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Fire & Life Safety

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), and the Office of Public Safety, work in concert to protect the College from fire.  The Office of Environmental Health & Safety takes the primary lead in educating the College community about fire safety, and in managing the advanced fire detection and suppression systems located throughout campus. The Environmental Health & Safety fire and life safety contact, Roderic Tierney, is located in Room 103, Suite 1A, Whittier Hall, and can be reached by phone at (212) 678-8164. 

Public Safety Officers are trained and certified by the City of New York as Fire Safety Directors, and as such maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully respond to fire emergencies on campus. The College maintains a working relationship with the New York City Fire Department and the New York City Department of Buildings, to ensure that College building fire systems meet or exceed applicable fire and building codes, and to ensure that fire safety best practices are applied throughout campus. 

 

Working together with the Office of Public Safety personnel we respond to all fire alarms and burning odors on campus 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, providing assistance in solving specific fire protection and safety problems. Our duty is to assure the safety of everyone on the Teachers College campus. 


Fire Procedures - Academic Campus

Fire Procedures - Academic Campus Buildings


Fire
Immediate actions
  • Remain calm.
  • Shout a warning to other occupants, and activate the building alarm.
  • Notify the TC Office of Public Safety at extension 3333; give the location and a description of the fire.
  • Provide assistance to persons with disabilities. Notify the TC Office of Public Safety if persons with disabilities are in the area and may need to be relocated.
  • Provide assistance to other individuals in your immediate area. Attempt rescue efforts only if there is no immediate danger to you.
  • If the fire is small, and if you have had training, use the proper type of fire extinguisher to control and extinguish the fire. Do this only after the evacuation has started and the Office of Public Safety has been notified (by activating the fire alarm or by calling ext. 3333).
  • Close all doors and windows in the vicinity of a fire.
  • Go to the nearest exit and leave the building.
  • Use stairs; do not use elevators.
  • Once outside, proceed to your department’s designated gathering point at least 500 feet away from affected buildings. Stay there.
  • Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and workers.
  • Notify the Office of Public Safety or responding emergency workers of any injured or trapped persons remaining in your building.
  • If requested, assist staff of the TC Office of Public Safety as necessary.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until given the “all clear” sign by TC Public Safety staff.

 

If trapped in a building

  • Remain calm.
  • Call extension 3333 for TC Office of Public Safety and provide your name, phone no. and location.
  • Open a window and hang a piece of clothing outside to mark your whereabouts for rescue workers.
  • Stay near the floor, where visibility will be better and the air will be less toxic.
  • Periodically call-out loudly for help so rescue workers can locate you. Avoid flammable liquids, compressed gas cylinders, etc. that may be in a room or lab with you.

 

Contact authorities

Call extension 3333 for TC Office of Public Safety, or 911 for NYFD.

 

What to report

  • Report your location, name, and telephone number, and the location of the fire.
  • Report the extent of the fire, if known.
  • Report any persons with disabilities who are in the area and may need to be relocated.

 

Persons with disabilities

  • It is suggested that individuals who use wheelchairs or who have a mobility related disability prepare for an emergency ahead of time by instructing coworkers or fellow students on how to assist in an emergency.
  • During an emergency evacuation due to fire, building elevators should not be used.
  • Evacuation may not always be necessary or advisable. If persons with mobility related disabilities cannot be transported from the building without using an elevator, assist persons with disabilities to the nearest fire stairway landing on each floor of the building. Immediately notify TC Public Safety staff or other rescue workers on-scene upon the arrival of persons with disabilities to the rescue area.

 

Using a fire extinguisher

  • Activate the alarm, and report the fire to the TC Office of Public Safety at extension 3333, before attempting to extinguish the fire.
  • Use the extinguisher only if you have been trained to do so. Improper use of an extinguisher can increase the hazard.
  • If you have any doubt about your ability to fight the fire, exit immediately.
  • If you decide to use the fire extinguisher, place yourself between the fire and your exit from the area.

