1. Fire Prevention at Carleton University
    1. Fire Safety Wardens
    2. Fire Safety Awareness Training
    3. Reporting Fire Hazards
  2. Building Evacuations
    1. When you hear a Fire Alarm…
    2. Stay in Place
    3. Safe Destination Sites
    4. Fire Drills
  3. Fire Extinguishers
    1. Using a Fire Extinguisher
  4. False Alarms
  5. Hot Work

Every member of the Carleton community has a responsibility to contribute to workplace safety. Staff and faculty should be familiar with Carleton’s Fire Safety Plan and report hazards when identified.

Fire Prevention at Carleton University

Fire Safety Wardens

Fire Safety Wardens play a key role in keeping building occupants safe by assisting in evacuations and practicing fire prevention. Every building on campus has at least one Chief Fire Safety Warden and several Fire Safety Wardens depending on building layout. These dedicated volunteers promote fire safety and educate building occupants on evacuation procedures. Consult the Fire Safety Warden Program page for more information.

Fire Safety Awareness Training

Completing the online Fire Safety Training is the first step to improving Fire Safety in your workplace. This training is available to anyone in the Carleton Community who wishes to learn more about evacuation procedures and fire prevention. Fire Safety Wardens receive further in-person training with the Fire Prevention Officer.

Reporting Fire Hazards

If you see something that you believe could be a fire hazard, say something! Examples of fire hazards include:

  • obstructions in hallways, doorways and exits
  • combustible items (e.g. paper) near outlets, power bars or other heat sources
  • doors propped open
  • “Daisy-chained” extension cords
  • etc…

Correcting the issue yourself, if you are able to do so (e.g. in your own work space, discussion with colleague) is the fastest way to minimize the risk. If you have identified a maintenance issue (e.g. missing/damaged signage, missing fire extinguisher) or a hazard outside of your area, please report it using the Good Catch Reporting tool.

If you discover smoke or a fire, find the nearest pull station and activate the fire alarm. Once activated, the alarm will sound and flash in the entire building. The Department of University Safety (DUS) is notified immediately and Ottawa Fire Services will be dispatched.

Contact the Department of University Safety (DUS) Emergency Line at 613-520-4444 and provide as much information as possible.

Building Evacuations

When you hear a Fire Alarm…

If the fire alarm is activated, exit the building immediately using the nearest exit and head to your Safe Destination Site. Here you will await instructions from your building’s Fire Safety Warden, Fire Officials, DUS officers, and Environmental Health & Safety. Please note that elevators are not functional when the fire alarm is activated. Do not attempt to use the elevator. Find the nearest staircase and exit the building.

Fire alarms are intended to trigger a building evacuation and it is important to realize that a building may need to be evacuated for reasons other than fire. When the alarm is activated, exit the building.

Do not attempt to re-enter the building until the “all clear” signal has been sounded. The all clear signal will be a sharp blast of the alarm system lasting 45-60 seconds.

Stay in Place

If smoke, fire, or mobility issues are preventing you from exiting the building safely, exercise “Stay In Place”. These are places that offer some level of protection that you may go to if you cannot exit the building immediately.

  • Find a small room with a closing door (e.g. office, residence room, small classroom). Ideally this room would also have a window.
  • Seal cracks around the door(s) with tape, sheets or clothing dampened with water (if possible) to minimize smoke entering your room
  • Call the Department of University Safety at 613-520-4444:
    • Indicate that you are Staying in Place
    • Provide your name and location
    • Provide information on what smoke, heat, and/or flames you have noticed, if any.
    • Indicate if you have mobility restrictions or other conditions.
  • Indicate if there are other people with you and how many.
    If you room has a window, hang brightly coloured objects in the window. Do not break the window as this will allow smoke from outdoors to enter your room.

Faculty or Staff wishing to self-identify as having either mobility issues which may prevent safe evacuation, can do so using with the form below:

Safe Destination Sites

Safe Destination Sites are predetermined safe areas to go to after a building evacuation. The Safe Destination Site will be far enough away to prevent injury related to explosions or broken glass in the event of a fire. Safe Destination Sites are chosen based on key evacuation performance criteria such as building layout, occupant load and occupant behavior during an evacuation to ensure the most effective building evacuation possible.

It is important that building occupants go to their safe destination site to receive important information from Fire Officials, DUS officers or Environmental Health & Safety. Each building has 1 outdoor and 1 indoor safe destination site.

Staff and faculty should be aware of the Safe Destination Sites for the buildings that they frequent most often (e.g. office, lecture halls, laboratories/workshops).

Fire Drills

All campus buildings must have an annual evacuation drill. This is part of Carleton University’s regulatory requirement under the Ontario Fire Code as well as allowing the opportunity to engage the community in fire safety.
The primary goal of these evacuation drills is to identify if there are areas requiring improvement. Specifically, occupant behaviours are observed to determine:

  • how long did it take to empty the building?
  • did people move away from the building?
  • did everyone go to the Safe Destination Site?
  • did Fire Safety Wardens communicate effectively with building occupants and officials (e.g. EHS and DUS officers)?
  • did occupants wait for the all clear signal before attempting to re-enter the building?

Recently, Environmental Health & Safety has partnered with the Faculty of Engineering to contribute to Fire Safety Engineering research at Carleton University.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are available in classrooms, hallways, offices and other areas around Carleton University. Most of these are multi purpose ‘ABC’ fire extinguishers that are effective against three different types of fires: ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical.
Some environments may require specialized extinguishers (e.g. extinguisher for combustible metal). Supervisors are responsible to review the work in their area and identify the need for extinguishers other than the standard type. Contact the Fire Prevention Officer to review any special requirements.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers can be used to put out small fires or help a person exit a building in case of fire. If you encounter a small fire and feel comfortable using an extinguisher, proceed with the P.A.S.S. method.

Pull the pin (release the lock latch or press the punch lever).
Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the trigger.
Sweep the extinguisher from side to side.

When attempting to extinguisher a fire remember the following:

  • Test that the extinguisher works before you approach the fire
  • Protect yourself at all times
  • Take care. Speed is essential but it is more important to be cautious
  • Always keep your back to the exit
  • Stand 6′-8′ away from the fire

False Alarms

False fire alarms endanger other people and property by needlessly calling emergency services to locations where they are not needed. In addition, complacency among building occupants due to false alarms places occupants in danger should the alarm be signaling a real fire.

The malicious sounding of a fire alarm is a criminal offence punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment.

Not all false alarms are malicious (e.g. burnt popcorn, accidental damage to equipment). However, it is important that the cause be identified. If you know or suspect the cause of the false alarm, please inform DUS immediately.

Hot Work

Any operation that involves open flames or sparks or produces sufficient heat to ignite flammable or combustible materials is considered “Hot Work”. Also, any work that generates enough dust to harm or negatively impact the fire protection system is also subject to Hot Work protocols. Learn more.