Student safety is a top priority for Carleton University. It is important that students be aware of fire hazards in their environment and know what they can do to help keep Carleton safe.

This page contains important information for Carleton students living on, and off campus.

1. Evacuation Procedures

2. Stay in Place

3. False Alarms & Fire Drills

4. Reporting Fire Hazards

5. Fire Safety in Residence

6. Electrical Safety


Fire Alarms & Safe Destination Sites

If the fire alarm is activated, exit the building immediately using the nearest exit and head to your Safe Destination Site. The Safe Destination Site will be far enough away to prevent injury related to explosions or broken glass in the event of a fire. Here you will await instructions from your Rez Fellows, Fire Officials, DUS officers, and Environmental Health & Safety.

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.

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.

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.

Students living in residence wishing to self-identify as having mobility issues which may prevent safe evacuation, can do so through Attendant Services.

Students who do not live on residence and who wish to self-identify as having either permanent or temporary mobility issues, can do so with the form below:

False Alarms & Fire Drills

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 residents due to false alarms can place occupants in danger should the alarm be signaling a real fire.
The malicious sounding of a false alarm is a criminal offence and a breach of the Residence Contract.
Should a fire alarm be activated that is later determined to be false, caused by a careless act, or by the use of appliances and/or substances that are prohibited by the Residence Contract, the residents of the appropriate living unit may be penalized in an amount not exceeding $500 per person, per occasion and may also have their Residence Contract terminated.

We realize that not all false alarms are malicious (e.g. burnt popcorn, accidental damage to equipment). However, it is important that the cause be identified. Please come forward with information if you know or suspect the cause of the false alarm. This allows DUS to call off Fire Services if appropriate and allow occupants to return to their rooms more quickly.

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, we observe the occupants behaviours 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.

Spotting and Reporting Fire Hazards

Discovering Fire

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.

If it is safe to do so, close as many doors behind you as possible to help slow the spread of fire and exit the building. Move away from the building and head to your Safe Destination Site.

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

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 see something that presents an immediate danger, notify the Department of University Safety at 613-520-4444.

Living in Residence

In 2011,  the University of Guelph performed a live demonstration of a dorm room fire. The goal of this demonstration was to teach students about fire hazards in their rooms and the importance of timely evacuation.

Students living in residence have a particular responsibility for keeping their home safe.

  • Make sure hallways and exits are free from obstruction (e.g. bicycles, boxes, furniture).
  • Keep all doors closed. They are designed to stop or delay the spread of smoke, toxic gases and fire. Your escape route could be blocked by fire or smoke if these doors are propped open.
  • Ensure trash and recyclable materials are placed in the appropriate containers. They can catch fire easily and emit toxic smoke, especially if left near outlets/power bars.
  • If you notice missing exit signs, notify the Housing and Conference Services staff or report it so appropriate action can be taken.
  • Use only Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) approved power bars and do not overload outlet or power bars.
  • Unplug electrical equipment such as irons, hair straighteners, and kettles when they are not in use. Never leave them unattended and do no store them until they are cooled.
  • Cooking appliances are only permitted in kitchen prep areas of suite style residences. These areas are equipped to handle the heat/potential for fire.
  • Absolutely no candles, incense or smoking is permitted in Residence.

Students living in residence wishing to self-identify as having mobility issues which may prevent safe evacuation, can do so through Attendant Services.

Fire Safety brochures have been developed for building-specific information:

Frontenac  Glengarry  Leeds 
Lanark  Lennox-Addington Prescott
Russell-Grenville Renfrew Stormont-Dundas

Electrical Safety

Most electrical fires are caused by faulty or damaged wiring. Prevent electrical fires by following these guidelines:

  • Use only using ESA approved power bars and devices;
  • Do not use extension cords for extended periods of time;
  • Prevent overheating by allowing space around cables and appliances;
  • and don’t run cables under carpets, or underneath clothing as this will lead to overheating.

Old appliances also pose a significant risk as the wiring may be brittle, damaged, or unable to carry the load required. Do not use appliances if the cable is worn or frayed.