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Emergency Response Guide: Fire Safety


In the event of a fire or the detection of smoke, a well-executed plan can minimize the threat to life and the extent of property damage. Fire and smoke are generally detected through personal observation or through smoke detector sensors. Fires are often caused by carelessness, equipment failure, and unfortunately arson, where someone may deliberately set the fire.

Fire is one of the most dangerous hazards due to the ease in which it can start and the devastating consequences that can result. The risk factors can be many; location and construction of the building, types of materials stored at the site, the surrounding environment, response of fire department personnel, and access to fire hydrants.


  • If fire is suspected, activate the alarm, immediately call 3540 or 718.636.3540, alert others, and help remove anyone who needs assistance from the immediate danger of the fire or smoke.
  • Close all doors to confine and delay the spread of fire and smoke as much as possible.
  • When you hear the evacuation alarm, move to the nearest fire exit or fire exit staircase (do not use elevators).
  • Proceed to the designated evacuation assembly area outside the building unless directed to an alternate location.
  • If your clothing catches on fire, stop-drop-roll!
  • If you are trapped in a specific area, wedge wet clothing or towels under the door to keep out the smoke. Call 911 to notify authorities of your location.
  • Never use the palm of your hand or fingers to test for heat. Burning your palm or fingers could hamper your ability to crawl or use a ladder for escape.
  • Be prepared; know where you are and where the exits to the outside are located. If heavy smoke is present, crouch low or crawl. Hold breath as long as possible or breathe through your nose using handkerchief or shirt as a filter.
  • If you have to move through flames, hold your breath, move as quickly as you can, cover your head, and stay low.
  • If fire is contained to a small area and if it is safe to do so, use a fire extinguisher; pull safety pin from handle, aim at base of fire, squeeze the trigger handle, and sweep from side to side. (Watch for re-flash).
  •  Be familiar with how fire extinguisher operates.
  • Do not use water on an electrical fire. Use a fire extinguisher approved for electrical fires. Know where fire suppression equipment is maintained.
  • Smother oil and grease fires in a kitchen area with baking soda, salt or by putting a non-flammable lid over the flame.
  • If you cannot escape by a door or window, hang a white or light colored piece of clothing out the window to let firefighters know your location.