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Emergency Action Plans

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires emergency action planning in all workplaces. Each building is responsible for the development and implementation of a written EAP covering the facilities and operations under their control. Environmental Health and Safety has developed a model plan to assist buildings and departments with establishing their plans.

How to Prepare

  • Become familiar with your building’s emergency action plan.
  • Know the following information about your building:
    • Emergency coordinator.
    • Designated assembly area.
    • Two ways out of the building.
    • Type of fire protection systems (audible alarm, visible strobes, voice annunciator, sprinklers, etc.).
    • Fire alarm pull stations (if equipped).
    • Any special duties or assignments you may be expected to perform before evacuating.
  • Ensure your information is updated in TigerHub.

What To Do


Evacuation Procedures

  • Evacuate immediately unless you have specific emergency responsibilities designated in the Additional Duties section of your EAP. 
  • After you have left the building, go to the designated assembly area and remain there.  At the assembly point, supervisors will account for personnel and notify the Emergency Coordinator or the Department of Public Safety if any personnel are missing. 
  • During an emergency, visitors who may not be familiar with this plan must be informed of the requirement to evacuate.

Shelter in Place

During certain emergency situations, particularly an active shooter, chemical releases, and some weather emergencies , you may be advised to “Shelter in Place” (e.g., remain inside) rather than evacuate the building. 

  • Stay inside the building.
  • Shut and lock all windows and doors.
  • Know and follow additional procedures, depending on the situation.
  • Wait for an “all clear” to exit the room or building.

Persons with Disabilities

Planning for Assistance in an Evacuation

If you think you might need specialized assistance during an evacuation (e.g. a visual alarm device, identification of fire-exit stairwells, specialized evacuation equipment or alternative egress route planning) due to a medical condition or disability, you may contact your emergency coordinator to arrange for a needs assessment.  Self-identification is voluntary and confidential.  All such requests and any special arrangements made will only be disclosed to the Department of Public Safety and individuals who have a responsibility to assist under the plan. 

Evacuation Procedures

If you are alone at the time of a fire or emergency evacuation:

  • Notify Public Safety of your location by calling 911 or activating a blue light phone.
  • Remember that elevators are tied to the fire detection system and are not available to occupants once a fire alarm sounds.
  • Proceed to the nearest fire-exit stairwell or area of refuge and wait on the landing for assistance.
  • To ensure that your location is known, tell an individual who is evacuating to notify the Department of Public Safety at the designated assembly point of your location.  Members of the Department of Public Safety, the Princeton Fire Department or the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad will assist you from the building.

University Fire Emergency Policy and Procedure

In case of a fire emergency*, call 911 or activate a blue light phone.  The Department of Public Safety has primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies and summoning outside assistance when necessary.  Unauthorized re-entry into a building during a fire emergency is not permitted.  Violators of this policy are subject to University and state fire code sanctions.

Building occupants are not required to fight fires.  Individuals who have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire may use a portable fire extinguisher to fight small, incipient stage fires (no larger than a waste paper basket).  Firefighting efforts must be terminated when it becomes obvious that there is risk of personal harm.

Each University Department must designate an Emergency Coordinator responsible for developing and maintaining a departmental Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and training employees on all elements of the plan as well as any special duties assigned specific individuals.  During a fire emergency, only individuals designated in the EAP may remain in the building to fulfill their responsibilities.  All other occupants must immediately evacuate the building in accordance with the departmental emergency action plan.


The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for providing all new employees or other regular building occupants with initial Emergency Action Plan training.  All building occupants must be familiar with the contents of this plan and reminded of its contents annually.  The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for full dissemination of any changes to the plan following the annual review.

Fire extinguisher training and the arrangement of fire drills is available upon request through the University Fire Marshal’s Office.

Additional Information

Contact Environmental Health and Safety (609-258-5294) or the University Fire Marshal.

* A fire emergency is defined as (1) an uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard, (2) the presence of smoke or the odor of burning, (3) the uncontrolled release of a flammable or combustible substance, or (4) a fire alarm sounding.

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