Fire and Explosions

Building evacuations don’t happen often, but if they do, Cornell Tech wants you to be safe and needs you to be prepared. Remember, all fire alarms must be taken seriously; in the event of a fire or explosion every second counts. We all share the responsibility of keeping the Cornell Tech community safe, so please be responsible and familiar with all emergency protocols; your cooperation is essential to everyone’s safety.


Assembly Areas

In the event of a building evacuation occupants should report to one of the following assembly areas and await instruction from Cornell Tech Officials or emergency responders. These are initial locations and subject to change depending on conditions. When evacuating, stay safe; keep away from the building and stay out of the street. 

Bloomberg Center: Hill #1

Verizon Executive Education Center: Hill #2

Tata Innovation Center: Hill #3

Residential Building:  Hill #4


General Directives for the Cornell Tech Community

If you see a fire, smoke condition or explosion in a building

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm pull station.
  2. Alert those in your immediate area.
  3. Evacuate quickly, calmly and safely.
  4. Exit thru the nearest safe exit.
  5. Notify others and Campus Safety & Security on your way out of the building.
  6. Stay clear of the building.
  7. Call 911
  8. Keep building access, streets and sidewalks clear for responding emergency personnel.


When Evacuating

  1. Test door knobs and spaces around the door with the back of your hand. If a door is hot, don’t open it; try another escape route. If the door is cool, open it slowly. Slam it shut if smoke pours through.
  2. If you have to escape through smoke stay close to the ground with your head one to two feet above the floor; this is where the best air quality is.
  3. If you are unable to evacuate because of fire or smoke in the building remain calm. Try to get in a room with windows and close the door; call 911 and notify them of your location.
  4. Go to a window – call or signal for help.


If a Fire Alarm is activated at an academic building

  1.  Listen to instructions over the building PA system from your Fire Safety Director.
  2.  If a PA announcement is not immediately made, everyone needs to evacuate the building – evacuation is mandatory.
  3. The outdoor Bloomberg Center, The House, and Tata terraces must be evacuated when an alarm sounds.
  4. Close doors and windows behind you while exiting (if possible) and exit the building from the closest safe exit.
  5. Upper floors do not use the elevators; you could become trapped or it could open on an unsafe floor. Do not use access stairwells (interior stairwells which are not enclosed), use the nearest egress stairwell (enclosed) to exit the building.
  6. If you can do so safely, assist those that may need help in exiting the building. If they are unable to evacuate, escort them to a safe position near the egress stairwells. Notify Campus Safety & Security or emergency responders as you exit the building.
  7. Proceed to the designated assembly area and await further instruction.
  8. Stay clear of the building. Keep building access, streets and sidewalks clear for responding emergency personnel.
  9. Do not re-enter the building until you are instructed to do so by first responders or Campus Safety & Security personnel.


If you need assistance evacuating

  1. Don’t panic – proceed to the nearest egress stairwell and remain there.
  2. Notify those evacuating of your situation so they can notify Campus Safety & Security of your location.
  3. Plan ahead – advise your floor warden or Campus Safety & Security about your situation ahead of time if you will have trouble evacuating in an emergency.


The House (Residential Building)

If the fire is in your apartment:

  1. Close the door to the room where the fire is, and leave the apartment immediately.
  2. Make sure everyone leaves the apartment with you.
  3. Close but do not lock the apartment door.
  4. Alert people on your floor by knocking on their doors on your way to the exit.
  5. Use the nearest egress stairwell to exit the building.
  6. Do not use the elevator.
  7. Call 911 once you reach a safe location. Do not assume the fire has been reported unless firefighters are on the scene.
  1. Meet the members of your household at the designated assembly area outside the building.
  2. Notify responding firefighters if anyone is unaccounted for.


If the fire is not in Your Apartment:

  1. Stay inside your apartment and listen for instructions from firefighters or building personnel  unless conditions become dangerous.
  2. If you must exit your apartment, first feel the apartment door and doorknob for heat. If they are not hot, open the door slightly and check the hallway for smoke, heat or fire.
  3. If you can safely exit your apartment, follow the instructions above for a fire in your apartment.
  4. If you cannot safely exit your apartment or building, call 911 and tell them your address, floor, apartment number and the number of people in your apartment.
  1. Seal the doors to your apartment with wet towels or sheets, and seal air ducts or other openings where smoke may enter.
  1. Open windows a few inches at top or bottom unless flames and smoke are coming from below. Do not break any windows.
  1. If conditions in the apartment appear life-threatening, open a window and wave a towel or sheet to attract the attention of firefighters.
  1. If smoke conditions worsen before help arrives, get down on the floor and take short breaths through your nose. If possible, retreat to a balcony or terrace away from the source of the smoke, heat or fire.