Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation Guidelines


A building evacuation goes into effect in the event of a fire or other emergency that requires all occupants to immediately leave the building to ensure their safety.

How to Prepare for a Building Evacuation:

Take the time now to familiarize yourself with emergency stairwells, exit routes, and the assembly area for your primary location, as well as for all buildings that you frequent. Evacuations are mandatory for fire alarms and when directed by authorities. No Exceptions!

Signals: A building evacuation will be signaled by the building fire alarm, including strobe lights, audible alerts, and/or other means of emergency notification (e.g., UIC Emergency SMS or other alerts by first response agencies).

Action (Get Out!): When you receive the notification, leave the building and proceed to the assembly area in the building’s evacuation plan.

  • Evacuate the building as quickly as possible using the primary or alternate exit routes. Dial (312) 355-5555 or 911 and be prepared to give the exact location of the emergency, including the building address, building name, and cause of the emergency, if known.
  • Pull the manual fire alarm to prompt a response for others to evacuate.
  • If time permits and these operations can be performed safely:
    • Turn off equipment.
    • Secure hazardous materials.
    • Take critical personal items only.
  • Assist those who need help, but carefully consider whether you may put yourself at risk.
  • Look for exit signals indicating potential egress/escape routes.
  • If you are not able to evacuate, go to an Area of Rescue Assistance.
  • Evacuate to the Evacuation Assembly Area and remain there until additional instructions are given.
  • DO NOT use elevators.
  • Alert authorities to those who may need assistance or any missing or trapped persons.
  • DO NOT reenter the building until authorized emergency personnel give the “all clear” signal.

If you have any questions regarding your designated Evacuation Assembly Area, please contact your Floor Coordinator or the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) at (312) 996-SAFE.

How to Know When it’s Safe to Return to the Building:

UIC Police will provide additional information at each Evacuation Assembly Area. You may only reenter a building when authorized by them.

If a fire or other incident makes a building unsafe to enter for a significant period of time, building occupants may be temporarily relocated.


In the event of an evacuation, people with physical disabilities that prevent them from exiting the building with others should:

  • Proceed to the nearest stairwell and wait there to be evacuated by a member of the UIC Police Department or an emergency responder.
  • If possible, ask another person to accompany you to the stairwell. Ask him/her to immediately inform UIC Police and/or other emergency responders of your exact location (floor, stairwell number, etc.) once he/she has evacuated.
    • If a Floor Coordinator is present, inform him/her of your need for assistance so he/she may give your location to a UIC Police officer and/or other emergency responder.
  • Once you are in the stairwell, use a cell phone to call UIC Police at (312) 355-5555 and provide the following information:
    • Exact location
    • Name
    • Cell phone number
    • Any information needed to assist in evacuation
  • If help does not arrive within 5 to 10 minutes, call UIC Police again. Be persistent!