Fire Prevention and Evacuation

***Please note that this section is currently under review for the 2017-2018 academic year.***

Emergencies in Residence: Call 911 for municipal emergency services and then York Security 416-736-5333 or ext. 33333.  If there is a fire, activate the fire alarm pull station nearest you if safe to do so as you exit the building.

Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility. Become familiar with all residence floor exits and know how to get to your designated evacuation assembly area. Talk to your Don if you have questions or concerns. Expect to participate in a fire evacuation drill at least once each semester. We encourage participation in these drills. Never assume that a fire alarm is only a drill. Remember, just because you can’t see flames or smell smoke doesn’t mean there isn’t an emergency situation that requires immediate evacuation.

Fire Safety

Safety Personnel

York University Office of Emergency Preparedness trains a number of volunteer Emergency Response Wardens (ERWs) in each residence. York Security, Emergency Response Wardens and Residence Life Staff will direct and assist residents with the evacuation until Toronto Fire Services arrive. If you have information about someone remaining in the building, please pass the information on to Security Services or the Emergency Response Warden right away. The ERW can be identified by the orange or yellow safety vest they will be wearing.

Equipment

If you are trained and feel comfortable extinguishing a small fire, then you may use the fire extinguishers provided in each Common Room or suite. If you are not comfortable with assisting or the fire is large, then activate the fire alarm pull station and evacuate the building. If you’ve used an extinguisher, remember to report it to your Don so that it can be serviced or refilled.

Evacuation Procedures

If the fire is in your room:

  • Close the door behind you but do not lock it.
  • Alert others to leave with you on your way to the nearest fire exit.
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
  • Leave the building using the nearest stairs and exit.
  • Help those who require assistance exit the building, if you can do so safely.
  • Advise an Emergency Response Warden, Residence Life or Security staff member of the location of the fire.

If the fire alarm sounds, you must leave your residence immediately:

  • Before leaving, check the door for heat; if hot to the touch, do not open. Use available materials like wet clothing or sheets to seal door cracks or clearances.
  • If smoke is present, cover your mouth and nose and stay close to the floor.
  • If your residence door is not hot and smoke is not present, exit then lock your door and leave by the nearest stairs or exit route.
  • Do not use the elevator. Elevators are reserved for fire fighters.
  • If smoke is encountered, use alternate stairs or return to your room/suite.
  • Emergency Response Wardens and designated Residence Life Staff will assist with notifying residents and evacuation.
  • Do not re-enter the building until permitted to do so by an authorized official.
  • Ask your Don for clarification on any Fire Evacuation Procedures.

Assisting Persons with Disabilities

Students who have a temporary or permanent disability that may require special assistance during an emergency evacuation should complete a Housing Needs Assessment form available from the Office of Physical, Sensory & Medical Disability Services. The form will ask students to provide some specific information about specialized assistance and equipment which will be maintained in the Housing records and shared with emergency response and residence life personnel as necessary.

  • Residents who need assistance to evacuate the building should, in their best interest, inform their Residence Life Coordinator (RLC) and Housing prior to any emergency for a pre-planned assistance.
  • Housing will address special needs in their accommodations, where available. The RLC will assist to develop an evacuation plan and inform emergency personnel.
  • If you, as an able bodied resident, encounter a student who has mobility issues during the evacuation process, do your best to assist that student without putting you, the student or both you and the student in more danger. Always alert Emergency Services in the event you see a student unable to reach safety.

Fire Prevention

Fire Prevention Rules

Your Undergraduate Residence Occupancy Agreement requires you to abide by the following fire prevention measures:

  • No candles, incense, fog machine or open flames permitted.
  • No explosives or fireworks permitted.
  • No decorating and/or posting on exterior surfaces, windows or hallway space, including room/suite door (i.e. flammable decorations hanging in hallway). Only white boards obtained from Housing are allowed on room doors.
  • No propping fire doors open.
  • No cooking appliances in rooms (unless they are approved appliances for suites).
  • No cooking in kitchenettes; they are for snack preparation only.
  • No smoking in residence, on balconies and/or outside areas close to entrances, windows or ventilation air intakes (must be nine metres away from building).
  • Do not block entrances, exits or hallways. Ensure exits are unobstructed.
  • Do not park in or block fire and emergency vehicle laneways.
  • Do not tamper with or remove your smoke detector. If your smoke detector’s battery is low (it beeps all the time), please visit the Housing Office or Porter Station for a replacement.
  • Inform a Don when fire extinguishers are discharged.
  • Do not hang anything from fire sprinklers.
  • Do not tamper with any fire alarm devices. Report any anomaly or concern to a Don and Housing.