 

To use the fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method:

  • PULL the pin. This will break the tamper seal if a seal is applied.
  • AIM low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or the horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • SWEEP from side to side at the base of the fire until the fire is out. Wait in the area.

If the fire Re-ignites, repeat the steps above.

 

TC Fire Safety Directors


During a fire alarm, TC Fire Safety Directors may provide directions to the community via a public address system.  For your safety, please immediately follow the directions of the fire Safety Director


Fire Procedures - Residential Buildings

Fire Procedures - Campus Residential Buildings

Fire

Immediate actions

  • Remain calm.
  • Shout a warning to other occupants, and activate the building alarm.
  • Notify the TC Office of Public Safety at extension 3333; give the location and description of the fire.
  • Provide assistance to persons with disabilities. Notify the TC Office of Public Safety if persons with disabilities are in the area and may need to be relocated.
  • Provide assistance to other individuals in your immediate area. Attempt rescue efforts only if there is no immediate danger to you.
  • If the fire is small, and if you have had training, use the proper type of fire extinguisher to control and extinguish the fire. Do this only after the evacuation has started and the Office of Public Safety has been notified (by activating the fire alarm or by calling ext. 3333).
  • Turn off all electrical appliances, turn off gas stoves and shut windows.
  • Close all doors and windows in the vicinity of a fire.
  • Go to the nearest exit and leave the building.
  • Use stairs; do not use elevators.
  • Once outside, proceed to your department’s designated gathering point at least 500 feet away from affected buildings. Stay there.
  • Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and workers.
  • Notify the Office of Public Safety or responding emergency workers of any injured or trapped persons remaining in your building.
  • If requested, assist staff of the TC Office of Public Safety as necessary.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until given the “all clear” sign by TC Public Safety staff.

 

If trapped in a building

  • Remain calm.
  • Call extension 3333 for TC Office of Public Safety and provide your name, phone no. and location.
  • Open a window and hang a piece of clothing outside to mark your whereabouts for rescue workers.
  • Stay near the floor, where visibility will be better and the air will be less toxic.
  • Periodically call-out loudly for help so rescue workers can locate you. Avoid flammable liquids, compressed gas cylinders, etc. that may be in a room or lab with you.

 

Contact authorities

Call 3333 for TC Office of Public Safety, or 911 for NYFD.

 

What to report

  • Report your location, name, and telephone number, and the location of the fire.
  • Report the extent of the fire, if known.
  • Report any persons with disabilities who are in the area and may need to be relocated.

 

Persons with disabilities

It is suggested that individuals who use wheelchairs or who have a mobility related disability prepare for an emergency ahead of time by instructing coworkers or fellow students on how to assist in an emergency.


During an emergency evacuation due to fire, building elevators should not be used.


Evacuation may not always be necessary or advisable. If persons with mobility related disabilities cannot be transported from the building without using an elevator, assist persons with disabilities to the nearest fire stairway landing on each floor of the building. Immediately notify TC Public Safety staff or other rescue workers on-scene upon the arrival of persons with disabilities to the rescue area.

 

Using a fire extinguisher

  • Activate the alarm, and report the fire to the TC Office of Public Safety at extension 3333, before attempting to extinguish the fire.
  • Use the extinguisher only if you have been trained to do so. Improper use of an extinguisher can increase the hazard.
  • If you have any doubt about your ability to fight the fire, exit immediately.
  • If you decide to use the fire extinguisher, place yourself between the fire and your exit from the area.

To use the fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method:

  • PULL the pin. This will break the tamper seal if a seal is applied.
  • AIM low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle (or the horn or hose) at the base of the fire.
  • SQUEEZE the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • SWEEP from side to side at the base of the fire until the fire is out. Wait in the area.

If the fire Re-ignites, repeat the steps above.

 

TC Fire Safety Directors


During a fire alarm, TC Fire Safety Directors may provide directions to the community via a public address system.  For your safety, please immediately follow the directions of the Fire Safety Director.


