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Fire Procedures

Emergency Evacuation Areas

Building Evacuation Area
Castle Facility North Parking Area
Classroom Office Building Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad
Central Plant LeGrand Parking Lot
Dining Facility and Terrace Center Sidewalk south side of Scholars Lane
Library West Wing West side of Library parking
Library East Wing Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad
Mondo Building Bob Hart Square
Recreation/Wellness Center Sidewalk south side of Scholars Lane
Science & Engineering Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad

It is a UC Merced guiding principle that we provide an environment that is as safe and secure as possible for our faculty, staff, students and visitors, and to educate the members of our community in their roles and responsibilities during emergencies.

Fire Procedures for UC Merced is a guide for all members of the UC Merced community regarding reporting and responding to fires at the UC Merced Campus and auxiliary locations.

Fire in Your Work Space

If you have a safe evacuation route (minimal or no fire and/or smoke) from the area:

  • Evacuate the building to the designated emergency assembly area
  • Pull the fire alarm and warn others nearby as you are leaving
  • Close doors and windows if time permits
  • Move away from the fire and smoke whenever possible
  • Touch closed doors with the back of your hand to test for heat; do not open them if they are hot
  • Use stairs only; do not use elevators
  • Do not re-enter the building until you have been instructed to do so by emergency responders
  • From a safe location call the campus Police Department — 209-228-2677 (CAT-COPS) or 911

If your evacuation route has excessive smoke and/or heat, or the exit door is warm or hot to the touch:

  • Remain in your work area
  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, lab coats, throw rugs, etc. to keep out as much smoke as possible
  • If there are no flames or smoke outside the nearest window, open it at the top (to exhaust any heat or smoke in the room) and at the bottom (for a source of outdoor air)
  • Signal for help by hanging a “flag” (sheet, jacket, etc.) out of the window
  • From a safe location call the campus police department — 209-228-2677 (CAT-COPS) or 911
  • Never attempt to jump from the upper floors of a multi-story building — jumps from heights of three floors or more are usually fatal

About Elevators

Elevator shafts and stairwells can produce a chimney effect that draws up heat and smoke. The elevator should be programmed to go to a pre-designated floor when the fire alarm is activated to be available to emergency responders using manual controls. Therefore, it is critical to never use the elevator in a fire emergency.

Fire Safety and Protection

The potential for loss of life or injury from a fire-related incident can be a serious risk on campus.

UC Merced takes a proactive approach to recognize and evaluate fire safety risks and institute appropriate steps to remove or reduce them.

Our Fire Safety Program includes:

  • Code compliance
  • Education of the campus community in fire safety practices
  • Fire drills
  • Enforcement to correct fire safety violations
  • Facility Design and Construction

What Constitutes a Fire Emergency?

  • A building fire evacuation alarm is sounding
  • An uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard occurs in any building or area of the campus
  • There is the presence of smoke, or the odor of burning
  • There is spontaneous or abnormal heating of any material, an uncontrolled release of combustible or toxic gas or other material, or a flammable liquid spill


Campus buildings shall be immediately and totally evacuated whenever the building evacuation alarm is sounding. Upon discovery of evidence that a fire emergency exists, an individual shall accomplish, or cause to be accomplished, the following actions:

  • Activate the building fire alarm in buildings equipped with a manual fire alarm system
  • If safe to do so shut off all machinery and equipment in the area
  • Leave the building at once
  • Call UC Merced Police Dispatch — 209-228-2677 (CAT-COPS) or 911; any campus blue-light emergency phone
  • Meet the UC Merced police officer outside and direct him/her to the fire

All fires — even extinguished or found extinguished fires — as well as all fire alarms — even if suspected to be false or accidental — must be reported to the UC Merced Dispatch Center.

Evacuation Procedures

The evacuation procedures should be as follows:

  • It is the responsibility of every person to immediately leave campus buildings whenever the fire alarm is activated or a fire emergency exists and proceed to their evacuation assembly area.
  • All students, faculty, and staff are required to leave the building and remain outside until the emergency is over, and shall not restrict or impede the evacuation
  • Department heads are expected to review annually fire prevention and fire survival information with faculty and staff, or to schedule such a presentation with the campus Fire Marshall or the campus Emergency Director

Interruption of Fire Alarm

  • No person may shut off any fire protection or alarm system during a fire emergency incident without the permission of the fire department or police officer in charge
  • It shall be the responsibility of Fire or Police personnel to reset or cause the alarm to be reset