Evacuation Options During a Fire Alarm or Other Emergency

Depending upon the nature of the emergency, choose one of the following options when evacuating a building:

  • Vertical Evacuation - Vertical evacuation (using a stairway) is the preferred method to exit a building. All exit passageways (i.e. hallways, stairways, etc.) are marked with "Exit" signs. Stairways can be used by those who are able to evacuate with or without assistance. People with sight disabilities may require assistance. People who must use crutches or other devices as walking aids will need to use their own discretion in deciding whether they are able to use emergency exits, especially where several flights of stairs are concerned.
  • Horizontal Evacuation - Horizontal evacuation means moving away from the area of danger to a safer place on the same floor where the individual is at the time of the alarm or emergency. This type of evacuation may be required in situations where the individual cannot use exit stairs to get to the outside and must remain on a particular floor until assistance arrives. In this case, the individual should move away from the area of imminent danger (detectable smoke, fire, or unusual odor) to a safe distance (i.e., another wing, the opposite end of the corridor, or outside).
  • Stay in Place - In certain cases, individuals may not be able to move to another location. Unlessdanger is imminent, the individual should remain in a room with an exterior window and a phone/tty, closing the door if possible. If a phone/tty is available, call DPS at X5444 (tty), x5555 (Voice/Videophone) or use a pager: dps@gallaudet.edu , and give your name, location, and reason you are calling. DPS will respond appropriately. Phone lines normally remain in service during building emergencies. If the phone line fails, an individual can signal from the window by waving a cloth or other visible item.