ADA Emrgency Evacuation Procedures

ADA Emergency Evacuation Procedure

 

WHEN FIRE ALARMS SOUND/FLASH:

EXIT the building immediately using the most direct route possible.

 

In Case of Fire – Do Not Use Elevators – Use Stairway!

 

INDIVIDUALS WHO NEED ASSISTANCE

Individuals who need assistance during an evacuation are encouraged to identify someone in advance who might assist them in leaving the building and/or who will inform emergency personnel of their presence and where they are located so that further assistance can be provided.

  • Ask for assistance to the nearest EXIT or room near a stairway with a window.

  • Note the room number of the location where you are. Ask someone leaving the building to notify emergency personnel of your location.

    1. If a phone is available, call-911.
    2. State your location.

 

EMERGENCY EXIT POLICY

Currently no campus building has an Area of Rescue Assistance that is operationally approved. Areas of Rescue Assistance are designated places where people with mobility related disabilities may remain temporarily in safety to await further instructions or assistance during emergency evacuations.

 
Currently, individuals with mobility related disabilities should employ the following evacuation option that best meets their individual needs.


Horizontal Evacuation to outside or another building, if available

• Stairway Evacuation if possible

• Stay in Place and signal, unless danger is imminent


All other individuals should exit the building as prescribed in the emergency evacuation signage throughout campus.

 

New Residence Hall rooms qualify as areas of refuge because:

  • They are fully sprinklered.
  • 2-way communication is available (telephone).
  • The doors, walls and ceiling are fire-rated.
  • Rooms have windows (for fresh air or to make a signal).  

Teachers College Housing

Upon request from persons with hearing or sight impairments, personnel with the Environmental Health & Safety Department will install fire alarm horns or strobe lights in their rooms.

Students with disability need to make their location known. Students with disability should register their room number and description of disability with Residential Services. The director will keep this record confidential and make it available only to responding emergency personnel for the purpose of locating persons with disability during an emergency. To ensure the list is up-to-date, the student with disability will notify Residential Services anytime he/she moves to another room in the building.

Students with temporary disability should be instructed to register with Residential Services. These students should also let Residential Services know when there is no longer any disability so his/her name can be removed from the record.

During a fire alarm, students with disability should stay in their rooms and call the campus operator 3333. They should inform the operator of their location (building and room) and reason for calling. The operator will relay the information to Public Safety, who will assist by notifying on-site emergency personnel.


Persons with disability who are visiting the residence hall should be assisted by other residents using the "Buddy System".  It is recommended that a floor meeting be conducted by the Resident Assistant during the early part of each semester to discuss disability concerns as well as to instruct everyone on the "Buddy System".  A person from the Environmental Health & Safety Department shall be available to attend the meeting to answer any questions.

 

Construction Practices and Fire Alarm System

Teachers College Construction Practices

Fire Alarm System

Any work that creates a dirty, dusty or wet atmosphere may activate the fire detection system. When this condition exists, the contractor shall request the deactivation of the fire detection system for the construction area.

If the building is occupied, the fire alarm system shall be put in the "trouble" mode during normal working hours and placed back into service upon the end of the work shift by an EHS representative or designee.

Fire suppression (sprinkler) systems shall only be deactivated by EHS fire alarm technicians upon approval of the New York City Fire Department.

Any fire alarm system to be installed in a Teachers College building shall meet the standards as set forth by the New York City Fire Department for an addressable fire alarm.

Hot Work Permits

Permits are required for the following procedures:

·             Electric or Gas Cutting/Welding

·             Brazing/Soldering

·             Grinding

·             Hot Tar Projects

·             Any Portable Gas Procedures

·             Steam Generating Work

The Hot Work Permit will be issued for a period not to exceed twenty (24) hours.

