Building Emergency Procedures and Resources


EH&S offers resources to help organizational units prepare for various types of building emergencies that may arise. This page provides documents that can be useful to help plan for these emergencies.

Additional information about responding to emergencies and conducting evacuation drills can be found on the Building Evacuation and Fire Drills page.

Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan

Organizational units are required to develop a written Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan (FSEP) for each campus building they occupy. EH&S provides fire safety resources to our campus partners, including a template to be used as a starting point to develop your Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan.

  • Use the EH&S template to create a building-specific plan that outlines responsibilities, emergency procedures, evacuation procedures and evacuation methods and locations.

  • Review the instructions on how to complete, publish and distribute your building’s Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan.  

Have questions?  Check our Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan FAQs.

Building emergency procedures

EH&S provides departments with quick reference guides for responding to emergencies on campus. You can add these guides to your Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan if desired.  

These guides can also be useful tools to include in an evacuation warden's clipboard provided during Evacuation Warden Training. They have been developed primarily for the Seattle campus, but can be easily modified for other areas (select editable Word files).  

Additional fire safety information is available on the Fire Safety and Prevention page.

Additional resources

Evacuation drills  

EH&S conducts evacuation drills for most campus buildings to prepare for emergencies and in accordance with the International Fire Code. The evacuation director for each building works closely with EH&S to schedule, coordinate and evaluate each drill. Please see the Building Evacuations and Fire Drills page for more information on conducting evacuation drills.

Automated external defibrillators (AEDs)  

These devices are designed to save lives following sudden cardiac arrest. Information on purchasing, registering and maintaining an automated external defibrillator can be found on the AED page.

Emergency kits

In the event of a regional disaster, families and individuals should plan to be self-sufficient for at least three to seven days. You should have an emergency kit at home with food, water and medical supplies for all members of your household, including pets. You can find more information about building an emergency kit on the UW Emergency Management website.

Employees are also encouraged to keep a smaller emergency kit on campus. Many departments have purchased the red “PreparePack” bags from PrepareSmart. This company offers a 10 percent discount to UW departments using the code UWSTAFF. Staff should customize their kits with any required medications and check regularly to make sure the supplies have not expired.

Earthquake preparation for areas that use chemicals  

Labs, shops and other areas using chemicals should take extra precautions to plan for the effects of an earthquake. The Earthquake Planning for Chemical Storage Areas Focus Sheet includes special considerations for these spaces.

Evacuation preparation for persons with disabilities

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to work with the evacuation directors for those buildings they typically occupy to develop an evacuation plan best suited for their needs.  The Evacuation Topics for Persons with Disabilities focus sheet discusses several options.  These can be tracked on the Evacuation Plan form and included with the building’s plan for future reference. 

Evacuation exemptions for medical procedures  

In rare cases, UW personnel may be allowed to delay evacuation in order stabilize a patient undergoing a medical procedure. These exemptions require additional training and administrative controls and must be approved in advance.

Exemptions must be requested in advance and must be re-evaulated every three years, or when staff and/or circumstances change. More information is available on the Evacuation Exemption Focus Sheet. To request an exemption, complete this form

Campus fire lanes

EH&S maintains a map to assist the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) in coordinating their response with the UW Police and support personnel. The UW Emergency Responders Map shows fire lanes, designated response points, hydrants, and fire department connections. Fire lanes are required per Seattle Fire Code Section 503 and may not be closed or obstructed without coordinating with the Fire Department. Some fire lanes may not be obvious because they also serve as major pedestrian paths. 

Campus emergency information

In the event of a major disaster, larger groups may be directed by the UW Police Department or the UW Crisis Communications Team to go to a campus Mass Assembly Area. These areas are equipped with emergency phones that can broadcast updates about the emergency situation.  

For additional information, refer to the UW Emergency Management web page.

Alarm sounds

If a fire alarms sounds in your building, you may hear one of the following tones:

Slow Woop Alarm
Temporal Digital 3 Alarm Tone

Reporting a fire

Report all unintended fires, including unintended open flames and smoke without a visible flame, to EH&S at or 206.616.5530. Visit the Fire Safety and Prevention page for more information on reporting fires.

Evacuation Directors and Wardens


  1. Evacuation Warden Training (Required for evacuation directors and evacuation wardens)

  2. Fire Extinguisher Training (Optional)

Frequently asked questions

More information


Building and Fire Safety Contact

(206) 685-0341
Reference Files