General Evacuation Procedures​​

Evacuation from buildings may be required due to emergencies such as fire, chemical spill, bomb or other threats, terrorism, or during other immediate safety and health crisis. Supervisors, Faculty, Department Heads, Managers, and other staff must advise their employees, visitors, and students on evacuation procedures.

Be familiar with all exit locations of buildings you frequent prior to an emergency.

Never ignore an evacuation alarm. To do so puts yours and responding emergency personnel lives in extreme danger. It is your responsibility to evacuate and is also required by Wisconsin law. Violators will be fined.


In the event of a fire or other event (e.g., chemical spill) requiring evacuation:

  1. Pull a fire alarm and leave the building. Alert others to the nature and location of emergency on your way out. Remain calm and do not panic, proceed calmly to the exterior, and never push others. If the exit is blocked or crowded, use a secondary exit.

  2. If time permits, shut down any hazardous equipment or processes.

  3. Evacuate the building using stairs and closest exit. Do not use elevator during fires.

  4. If you observe staff or students not taking an alarm seriously, please encourage them to do so. It may save their life and will reduce the risks to responding emergency personnel.

  5. From a safe location and distance, dial 9-1-1 and call University Police at 715-346-3456 with information about the emergency and its location. Note: University Police will receive electronic alarm signal stating location of incident.

  6. Once evacuated, move away from the building upwind a minimum of 100 yards (or to your designated upwind meeting location if applicable) unless otherwise instructed by emergency personnel. Ensure you are accounted for by your Supervisor, Hall Director, or Faculty. Follow directions of fire and police. If you are aware of an individual unable to self-evacuate or in need of medical care, immediately call 9-1-1 and tell the dispatcher the exact location of the person(s). Advise responding emergency personnel if anyone requires medical treatment. Expanded evacuation may be required depending on the hazards present.

  7. For individuals with disabilities, see the following section, “Evacuations of People with Disabilities” for applicable instructions.

  8. The individual that pulled the alarm and persons with information regarding stranded occupants or emergency details must notify responding emergency personnel.

  9. Do not reenter the building until authorized by emergency personnel.


Maintaining an accessible means of egress is very critical and legally required for safe evacuation in the event of an emergency. Per the law - A continuous and unobstructed way of egress travel from any point in a building or facility that provides an accessible route to an area of refuge, a horizontal exit, or a public way must be maintained.