  • Responsibilities of applicant - filing for any Hot Work Permit procedure (except for emergency repair work) MUST be submitted to the proper facilities manager 24 hours prior to the commencing the work.
  • Hot Work permits can be obtained at the Office of Facility in 28 Zankel Hall or the EH &S office in Whittier Hall, Suite 1A, Room 105.  Persons authorized to approve Hot Works permits are the Director of Facilities, Manger of Facilities, and EH&S Director and Assistant Director, Fire Life Safety.
  • The person requesting the permit is responsible to insure that all required safety precautions as prescribed on the Hot Work Permit are complied with.
  • No work will be permitted on the campus unless workers are in possession of ALL necessary New York City Fire Department Permits and Certificates of fitness required to perform the task.
  • Obtaining an alarm system bypass is the responsibility of the person requesting the permit by contacting Public Safety at the CIC extension 3220.
  • Specific devices or sections of the system required to by bypassed will be determined by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety
  • The Office of Public Safety will maintain a log, using the office prefix, and number each permit in sequence.
  • When requesting a bypass the Hot Work requester must be given the permit number with the issuing office extension and communicate this to the Office of Public Safety for logging into the Master Log.
  • Verification via telephone ensuring the alarm system has been bypassed, and the mechanic has the "Green Light" to begin is the responsibility of the requester.  Call extension 3220 for confirmation.
  • All bypassed alarm systems will be restored after a maximum of 8 hours.
  • Emergency repairs after hours and on weekends will be directed by the Facilities director to EH&S office.  

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety will:

  • Monitor and log all Hot Work applications
  • Spot check work location to insure all safety precautions are complied with and Hot Works permits are posted.
  • Signed off Hot Work permits will be returned to the requesting department after one year.

Failure to notify the EHS office of hot work could result in unintended fire alarms. Repeated fire alarm activation due to unauthorized hot work may result in the New York City Fire Department imposing a monetary fine on the responsible parties.

 

Emergency Fire Response

Emergency Fire Response

The Office of Public Safety stands ready 24 hours-a-day to respond to any fire alarm or report of burning odors. Our duty is to assure the safety of everyone on the Teachers College Campus.

However, fire alarms alone do not ensure any person's safety unless that person knows how to safely exit a building when the fire alarm sounds.

Fire Drills are conducted three times a year in all residence halls.  The first drill is scheduled early in the fall semester, the second drill is conducted some time during the spring semester and the third is conducted over the summer all with advance notice. Teachers College does not conduct unannounced Fire Drills. If the Fire Alarm sounds please react it is not a drill! If residents do not evacuate a hall in a reasonable amount of time, the drill will be repeated until EHS officials are satisfied with the evacuation time. 

Fire drills are also conducted on a regular basis for the Academic Campus.  

When the fire alarm sounds, you should leave the building immediately--even if someone else tells you it is a false alarm. Do not use the elevator. Fire alarms should never be taken lightly.

You may go back into the building when personnel from Public Safety tell you it is safe to re-enter.

Public Safety responds to a fire alarm (24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year) to assist the Fire Department with building and room entry. Public Safety can also provide information about a particular area due to their familiarity with the fire alarm system and practice of inspecting buildings. They help locate the alarm area for FDNY by checking and operating the fire alarm control panel. All members of Public Safety are certified Fire Safety Directors.

 

Fire Alarm Tests

Fire Alarm Tests

 

All Teachers College Interior Fire Alarm systems are tested annually in accordance with NFPA code 72 standards. EHS maintains, inspects and tests fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers and fire hoses. In accordance with State Law, fire alarms are tested at least once a year to make sure they are working properly in case of a real fire. No one is required to evacuate a building during a fire alarm test.

During a fire alarm test, all bells and/or horns are sounded first to make sure they are operating properly. This takes approximately three to five minutes. Then the bells are silenced and the rest of the system is tested. If a bell or horn does not work, it is scheduled for repair. If you notice that a nearby bell or horn made no sound, bring it to the attention of EHS personnel conducting the test or call the EHS office at (212) 678-8164.

For the safety of students, fire alarm systems in all campus apartments and residence halls are tested twice a year (usually during August and December) in accordance with State law. The battery-powered smoke detectors in older residence halls are inspected twice a year to make sure they are functioning properly.

