Update your building emergency plans


As we look forward to a safe return to on-site work and in-person instruction, evacuation directors and building coordinators should review their building emergency plans, including Fire Safety and Evacuation Plans, to ensure that plans integrate COVID-19 face covering and distancing requirements with emergency evacuation procedures.

EH&S has updated the Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan Template to provide additional guidance and considerations for emergency evacuations during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Evacuation directors and building coordinators must communicate changes made to building emergency plans and procedures to floor wardens and personnel returning to work on site.

After consulting with the Seattle Fire Department, we have developed an evacuation drill protocol that includes COVID-19 safety measures for the Seattle campus. As more personnel return to work on site, EH&S will be scheduling building evacuation drills that will include the following steps:

  1. We will notify the building alarm service and the UW Police Department that a test will be conducted of the building alarm system.
  2. We will use the building fire alarm communication system for the affected floors to provide notification to the occupants ahead of sounding the horns and lighting the strobes on the affected floors (or entire building).
  3. We will activate the fire alarm panel to sound the horns and light the strobes on the affected floors (or entire building) so the occupants know what the alarms sound and look like. (Building occupants will not evacuate during the alarm test).
  4. We will announce the test of the alarm system is complete and treat any additional alarms as real.
  5. We will notify the building alarm service and the UW Police Department upon completion of the test of the building alarm system.
  6. After testing the alarm system, EH&S will assist evacuation wardens and directors to conduct a controlled movement of personnel from affected floors (or the entire building) to the evacuation assembly point areas while maintaining a 6-foot distance and wearing face coverings, especially at the evacuation assembly point.
  7. We will conduct our usual post-evacuation briefing at the assembly point that covers needs during an actual emergency.
  8. We will give the “All Clear” so people can reoccupy the building while maintaining 6-foot distance and wearing face coverings.
  9. Resume normal building operations.
  10. We will work with the evacuation director to document conducting the "drills" under COVID-19 guidelines.

EH&S can work with building coordinators and evacuation directors to conduct drills as buildings become occupied. The emergency evacuation drills help ensure personnel who have returned to work on site are as prepared as possible for building evacuations.

Contact the EH&S Building and Fire Safety Team at 206.685.0341 for assistance with updating your building emergency plans.