Evacuation of Disabled Persons

These guidelines for the evacuation of disabled persons from University buildings have been endorsed by the Department of Risk Management & Safety, the University of Arizona Police Department, the Tucson Fire Department, the Disability Resource Center, Residence Life and the ADA/504 Officer. They are general guidelines to address most evacuation scenarios.

Emergency Situations

If a person with a disability is able to exit the building without use of the elevator, then evacuation should follow the appropriate route out of the building. If exit from the building is only possible by use of the elevator, follow the procedures outlined below:

  • The disabled person should proceed or ask for assistance to the nearest enclosed or exterior stairwell or "area of safe refuge" and remain there. In case of a fire, enclosed building stairwells are "safe refuge areas," and have a higher fire resistive rating. The disabled person should notify an individual (i.e. a co-worker, supervisor, instructor, or building monitor) of their specific location. If possible, the disabled person can notify 911 of their location. In Residence Halls, if the disabled occupant cannot leave his or her room immediately without the assistance of another person, they should remain in the room. Notification can be made by calling 911.
  • Make sure the door to the stairwell is closed. Open doors will violate the "safe refuge area" and will allow smoke, and possibly fire, into the stairwell.
  • Once outside, anyone with information should inform the Tucson Fire Department Incident Command Center that there is a disabled person in a stairwell, which floor the person is on, and location of the stairwell or refuge area. When stairwell evacuations are necessitated, such decisions and evacuations will be made by TFD. UNIVERSITY PERSONNEL SHOULD NEVER ATTEMPT TO CARRY ANYONE DOWN THE STAIRS.

Non-Emergency Situations

Persons with a disability who need assistance leaving a building in a non-emergency situation (elevator outage, etc.) should follow the procedures outlined below:

  • Contact UAPD (621-8273). UAPD will send personnel to the location to assess the situation and will contact TFD for all evacuations. Improper evacuation techniques could harm the evacuee; therefore, UAPD will not evacuate any disabled person because they are not trained to do so.
  • Elevator outages will be reported to Facilities Management (Residence Life Maintenance for residence halls) by UAPD for immediate response. However, in the event of elevator cars stuck between floors, no removal of passengers will be performed until the car is properly leveled.
  • TFD will address non-emergency evacuations on a priority basis. This may mean a delayed response until TFD can respond.
  • UAPD personnel will remain with the person until egress is restored (i.e. elevator has been repaired) or TFD responds. They will maintain contact with TFD and Facilities Management to determine response time.
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