Fire alarm tests are scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance, with notices sent to Teachers College community and posted on the EH&S website.

 

Fire Safety Report

Fire Safety and Prevention

 

 

The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), and the Office of Public Safety, work in concert to protect the College from fire.  The Office of Environmental Health & Safety takes the primary lead in educating the College community about fire safety, and in managing the advanced fire detection and suppression systems located throughout campus. The Environmental Health & Safety’s Assistant Director, Roderic Tierney, is located in Room 103, Suite 1A, Whittier Hall, and can be reached by phone at (212) 678-8164. 

 

Public Safety Officers are trained and certified by the City of New York as Fire Safety Directors, and as such maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully respond to fire emergencies on campus.  The College maintains a working relationship with the New York City Fire Department and the New York City Department of Buildings, to ensure that College building fire systems meet or exceed applicable fire and building codes, and to ensure that fire safety best practices are applied throughout campus. 

 

Teachers College is a Smoking-Free Campus.  Smoking is prohibited in all buildings, both residential and academic.  Smoking is prohibited outside within 50 feet of any College building entrance/exit, driveway, or open window.


Continuous Evaluation and Enhancement of Campus Fire Safety

 

Teachers College is committed to continual assessment and enhancement of fire safety equipment and procedures to ensure continued compliance with New York City and National Fire Safety Standards.

  

Fire Statistics

Calendar Year 2008

 

Location

Total Fires

Fire Number

Date

Time

Cause

New Residence Hall

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

Location

Medical Facility Treatment

Fire related Deaths

Property Damage

Malicious False Alarms

Incident #

New Residence Hall

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location

Fire Alarms

Monitored

Sprinkler System

Fire Alarm System & Smoke Detectors

Evacuation Plans Posted & Fire Safety Training

Evacuation Drills Each Academic Year

New Residence Hall

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

Fire Statistics

Calendar Year 2009

 

Location

Total Fires

Fire Number

Date

Time

Cause

New Residence Hall

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

Location

Medical Facility Treatment

Fire Related Deaths

Property Damage

Malicious False Alarms

Incident #

New Residence Hall

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

0

0

0

0

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location

Fire Alarms

Monitored

Sprinkler System

Fire Alarm System & Smoke Detectors

Evacuation Plans Posted & Fire Safety Training

Evacuation Drills Each Academic Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Residence Hall

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

                                                      Fire Statistics

                                    Calendar Year 2010

 

Location

Total Fires

Fire Number

Date

Time

Cause

Value of Property Damaged

New Residence Hall

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

1

1

9/16/10

1825

Stove fire

$1000-     $ 9999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

0

0

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Location

Medical Facility Treatment

Fire Related Deaths

Property Damage

Malicious False Alarms

Incident #

 

New Residence Hall

0

0

0

0

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

0

0

0

0

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

0

0

0

0

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

0

0

0

0

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

0

0

0

0

N/A

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location

Fire Alarms

Monitored

Sprinkler System

Fire Alarm System & Smoke Detectors

Evacuation Plans Posted & Fire Safety Training

Evacuation Drills Each Academic Year

 

New Residence Hall

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bancroft

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarasota

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier

Yes

Partial

Yes

Yes

4

 

 

Fire Safety Education and Training

 

  • Fire Evacuation Team (FET) Training – The College maintains a Fire Evacuation Team (FET) charged with the responsibility to assist the Office of Public Safety with emergency and fire evacuation in campus academic buildings. The FET receives fire response and evacuation training annually at the beginning of each fall semester.

 

 

  • Public Safety Staff Training – The College maintains a proprietary Public Safety Office with Public Safety staff on-hand around the clock. Public Safety staff members provide the primary response to fire, medical, and criminal incidents on campus. Public Safety staff members receive training and certification as Fire Safety Directors.  In addition, Public Safety staff members receive, at minimum, semi-annual refresher training in fire safety, fire alarm response, and emergency evacuation. 

