Campus Emergency Procedures


In case of emergencies, dial (415) 422-2911 for Public Safety, fire, or ambulance.

Fire Regulations

  1. Fire Alarm System: All academic and administration buildings have fire alarm systems consisting of pull stations and bells and/or claxons and strobes. Most systems notify Public Safety automatically, but you should always call Public Safety at (415) 422-2911 to report a sounding building fire alarm.
  2. Fire Lanes: It is essential that fire lanes be maintained clear of vehicles and obstructions at all times. Vehicles in violation will be cited and subject to towing at the owner’s expense.

General Fire Evacuation Procedures

  1. When a building alarm sounds, walk, do not run, to the nearest exit and feel the door before opening. If it is hot, do not open the door. Call Public Safety at (415) 422-2911 to report your location and hang a sheet or some sort of clothing out the window to attract attention.
  2. If the door is cool, exit and proceed to the nearest emergency exit or emergency exit stairwell. Do not use the elevators unless directed by police or fire personnel.
  3. Exit the building quickly and calmly. Keep low to the floor if smoke is present.
  4. Once outside, move away from the building to your designated building assembly area and wait for instructions from Public Safety or a University official. This will allow fire equipment and emergency personnel to reach the building.
  5. If you are unable to get to an emergency exit stairwell safely, get into a room with a window, close the door behind you, get to the window, wave something to gain the attention of someone below, and call Public Safety at (415) 422-2911 to inform them of your location and what is happening.


  1. During an Earthquake
    • Do not rush outdoors, since most injuries occur from falling glass, plaster, loose balconies, debris, and electrical lines. Stay put.
    • Take cover under a desk, table, or bench (in case a wall or ceiling collapses, or loose objects fall). If not possible, sit or stand against an inside wall or doorway.
    • Stay away from all glass surfaces (windows, mirrors, etc.).
    • Do not attempt to restrain falling objects unless your life is endangered by them.
    • If you are outdoors, remain there.
    • Do not stand under overhangs on the outside of buildings. Move away from power lines and stay in open areas, away from all structures.
    • If you are in, on, or near the beach, leave the area immediately and get to higher ground. A seismic wave (tsunami/tidal wave) could occur.
  2. After an Earthquake
    • Remember, aftershocks may occur at any moment with nearly the same force as the original quake.
    • Move cautiously and observe your surroundings for hazardous situations.
    • If you are comfortable doing so, provide first aid where necessary .
    • Seek help by sending an able-bodied person to the nearest emergency station. Avoid using the telephone.
    • If you detect gas or any foreign odors, do not use any matches or candles. Open windows, shut off power, leave the building immediately, and report anything suspicious to authorities.

Power Outages

If a power outage occurs during daylight hours, persons are encouraged to remain in the building. During the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, please call Facilities Management at (415) 422-6464 to report the power outage. For power outages that occur outside the above noted hours, please call Public Safety at (415) 422-4201. Wait for instructions from Public Safety or University personnel if an evacuation is necessary.

If you are inside an elevator when a power outage occurs, or if the elevator stops working, please use the emergency phone located inside the elevator (and not a cell phone, as they are not always operational in elevator cars) to notify Public Safety. Do not attempt to get out of the elevator; this could result in severe harm to you. Persons with mobility impairments should notify Public Safety that they are in the building where a power outage or downed elevators has occurred. If it becomes necessary for you to get out of the building, please call Public Safety and let them know you are in need of assistance.

Evacuation Procedures for People with Disabilities

The most important factor in emergency safety for people with disabilities is advanced planning. Student Disability Services (SDS) can help plan specific evacuation strategies; contact them at (415) 422-2613. We encourage all students with disabilities to carry cell phones with them at all times, in case of an emergency.

  1. Mobility Impairment (Please read General Fire Evacuation Procedures above for additional instructions)
    • Do not use elevators when a building fire alarm is sounding, unless authorized to do so by police or fire personnel.
    • If you or the person you are with is unable to evacuate, ask someone to inform the emergency personnel who and where you are, and that you or the person with you is unable to evacuate due to a disability.
    • If possible, call Public Safety at (415) 422-2911 to inform them that you or the person with you has mobility limitations and is in a building with the fire alarm going off. Give them your name, telephone number, and location.
    • If smoke is detected and you are unable to get to an emergency exit landing safely, move to a room with a window and close the door. Get to the window and open it. Gain the attention of someone below (e.g., wave arms or a colorful piece of fabric).
  2. Blindness or Visual Impairment (Please read General Fire Evacuation Procedures above for additional instructions)
    • USF encourages visually impaired students to practice escape routes ahead of time in case they are alone during an emergency evacuation. The University recommends that students with vision impairments learn where the nearest telephone and alarm boxes are in order to call for help, how to describe their exact location in the building, and how to best let others know where they are in the event of an emergency. It is important to be comfortable with the options for self-protection, including procedures to follow if a fire is between him/her and all escape routes.
    • If you are with a person with a visual impairment when a building fire alarm sounds, offer to lead them out of the building and to safety by offering your elbow.
    • Give verbal instructions about the safest route or direction using compass directions, estimated distances, and specific directional terms.
    • When you reach safety, orient the person to where he/she is and ask if any further assistance is needed.
  3. Deafness or Hearing Impairment (Please read General Fire Evacuation Procedures above for additional instructions)
    • Many campus buildings are equipped with visual signal lights in the event of a fire alarm. If a person is unaware that the alarm is sounding, get his or her attention by using eye contact, and if necessary, touch. Clearly state the problem. Gestures and pointing may be helpful, but prepared to write a brief statement if the person does not read lips.
    • Offer visual instructions to advise of safest route or direction by pointing toward exits or evacuation maps.