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5 ways to practice fire safety at Pitt

A person discharges an fire extinguisher onto a controlled flame.

Whether you’re just beginning your college journey in a residence hall, or you conduct research in a campus lab, everyone at Pitt has a responsibility to prevent fires. Be prepared for emergencies with these safety tips for students, faculty and staff.

1. If you see a fire on the Pittsburgh campus, call Pitt Police at 412-624-2121. If inside a building, pull the nearest fire alarm to alert University officers and the City of Pittsburgh Fire Department. Then, follow the evacuation route to exit the building and do not reenter until staff or emergency personnel tell you it is safe.

2. Familiarize yourself with your building's evacuation route and designated assembly point. Always use stairs during an emergency, not the elevators. If you encounter fire and cannot exit your room or the building, call the University’s Emergency Fire Number, 412-624-2121.

3. During a fire evacuation, use doors to your advantage. Use the back of your hand to feel closed doors, and do not open a door that feels hot to the touch. Doors can also help contain a fire, so close them as you go in the event of evacuation rather than wedging them open for others. If you are trapped behind a hot door during a fire, call Pitt Police. Then, put wet towels or sheets in the space below the door to keep smoke out of the room. Unless there are smoke and flames outside, open a window for ventilation and to signal for help, but don’t jump.

4. Attend the annual Fall Safety Fair and Fire Safety Day on Oct. 3. A collaborative effort by the Student Government Board and Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), the free event teaches students, faculty and staff about safety and healthy living at Pitt. Along with learning about building evacuation and fire prevention, attendees can get hands-on with the opportunity to discharge a fire extinguisher on a controlled fire.

5. EH&S can help you create an individual evacuation plan. Call 412-624-9505 or email safety [at] pitt.edu to learn more. Pitt Police maintains copies of these plans for use by emergency responders. Find more fire safety resources for people with disabilities.