Washington Center

What to do in an Emergency

Fire Procedures

In the event of a fire or other hazard, you should be familiar with evacuation exits. Be prepared to use an alternative exit route if the normal exit route is blocked. On the back of each apartment front door is the fire evacuation route for your apartment.

The UC Washington Center’s fire alarm system has a horizontal notification system. This means that the alarm will sound on the floor where there is a problem and the floor directly above and directly below the source of the alarm. As soon as you hear the alarm on your floor or are notified by the building PA system that you should evacuate, please follow the procedures listed on this page. If you see others evacuating the building, it is always required that you do the same, regardless of whether the alarm sounded on your specific floor.

If you hear an alarm on your floor, do the following as quickly and in as orderly a manner as possible:

  1. Leave your apartment immediately, locking the door behind you. Be sure to carry your keys and ID with you.
  2. Carry a moistened towel with you in case you encounter smoke in a stairwell.
  3. Use the stairwells to evacuate the building. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR!
  4. When you exit the building, you will be directed to the evacuation location.
  5. Do not attempt to re-enter the building until the alarm has been turned off and a Residential Life staff member has given the signal to re-enter.
  6. In the event that you need additional assistance leaving the building, please inform the Residential Life staff upon check-in.

In the event that you discover a fire, do the following:

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm
  2. Do not attempt to fight the fire.
  3. Leave the building immediately.
  4. Report all details to the Residential Life staff member in front of the building.

In the event of a utility failure (gas leak, ventilation, plumbing, electrical), do the following:

  1. Report the incident to the Security Desk.
  2. If the fire alarm sounds as a result of a utility failure, follow the steps outlined above in the fire evacuation procedures.

If you should become trapped inside the building, do the following:

  1. Dial 9-1-1 and notify the dispatcher of your exact location.
  2. Lightly touch the back of your hand on the door and if it feels hot then do not open the door. Wet a blanket or similar item and block the space between the bottom of the door and the floor (while the door is closed). This will help keep the toxic smoke from entering the room and give firefighters a chance to rescue you.

Fire alarms, hall smoke detectors and sprinkler systems are all connected to a panel at the Security Desk. A Security Officer will respond to every emergency light on the panel.

Where To Go—Your Emergency Evacuation Plan

This plan applies to all residents at the University of California Washington Center. Potential internal and external emergencies such as fires, explosions, bomb threats, spills or chemical/biological releases may require residents to safely and efficiently evacuate the building or depending on the emergency situation residents may be required to stay within the building.


Only one type of signal will be used for the evacuation order: the overhead public announcement system will call a Code 1 and state: Code 1, evacuation plan in effect—proceed immediately to (Designated Area). Unless otherwise instructed, the Designated Assembly Area will be the Multi-Purpose Room on the 1st floor of the building. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes and bring with you prescription medications, your wallet and ID, and any medical or special dietary supplies that you might need. No student will be permitted to re-enter his or her living space until advised by the Emergency Coordinator.

The Emergency Coordinator may make an announcement to those gathered in the Designated Assembly Area regarding evacuation to a Secondary Assembly Area. Such a decision will also be announced on the overhead public announce system, stating: This building is now being evacuated, please proceed to our Secondary Assembly Area which will be the District of Columbia Emergency Shelter for Ward 2: Francis Junior High School located at 2425 N Street NW, Washington, DC.

Evacuation and Accountability while at Off-site Locations

It is imperative that all students familiarize themselves with the evacuation plan of their internship site. It is also important for each student to know the location of the Emergency Shelter closest to his or her internship site. The student must contact their campus program at the UC Washington Center once he or she has reached a safe location. The Center will make every effort to then relocate the student either to 1608 Rhode Island Avenue NW or the alternative emergency shelter site being used by the UC Washington Center.

Specifically, each student, at the internship site should:

  • Know the evacuation route safety, as well as a secondary route in case the primary one is blocked;
  • Participate in regular disaster drills at the internship site to become familiar with the process;
  • Know the location of the closest Emergency Shelter to the internship;
  • Keep a small emergency kit including: a flashlight, a whistle, sturdy shoes and UC Washington Center phone numbers for your campus administrator and duty line;
  • Carry their UC Washington Center ID when outside of the Center.