1. Emergency Procedures
    1. Evacuate
    2. Shelter-in-Place
  2. Fire Protection at Carleton University
    1. Spotting and Reporting Fire Hazards
    2. Fire Safety Training
    3. Fire Extinguishers
    4. Fire Drills
    5. Residence Fire Safety
  3. False Alarms
  4. Carbon Monoxide Awareness
  5. Additional Resources
    1. Hot Work Permits

Fire and life safety is a top priority at Carleton University and are taken very seriously. Under the direction of the Fire Protection Coordinator, the campus-wide Fire Safety Plan encompasses all aspects of fire and life safety. All members of the Carleton Community are responsible for reporting hazards and following emergency procedures. Additionally, Staff & Faculty have a responsibility to keep themselves and students safe.

Emergency Procedures


If a 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 Fire Service Officials, Campus Safety Officers, or Residence Life Staff.

Safe Destination Site information is located within each building on the building emergency signage within common areas and near exits.

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.


If smoke, fire, or mobility issues are preventing you from exiting the building safely, Shelter-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.

Contact Campus Safety Services at 613-520-4444:

  • Indicate that you are seeking shelter or are sheltered in place
  • Provide your name and your 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 your 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, staff, or faculty who do not live on residence and who wish to self-identify as having either permanent or temporary mobility issues, can do so through the form below:

Visit the Fire, Evacuation, and Shelter-in-Place emergency procedure pages to learn more about what you can do to prepare for, survive during, and be safe after an incident occurs.

Fire Protection at Carleton University

Spotting and Reporting Fire Hazards

If you discover smoke or fire, find the nearest pull station and activate the fire alarm. Once activated, the alarm will sound and flash in the entire building. Campus Safety Services 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 Campus Safety Services Emergency Line at 613-520-4444 and provide as much information as possible.

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
  • Etc…

Correcting the issue yourself, if you are able to do so (e.g. in your workspace, discussion with a 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 Campus Safety Services at 613-520-4444.

Fire Safety 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 safety.

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 Protection Coordinator to review any special requirements.

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 extinguish 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

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 and allows for 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 the Carleton Emergency Response Team communicate effectively with building occupants and officials?
  • Did occupants wait for the all-clear signal before attempting to re-enter the building?

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.

Residence Fire Safety

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

More information and tips specific to residence can be found on our Residence Fire Safety page.

False Alarms

False fire alarms endanger other people and property by needlessly calling emergency services to locations where they are not needed. Also, complacency among occupants and residents due to false alarms can place them in danger should the alarm be signalling a real fire.

The malicious sounding of a false alarm is a breach of the Residence Contract for those living on-campus. In residence, 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 have their Residence Contract suspended or terminated.

The malicious sounding of a fire alarm is also a criminal offence.

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

Carbon Monoxide Awareness

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is an invisible, tasteless, and odourless gas that can be deadly. It is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, or wood do not burn completely in fuel-burning appliances. Fuel-burning devices, such as gas or wood fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, fuel-burning heating systems, generators and vehicles, all produce carbon monoxide.

Install Alarms

If your home has any of the identified appliances or systems or has an attached garage, it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector installed adjacent (in the hallways or area right outside) of each sleeping area. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.

Know the Signs

Be familiar with the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, collapse, loss of consciousness, and death. If you experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, evacuate immediately and call 9-1-1 from outside of the building.

Test Your Alarms and Know the Sounds

Regularly check all fire safety alarms in your home, including carbon monoxide detectors. Remember that carbon monoxide detectors sound differently than smoke alarms. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your household knows the difference between the two alarm sounds. Most detectors will also have a low battery or end-of-life chirp.

If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, evacuate immediately and call 9-1-1 from outside of the building.

Additional Resources

Hot Work Permits

Hot Work Permits are in place to reduce the risk of accidental fire and false alarms in areas where work that could trigger such events are occurring. “Hot Work” is any operation involving open flames, sparks, or produces sufficient heat to ignite flammable or combustible materials. Also, any work that generates enough dust to harm or negatively impact the fire protection system is also subject to Hot Work protocols. A permit is required for each job in a given area during a specified period of time. For more information on the Hot Work Program (PDF, 1708 KB) and the application process, please visit our Hot Work Permit Program page.