Welcome to DU’s Evacuation page. Most likely, you are here because you received an alert from the University, indicating the need to evacuate your current space. This page is intended to provide additional information beyond the original message received. 

Remain calm and remember to bring your phone but leave all other belongings behind so you can quickly and safely evacuate the building. Move at least 50 feet (about the length of a bus) from the building and wait for an alert indicating it is safe to go back into the building.  



The University will continue to monitor conditions. Further updates will be provided here as they become available.


Evacuation Protocols:

  • Fire
    • Pull the fire alarm. 

    • Use the back of your hand to make sure the door is not hot before opening it. 

    • Remain calm and exit, closing the door behind you if you are confident you are the last to leave. 

    • Walk, do not run and use the stairs, not the elevator. 

    • If necessary, stay low to the ground to avoid smoke and other gases that may be present. 

    • Notify anyone you encounter of the fire and the need to exit, but do not stop or slow down your own process to evacuate. 

    • Call 911. 

  • Unable to Evacuate in a Fire
    • Call 911 or Campus Safety (303-871-3000) and report your location. 

    • Remain calm and low to the ground. 

    • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire, sealing cracks with fabric or tape. If you can, wet the fabric before using it to seal the cracks and doors. 

    • Be prepared to signal from a window, but do not break the glass unless necessary (outside smoke can be drawn in when windows are broken/opened). If you do break the glass, use an object such as a chair to break the glass and then place a blanket or other item on the windowsill to protect you from broken glass while crawling or leaning out. 

    • If you do open a window, hang a brightly colored cloth or item out of the window to signal your location to rescuers. At night, you can use your cellphone flashlight to signal. 

  • Caught in Smoke While Evacuating
    • Drop to your hands and knees and crawl toward the exit, trying to keep your head 30-36" above the floor. 

    • Use the wall as your guide, feeling carefully for doors you may use as an exit. Test the doors with the back of your hand for heat before opening. 

    • Do not lay on your belly, as toxic gases can settle and form a thin layer on the floor. 

    • Use a piece of cloth over your nose and mouth, breathing shallowly through your nose. 

    • If you must advance through flames, hold your breath, move quickly, keep your head down, eyes closed, and cover your head and hair. 

    • If you believe you have caught fire, stop, drop to the ground, cover your mouth and face, and roll to smother the fire. 

  • Using a Fire Extinguisher
    • If you have been trained, your back is to an unobstructed exit, and you have a fully charged and proper type unit, you may choose to try to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself if you have not yet pulled the fire alarm, if others are still in the area, the fire is not contained, or there are big flames or visible smoke. 

    • Never fight a fire if you lack a safe escape route, the fire has spread, or you are unsure of the fire extinguisher you have available. 

    • If you cannot control the first within 30 seconds, leave the space, closing the door behind you, and evacuate the building. 

  • Persons with Disabilities

    If a person is unable to evacuate a building due to a physical disability, the following steps should be taken: 

    • If the building has a designated area of rescue, the person should be moved to this area. 

      • Law School: These are the south, east and west stairwells, floors 2, 3 and 4.

      • Ruffatto Hall: Located in both stairwells on floors 2, 3, 4 and 5. 

      • Engineering: These are located on the north stairwell in the basement, 3, 4, 5 and the roof. On the south stairwell they are on floor 3, 4 and 5. 

      • SIE Complex: Located toward the center of the building at the elevators in the basement and floors 2, 3, 4 and 5. 

    • If the building does NOT have a designated area of rescue, the person should be moved to a room that is far from danger. Close all doors and windows and ensure the room is equipped with a telephone. Call 911 or Campus Safety at 303-871-3000 and leave the phone with the person requiring rescue. 

    • Do NOT attempt to move or carry the person downstairs unless there is imminent danger of injury or death. 

  • Fire/Explosion Threat & Spills in Which Hazardous Vapors Are Present: 
    • Evacuate the area and tell others to evacuate. 

    • Close fume hood sashes if you have time to do so safely. 

    • Close doors behind you if you have time to do so. This will isolate the area. 

    • Be available to advise emergency response personnel when they arrive. Someone responsible for the room or building should be present to provide details of the incident. 

  • Laboratory Personnel (in addition to the above protocols)
    • Secure all experiments, unplug electrical equipment, and shut off research gases. 

    • Close all fume hoods and chemical containers.