Fire Safety Procedures

Fire Plan

(Developed by the Office of Safety & Security)

This fire plan has been developed to ensure the safety of Drury University faculty, staff, and students. All persons should read this plan and review it periodically in order to know what to do in case of a fire.


  • Be alert to fire hazards and report them, keep your area clean, and be aware of how to respond to a fire. Know the floor plan and evacuation route for your area.
  • Do not block access to mechanical rooms, sprinkler heads, fire extinguishers or exit ways.
  • Use only approved space heaters and power strips, which are available through Central Supplies (ext. 7219).
  • No open flames, incense, oil burning lamps, candles, etc.
  • Know how to properly use a fire extinguisher and the locations of extinguishers in your area.
  • Report any fire hazards to Facilities Services at ext. 7219. Any fires should be reported to Security at ext. 7911.

The Fire Safety Procedure Statement in its entirety:

Fundamentals of Fire Prevention

1. Be clean; maintain cleanliness and order in your work area. Good housekeeping is the best protection against fires.

Fire Exits & Exit Corridors:

Exit corridors must not be used for storage. The Life Safety Code, NFPA 101, requires that buildings designed for human occupancy must have continuous and unobstructed exits to permit prompt evacuation of the occupants and allow necessary access for responding emergency personnel. The intent of the code is to keep exits free from obstructions and clear of combustible materials. Therefore, housekeeping is very important. Even temporary storage of furniture, equipment, supplies, or anything else is not permitted in exit ways. Combustibles, including recyclable waste paper, are not permitted in the exit ways.

Metal lockers with ends and tops secured to the walls and that do not interfere with minimum exit width requirements may be installed in exit corridors when approved by the fire department and Department Head/Safety Manager.

Mechanical Equipment Rooms:

Mechanical equipment rooms contain boilers, blowers, compressors, filters, electrical equipment, etc… Such rooms must be separated from other areas of the building by fire resistant walls and doors. To maintain the integrity of these separations, the fire doors must never be left open.

Fan rooms house ventilation equipment, which often include automatic shut down and dampers activated by interlocking with the building smoke and fire detectors. Fire dampers and other automatic shutdown provisions must not be disabled without fire department approval (as for temporary maintenance procedures).

Mechanical equipment rooms and fan rooms must not be used for storage of any kind.

2. Be alert; early fire detection can prevent damage.

Fire Detectors:

Several types of automatic fire detectors are used throughout Drury University, according to particular needs and purposes. All of them detect fire (by one of several means) and transmit an alarm. In the buildings equipped with evacuation alarms, the automatic detectors activate those alarms, as do the manual pull boxes. In some cases, automatic extinguishing systems are activated by automatic detectors.

Sprinkler Systems:

Some buildings are provided with automatic sprinkler systems. The sprinkler heads contain a fusible element (most commonly fused as 212 degrees F), which on melting, opens the head and starts a spray of water. The resulting flow of water in the piping activates an alarm.

Automatic sprinkler heads can be damaged if they are subjected to mechanical abuse. A prospective cage should be installed where such damage is possible. Heat inadvertently applied to the sprinkler head can also activate the sprinkler when no actual fire is present. Normal heat sources should therefore be kept away from sprinkler heads. To avoid decreasing the flow or spread of water or altering the spray pattern, do not allow material or furniture to be located too close to the sprinkler head.

Allow at least 18 inches of clearance around sprinkler heads.

Sprinkler system control valves must be kept accessible for fire department use. Allow at least 3 feet of clearance (enough for a man to pass through easily) around such valves.

Alarm Systems:

In most buildings, evacuation alarm bells activate automatically when fire is detected. They can also be activated manually at strategically located pull boxes. The emergency actions of personnel and the evacuation procedures for each building or operating area are usually set forth in the Operational Safety Procedures for each building and posted near the main entrance or fire exit or elevator.

Never use the elevator in case of a fire.

Fire Doors:

Automatic fire doors and dampers are provided at strategic points to close and block the spread of smoke and fire when these are sensed by automatic detectors. Automatic fire doors must never be blocked or left in disrepair so that they cannot close and latch automatically as intended in the event of a fire.

