Fall 2020 Evacuation Drills Postponed

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

To meet state and federal regulations, the OVCAS Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO), in coordination with UIC Police and Facilities Management, conducts annual evacuation drills for all UIC buildings on campus each fall semester. However, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission, this semester’s evacuation drills have been postponed.

Although we will not be conducting evacuation drills at this time, it is important to understand that any activated fire alarm still requires building occupants to evacuate immediately. Please read the following information regarding building evacuations and the additional considerations related to evacuation safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please refer to your building-specific Emergency Action Plan and Emergency Evacuation Route maps to see the evacuation routes and designated Evacuation Assembly Area where building occupants should go immediately after leaving the building after an evacuation due to fire or other emergency. Evacuation maps are posted by the main elevator lobby of each floor in all buildings and in the main lobby of buildings that do not have an elevator. In addition, please review the building evacuation guidelines below:

Building Evacuation Guidelines

• Identify the two nearest exits for your area which are shown on the Emergency Evacuation Route maps. It’s important to know two exit paths should one be blocked by smoke, fire or other hazards.

• Identify the location of the nearest fire alarm pull station if they exist in your building. This is the best way to alert others about a fire.

• Follow instructions of emergency services personnel, including UIC Police, Chicago Fire Department, EHSO, or other responding agencies.

• When the fire alarm is activated, leave immediately through the nearest and safest exit. Do not attempt to use elevators.

• If you’re not able to evacuate without assistance, proceed to the nearest stairwell and wait there to be evacuated by a member of the Chicago Fire Department. Once you are in the stairwell, use a cell phone to call UIC Police at (312) 355-5555. Be prepared to tell them your exact location, name, cell phone number, and any other information needed to assist with your evacuation.

• As you evacuate, close, but do not lock, all doors to slow the spread of smoke and fire. Once outside, move to the building’s Evacuation Assembly Area.

• Once safely outside, call UIC Police at (312) 355-5555 to alert them about the activated fire alarm. Be prepared to tell them the name and address of the building.

• DO NOT reenter the building until authorized emergency personnel give the “all clear” signal.

It is very important to treat each fire alarm as a true emergency. It is safer to evacuate and find out there is no emergency than to remain in the building and find out there is one.

To learn more about your Emergency Action Plan, we encourage you to review the short online training course “UIC Emergency Action Plan Training.” If you would like to help the campus community by serving as a Floor Evacuation Monitor, please complete the online training “Emergency Evacuation Assistance Training for Floor Monitors.”

If an evacuation is necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, please follow these additional safety guidelines:

• Face coverings are required on all university-owned or -operated property, but you should not avoid evacuating if you cannot readily locate your face covering.

• Maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others while at the Evacuation Assembly Area. A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

• Once an “All-Clear” announcement is made, continue to follow social distancing guidelines as you re-enter the building.

• Stairwells offer the most efficient way to return to your work area, as elevators are currently limited to four people at a time.

If you have any questions regarding evacuation procedures, please contact UIC Fire Marshal Mark Gaunky.


John Coronado
Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services

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