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Emergency Response

In this Section

Any time the fire-alarm system is activated and/or upon notification by Campus Safety & Security and/or other emergency response personnel, everyone is required to evacuate campus facilities. This policy applies to both real emergencies and drills, and must be followed by all members of the Clarkson community, including individuals with disabilities.

Special considerations may need to be made in emergency situations for individuals with disabilities. How an individual with a disability responds to an emergency depends on the type of emergency, the specific disability, and the location of work, classes or campus residence. Ultimately, the individual with a disability is responsible for his or her own safety in emergency situations. It is wise for the individual to plan ahead for emergencies. Pre-planning includes reviewing the evacuation procedure (below) with the director of Accommodative Services or Environmental Health & Safety Manager and then discussing the specifics of the plan with members of the Clarkson community, including, but not limited to, Campus Safety & Security, supervisors and co-workers, faculty, fellow students, residence hall staff, and/or other residents.

Fire Safety Guides

For a copy of Clarkson's Emergency Evacuation procedures see the link below.  All employees and students should be familiar with the plan before an emergency occurs

General Fire Safey and Emergency Evacuation (R.A.C.E.) 

  • Rescue. Assist those in need from the fire area to an area of safety.
  • Alarm.  Activate the nearest fire alarm.
  • Confine the fire by closing doors behind you.
  • Extinguish small, contained fires using a fire extinguisher if you are trained to do so.  

A fire extinguisher should only be used when you...

  • You have been trained.
  • You have the proper type and properly charged unit for the fire you are fighting.
  • You have first contained the fire, activated the building alarm and have reported the fire.
  • You have your back to an unobstructed exit.
  • Everyone else has left the area.
  • There is little smoke or flames.

Never fight a fire if you are unsure of what you are doing. If the fire can not be brought under control in 30 seconds, then abandon your efforts, close the door(s) and evacuate immediately.


In the event of a fire or fire alarm, supervisors must be sure that all employees evacuate the building and individuals who may need help are assisted to a safe location.

Each office should develop an evacuation plan, which includes a primary and a secondary escape route. Establish a designated area to meet outside the building. This location should be known to everyone in your office and be far enough away from the building to ensure safety and avoid blocking access by emergency personnel.

Your evacuation plan should also include a way to be certain that everyone has left or is otherwise accounted for when you leave the building.

Your evacuation plan should also include a way to ensure that everyone has left or is otherwise accounted for when you leave the building.

Evacuation Tips

  • You must leave the building immediately during an alarm.
  • Do not "investigate" the source of a potential fire or hazardous material emergency.
  • As you leave, close all doors behind you to limit the movement of smoke, flames or noxious odors.
  • Walk-do not run-to the nearest exit out of the building.
  • Do not re-enter the building for any reason once you have left.
  • Gather at your designated area.
  • Supervisors should account for everyone on their staff.
  • Never use an elevator to exit a building during a fire alarm.

Fire Prevention

The best defense against fire is always prevention. There are a number of things you can do to help prevent fires. Here are just a few…..

  • Smoke only in designated areas. Be certain to properly extinguish all smoking materials.
  • Keep all pathways clear. Do not block exits, fire extinguishers or sprinkler heads (18 inch clearance).
  • Extension cords are for temporary use only.
  • Never "daisy chain extension cords and/or power strips together (plug one into another, or multiple together).
  • Check electrical equipment at the end of the day to be sure it is shut off. Check items such as computers, coffeepots, copiers, fans and other electrical equipment.
  • Check for frayed wires and missing grounding plugs on an on-going basis.
  • Practice good housekeeping. Never store combustible material such as wood, paper and cardboard near sources of heat. Maintain a minimum distance of 3 feet.
  • Equipment such as refrigerators, microwaves and copiers must be directly plugged into a wall outlet.
  • Store flammables in designated flammable cabinets. Some examples are aerosol cans, gasoline and oil-based paint. Contact EHS for assistance.
  • Limit the use of space heaters. Heaters must be UL rated and be equipped with a tip over switch. Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Please contact Facilities if you plan to use a space heater.


Fire safety and fire extinguisher training is available from EHS. We invite department chairs, directors and supervisors to contact EHS to arrange training for your area(s).


Erica Arnold
Environmental Health & Safety Manager
107 Graham Hall

Clarkson University
8 Clarkson Avenue
Box 5542
Potsdam, NY  13699

Desk: 315-268-6640
Cell: 315-212-3006
Fax: 315-268-4437