Self-closing fire doors are those doors designed and installed to close each time after being opened. They too must never be blocked, wedged, or tied open. If such doors must be kept open, the self-closers must be replaced with approved automatic smoke-activated release hold-open devices.

3. Make it a habit to be alert for fire hazards and report all potential dangers to your supervisors immediately. Be especially alert during early morning hours when there are fewer people on campus.

Prohibited Items:

The following items are prohibited on campus:

  • Candles, except in approved religious services
  • Incense
  • Fireworks, unless authorized by the University
  • Oil lamps or any other fuel burning lamps
  • Portable heaters that exceed 500 watts, or use a fan blower to distribute heat
  • Extension cords without a reset switch

Any open flames or burning, except as part of an approved department project or maintenance project is prohibited.

Extension cords/power strips should have a reset switch and be UL approved. Acceptable power strips are available through Central Supplies, and can be ordered by Drury’s departments by calling ext. 7219.

Flammable liquids must be stored in approved storage cabinets. Flammable liquids are not allowed to be stored in residence hall rooms (including paint thinner, solvents, gasoline, lighter fluid and lamp oil).

Portable Heaters:

  • Flammable or explosive vapors or dusts may be present
  • The area has been designated as unsafe for such devices

The following practices should be carried out when operating portable heating appliances:

  • Use only radiator style heaters, never fan blower types.
  • Do not place the appliance on an unstable surface.
  • Maintain a clearance of at least 12 inches between the appliance and any combustible materials.
  • The appliance must be approved by either Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. or Factory Mutual Research Corporation.
  • • Connect the appliance directly to a proper electrical outlet using only the cord with which it was originally equipped. Do not use extension cords in lieu of permanent wiring.

4. Be ready. Know where fire alarms, extinguishers and hoses are located and how to use them.

5. If you see or smell smoke, report it to your supervisor at once and secure any malfunctioning machinery.

6. Know the floor plan of your area, the “safe” areas and evacuation routes.

7. Know which extinguisher to use and how to use it.

Class A - Combustibles:

Class A combustibles are common materials such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, plastics, etc. Fires in any of these fuels can be extinguished with water, as well as other agents specified for Class A fires. They’re the most common fuels to be found in non-specializing operating areas of the work place such as offices.

Safe handling of Class A combustibles means:

  • Disposing of waste daily.
  • Keeping work area clean and free of fuel paths, which can spread a fire once started.
  • Keeping combustibles away from accidental ignition sources such as hot plates, soldering irons, or other heat or spark-producing devices.
  • Keeping all trash and other waste in metal or metal-lined receptacles with tight-fitting covers when in or adjacent to buildings. (Exception: wastebaskets of metal or of other material and design approved for such use, which are emptied each day, need not be covered).
  • Not smoking in any university building or vehicle.
  • Planning the use of combustibles in any operation so that excessive amounts need not be stored.
  • Making frequent inspections and checks for noncompliance with these rules in order to catch fires in the potential stage.

Class B - Combustibles

Class B combustibles are flammable and combustible liquids (including oils, greases, tars, oil-base paints, lacquers) and flammable gases. Flammable aerosols (spray cans) are treated here.

The use of water to extinguish Class B fires (by other than trained firefighters) can cause the burning liquid to spread carrying the fire with it. Flammable-liquid fires are usually best extinguished by excluding the air around the burning liquid. Generally, this is accomplished by using one of several approved types of fire-extinguishing agents, such as the following:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • ABC multipurpose dry chemical
  • Halon 1211

Fires involving flammable gases are usually controlled by eliminating the source of the fuel, i.e. closing a valve.

Technically, flammable and combustible liquids do not burn. However, under appropriate conditions, they generate sufficient quantities of vapors to form ignitable vapor-air mixtures. As a general rule, the lower the flash point (the minimum temperature at which it gives off sufficient vapor to form an ignitable mixture with the air near the surface of the liquid or within the vessel used) of a liquid, the greater the fire and explosion hazard. It should be noted that many flammables and combustible liquids also pose health hazards.