 

 

  • Community Assistant (CA) Training – Community Assistants employed by the Office of Residential Services are tasked with on-site management of campus residential facilities. The CA staff members receive entry level training in fire safety, fire alarm response, and emergency evacuation as part of the CA orientation training provided by the Offices of Public Safety, and Environmental Health and Safety.

 

 

  • New Resident Student Fire Safety Orientation Training – Resident students receive training in fire safety, fire alarm response, and emergency evacuation as part of the New Resident Student Orientation training provided at the beginning of each semester by the Offices of Public Safety, and Environmental Health and Safety.

 

 

  • Faculty and General Staff Training: Fire safety, fire alarm response, and emergency evacuation training is provided on request by the Office of Public Safety to both academic and non-academic offices and departments.  Presentations are provided throughout the academic calendar year. 

 

Reporting a Fire

 

  • Campus Public Safety – Emergency                                    3333

 

  • Police, Medical, Fire -    Emergency                         3333 or 911

 

*Even minor fires should be reported to the Office of Public Safety

 

Fire Safety Precautions:

  • Keep doorways, corridors, and stairwells clear and unobstructed. Keep fire doors closed.
  • Make sure that all electrical appliances and cords are in good condition and UL approved.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets. Use fuse-protected multi-outlet power strips and extension cords when necessary.
  • Never store flammable substances or combustible items (oily rags, paint, etc.) in your office or apartment.
  • The use of candles, incense, and other open flames is strictly prohibited in all College buildings.
  • Never leave cooking food or in-use electrical appliances unattended for any amount of time.
  • Become familiar with the locations of firefighting equipment near your office or apartment.
  • Become familiar with fire evacuation routes from your office or apartment.
  • When leaving for extended periods of time, i.e. vacations, unplug electrical appliances, and shut off gas stoves.
  • Ensure smoke detectors are working properly. The EH&S Office regularly tests smoke detectors in academic buildings. Residential building occupants should test apartment smoke detectors regularly.

 

What to Do in Case of a Fire

  • If you discover a fire, immediately shout a warning to other occupants and pull the nearest fire alarm as you exit the building.
  • Remain calm.
  • When evacuating the building, remember to feel doors before opening them to be sure that there is no fire danger on the other side. If you must enter a smoke-filled room or hallway, stay low, keeping one hand on the wall to avoid disorientation and crawl to the nearest exit, keeping your head near the floor.
  • Provide assistance to persons with disabilities. Notify the TC Office of Public Safety if persons with disabilities are in the area and may need to be relocated.
  • Provide assistance to other individuals in your immediate area.  Attempt rescue efforts only if there is no immediate danger to you.
  • If the fire is small, and if you have had training, use the proper type of fire extinguisher to control and extinguish the fire.  Do this only after the evacuation has started and the Office of Public Safety has been notified (by activating the fire alarm or by calling ext. 3333).
  • Close all doors and windows in the vicinity of a fire.
  • Once you are safely away from danger, call the emergency number for the Office of Public Safety, extension 3333, to report the fire.
  • Once outside, away from danger,
  • Stand by, outside the building and out of danger, to direct emergency teams to the location of the fire, and then proceed to your department’s designated gathering point at least 500 feet away from affected buildings.  Stay there.
  • Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrant areas, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and workers.
  • If requested, assist staff of the TC Office of Public Safety as necessary.
  • Do not return to an evacuated building until given the “all clear” sign by TC Public Safety staff.

For persons with disabilities: 

It is suggested that individuals who use wheelchairs or who have a mobility impairment prepare for an emergency ahead of time by asking coworkers or fellow students to plan on providing assistance in an emergency.  It is also suggested that individuals contact the Director of the Office of Public Safety and/or the Director of the Office of Access & Services for Individuals with Disabilities for assistance with planning for emergencies.