Fire Alarm and Damage Charges

As a reminder, your Undergraduate Residence Occupancy Agreement places obligations and fines for fire damage and false alarms:

Cooking: Cooking is not allowed in residence rooms. You may keep a small compact refrigerator in your room and rental information can be provided. Kitchen equipment that is provided in the common rooms of traditional residences where a meal plan is mandatory is a privilege and added convenience to the resident. Use of such equipment and space is to be limited to snack preparation or house events authorized by Residence Life Staff. It is the residents’ responsibility to keep kitchenettes/ kitchens clean. The privilege of cooking within Calumet, Bethune and Pond Road suites also entails a responsibility that cooking facilities be used in a safe manner and be kept clean. Residents should never leave cooking unattended.”  Section IV, Rules & Regulations #12

Liability for Damages: “You are financially liable for any damages to your residence room, residence common areas, furnishings and fixtures, and for any charges incurred by you or by your guests. Residents who cause damage in any way, including through fire, are personally liable for that damage and will be charged for the full costs of repairing that damage. You are liable for any damage caused to University property and any such damage shall be charged to you.” Section IV, Rules & Regulations #15

False Fire Alarms Repercussions: “Those who cause false fire alarms in residences through careless cooking or in any other way are subject to disciplinary action and may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or costs assessed against the University by the Fire Department. All residents must follow the Fire Safety Procedures that are outlined in their Residence Agreement.” Section IV, Rules & Regulations #17.d 

See Undergraduate Residence Occupancy Agreement

Building Emergency Procedures

These icons will appear on the LCD screens located throughout the University and in residences to inform community members of an emergency. The most common emergencies are fire alarms and evacuations. In rare cases, emergencies include lockdowns, weather emergencies and unexpected emergencies. Please know what each icon means and the steps you need take in the event you see an emergency icon on the LCD screens throughout campus and in your residence building.

  • Evacuation
  • Evacuation symbol

    • Steps to follow when conditions outside are safer than inside, such as a fire of bomb threat. Follow these steps if you are in residence and the LCD screens show the Evacuation symbol, when the announcement is made or the fire alarm is sounded:
    • Take the closest but safest exit as posted. Use a secondary route if your primary route is blocked or hazardous.
    • DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
    • Help those needing special assistance if you can do so without putting both you and other students in immediate danger.
    • Go to designated assembly area.
    • Wait for further instructions.

    Do not re-enter the building until told it is safe to do so by Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Police Service or York Security.

  • Fire
  • Fire symbolSteps to follow when you are required to exit the building because of fire. If the fire is in your room:

    • Close the door behind you but do not lock it.
    • Alert others to leave with you on your way to the nearest fire exit.
    • Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
    • Leave the building using the nearest stairs and exit.
    • Help those requiring assistance exiting the building, If you can do so safely.
    • Advise an Emergency Response Warden, Residence Life or Security staff member on the location of the fire.
    • If the fire alarm sounds, you must leave your residence immediately.
    • Before leaving, check the door for heat; if hot to the touch, do not open. Use available materials like wet clothing or sheets to seal door cracks or clearances.
    • If smoke is present, cover your mouth and nose and stay close to the floor.
    • If your residence door is not hot and smoke is not present, exit then lock your door and leave by the nearest stairs or exit route.
    • Do not use elevators. Elevators are shut down as part of the evacuation procedure.
    • If smoke is encountered, use alternate stairs or return to your room/suite.
    • Emergency Response Wardens and designated Residence Life Staff will assist with notifying residents and evacuation.
    • Do not re-enter the building until permitted to do so by an authorized official. Ask your Don for clarification on any Fire Evacuation Procedure.
  • Shelter in Place
  • Shelter in place symbol For use when conditions inside are safer than outside, such as external gas or a chemical release. When the announcement is made:

    • Move residents, students and staff/faculty inside as quickly as possible.
    • Help those needing assistance if it is safe to do so.
    • Move out of the hallways and into residence rooms.
    • Close windows and tape if possible, close doors and seal the gap between bottom of door and the floor using a wet towel.
    • Turn off any air conditioning or heating systems until advised it’s safe to turn them on again.
    • Stay away from all doors and windows.
    • Wait for further instructions.
  • Lockdown
  • lockdown symbol For use to remove you from a violent or potentially violent situation. For example, an individual armed with a gun, knife, explosives, etc. Do not confront the person.

    • Call Toronto Police Services first and as soon as possible and provide as much information as possible, including:
    • The location of the suspect,
    • Description of the suspect, including name (if known), gender, race, height, hair colour, clothing description, weapons seen or indicated, what they said, if they indicated a specific target, direction of travel if they have left and other information the operator requests,
    • Building name, location and floor,
    • Nature of business of the building (science lab, research lab, office, student space, etc.),
    • Any hazardous materials in the building if known,
    • Request an ambulance if anyone is injured, and
    • Notify any others in the area of the situation using any means possible (in person, by phone, runners, etc.)
    • Call York University Security Services afterwards, if possible, at extension 33333, or 416-736-5333 or by using a Safety Phone.
  • Weather Emergency
  • weather emergency symbol For use in severe weather emergencies (i.e. tornado.) When the announcement is made:

    • If you are inside, stay inside and find the best shelter.
    • If you are outside, get inside if you can do so safely. Stay away from the outside of large buildings.