It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that all Class B combustibles are properly identified, labeled, handled, and stored. If assistance is required, contact the Department Head/Safety Manager. Safe handling of Class B combustible means:

  • Using only approved containers, tanks, equipment, and apparatus for storage, handling, and use of Class B combustibles.
  • Making sure that all containers are conspicuously and accurately labeled as to their contents.
  • Dispensing Class B combustible liquids from tanks, drums, barrels, or similar containers only through approved pumps taking suction from the top or through approved self-closing valves or faucets.
  • Storing, handling, and using Class B combustibles only in approved locations, where vapors cannot reach any source of ignition, including heavy equipment, electrical equipment, oven flame, mechanical or electrical sparks, etc.
  • Never cleaning with flammable liquids within a building except in a closed machine approved for the purpose.
  • Never storing, handling, or using Class B combustibles in or near exits, stairways, or other areas normally used for egress.
  • Storing flammable liquids in excess of 10 gallons in approved storage cabinets or special rooms approved for this purpose.
  • Knowing the locations of the nearest portable fire extinguishers rated for Class B fires and how to use them.
  • Never smoking, welding, cutting, grinding, using an open flame or unsafe electrical appliances or equipment, or otherwise creating heat that could ignite vapors near any Class B combustibles.

Class C – Electrical Fires

Class C or electrical fires are usually controlled by first de-energizing the source of electricity and then extinguishing any materials that continue to burn. Use only extinguishers that are rated for fighting Class C fires when fighting a fire involving energized electrical equipment. ABC dry chemical extinguishers can safely be used on electrical fires, but will leave the fire source covered in powder residue. If fighting an electrical fire involving computer equipment, you may use a Halon extinguisher, if available. Halon leaves a non powdery residue.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

The most common type of fire extinguisher at Drury University is the 10# ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher. These are located in every building on campus. This type of extinguisher is rate for use on Class A, B, or C fires.

Please follow the following steps to use an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher:

  • Remove the safety pin from the extinguisher (metal pin on the handle usually held in place by an easily breakable plastic seal).
  • Point the nozzle at the base of the flames.
  • Squeeze the handles together as you sweep the nozzle back and forth across the base of the flame.

8. Know exactly what your duties are.

Employee Responsibilities

All employees must immediately report fires to the Safety and Security Office (dial 7911 from a campus phone).

All employees must report all potential fire hazards to Facilities Services as soon as possible.

All employees must conduct their operations in such a way as to minimize the possibility of fire. This means applying rules such as keeping combustibles separated from ignition sources, not smoking, and avoiding needless accumulations of combustible materials.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors must ensure that their personnel are properly instructed regarding potential fire hazards involved in their work and around their workplaces, the proper precautions to minimize fires, and the procedures in case of a fire.

9. Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings and vehicles.

In Case of a Fire

1. When you hear a fire alarm, close all doors.
2. Leave on all electrical and gas equipment unless it poses a clear and present fire hazard.
3. Do not turn out lights.
4. If fire or water threatens valuable records or items, close and lock safes and fireproof cabinets.

In Residence Halls

1. Pull the closest fire alarm box and report the exact location and nature of the fire to Safety and Security by calling 873-7911. It’s important to call Drury officers so they can direct and assist responding fire personnel.
2. Close the room door.
3. Alert other people in the area.
4. Do not panic.
5. Do not try to put out the fire.
6. Evacuate the building by using stairs instead of elevators, but remain nearby to help firefighters find the exact location of the fire.
7. The Head Resident is responsible for making sure everyone is alerted and evacuated.

In the event of a fire, in a residential building, a housing list can be obtained through the Dean of Students Office and made available to emergency personnel and Security for purposes of identifying effected residents.

These procedures exist to protect the Drury community from fire hazards. Please feel free to contact the office of Facilities Services at ext. 7219 or the office of Safety and Security at ext. 7400 for more information.