discard damaged goods until after an inventory has been taken.