 

  • During an emergency evacuation due to fire, building elevators should not be used.
  • Evacuation may not always be necessary or advisable.  If persons with disabilities cannot be transported from the building without using an elevator, assist persons with disabilities to the nearest fire stairway landing on each floor of the building.  Immediately notify TC Public Safety staff or other rescue workers on-scene upon the arrival of persons with disabilities to the rescue area.
  • DO remain in your room if you cannot get out of the building because of heat or smoke.
  • Call Public Safety right away. Keep the door closed and await for assistance from the Fire Department. If smoke is entering around the door, stuff the crack under the door with sheets, clothes, or blankets. If possible, open the window and wave a brightly colored garment or towel from your window—the Fire Department will be looking for this sign.
  • DO close the door behind you if it is safe to leave your room.
  • DON’T waste time collecting personal valuables. Take your keys so that you can reenter your room if exit from the building is not possible.

 

Fire Response Dos and Don’ts


  • DO treat every alarm as an emergency. If an alarm sounds, exit the building immediately.  
  • DON’T assume that a fire alarm is a drill or test. All building alarm systems are tested as required by law, but these tests are announced in advance.

The College does not schedule unannounced fire drills.

Be aware that transmitting a false alarm is a criminal offense that endangers the lives of both building occupants and emergency personnel. It is also an offense to prop open fire doors or to tamper in any way with alarm equipment, electromagnetic locks, or other life safety devices or to block or obstruct paths of egress.

Safety Inspections

All Teachers College-owned buildings are inspected by Public Safety monthly. This is to ensure compliance with all applicable codes such as OSHA, EPA, ADA, NYC Fire Code and NFPA Life Safety. Inspectors check for hazards such as:

  • burned out exit lights
  • improper storage of flammable items
  • blocked or missing fire extinguishers
  • blocked exits and congested hallways
  • unsecured pressurized cylinders
  • improper use of extension cords
  • missing guards on dangerous equipment
  • Firemen Service Elevator Operations
  • poor housekeeping
  • Emergency Lighting

NOTICE:  Any boxes, equipment or furniture that has been placed in a hallway or stairwell is subject to removal at the request of EHS.

Laboratories in all University-owned buildings are inspected annually for general laboratory safety concerns such as:

  • proper signage
  • chemical storage
  • presence and condition of emergency equipment
  • condition of laboratory equipment
  • general laboratory conditions
  • presence of required records documentation  

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are inspected monthly and serviced annually in each building to make sure they are ready for emergency use in accordance with NFPA 10 . Sometimes extinguishers are found empty. Someone has either used it on a small unreported fire (all fires should be reported) or has discharged it "for fun." Occasionally extinguishers are stolen. If not discovered and corrected, these situations can make a big fire out of a little one. The purpose of fire protection equipment is to be available when needed.

EH&S is responsible for the installation, location, maintenance, inspection, refilling and (when necessary) replacement of all 700 fire extinguishers on campus and in outlying areas. Different extinguishers have different uses. When installing extinguishers on campus, EH&S determines the type of extinguisher needed in a given location based on the hazard potential.

 

Standpipe and Sprinkler Systems

Standpipe and Sprinkler System



Standpipe and Sprinklers are an important part of the fire protection system in campus buildings. Like fire alarms, these systems are inspected on a monthly basis in accordance with NFPA standard 25 . Their purpose is to suppress a fire and keep it from spreading. Water flowing in the system triggers the fire alarm.   Please report any leaking sprinkler equipment to the Environmental Health and Safety Department at (212) 678-8164.


A popular activity in some buildings, "hall sports" (throwing objects like balls and Frisbees in hallways) can damage fire sprinkler system equipment. Designed to be sensitive to rising temperatures, sprinkler heads can easily be damaged when they are bumped. Likewise, hanging any clothing, decorations, or other objects from sprinkler heads and pipes can also cause damage.

Water from a sprinkler can leave oily stains on carpet and other furnishings. All repair costs due to negligence are charged to the department that sustained the damage. Residential Services is charged with any damage in residence halls--and will attempt to bill the person responsible in order to keep down costs.