Fire Alarm Evacuation Policy

Medford/Somerville and Grafton Campuses

When the Fire Alarm sounds, act immediately to ensure your safety. The Fire Alarm System is designed and engineered to provide you with an early warning to allow you to safely exit the building during an emergency situation.

  • Never ignore or assume the alarm is false or the result of a test. 
  • Everyone must evacuate the building by way of the safest and closest exit and/or stairway.
  • Never use an elevator to exit during a fire alarm activation.
  • Once outside the building, move away from the building. Assemble across the street or along the sidewalk of the adjacent building.
  • The front of the building is where the fire fighters and fire trucks will be operating. Do not obstruct their access to the building.
  • If there is an incident occurring on the upper floors and glass is being blown out of the windows, the area below is the hazard zone where serious personal injuries will happen. Do not remain in or near the hazard zone.
  • Once outside, never re-enter the building until you are told to do so by the fire department or Tufts Police.

High Rise Building Fire Alarm Evacuation Policy

Boston Campus

On the Boston Campus, Dental, H.N.R.C., Sackler, Jaharis and M&V Complex, are defined by fire code as high rise buildings (over 70 feet) and; therefore, the evacuation procedures are floor selective. This procedure prevents large numbers of people from evacuating at the same time and causing delay and congestion in the exit stairways. When the fire alarm is activated, building occupants will hear a horn which will sound FOUR-FOUR-FOUR (4-4-4). The duration of this signal will be approximately fifteen (15) seconds. A pre-recorded voice message (female voice) will be heard over the building intercom system. Your safety depends on the following the instructions in the voice message:

IF YOUR FLOOR EVACUATION SIGNAL SOUNDS AFTER THE MESSAGE, WALK TO THE NEAREST STAIRWAY AND LEAVE THE BUILDING. WHILE THE REPORT IS BEING VERIFIED, OCCUPANTS ON OTHER FLOORS SHOULD AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS OVER THE INTERCOM SYSTEM.”

The evacuation alarm will now sound on the affected floor, the floor below and the floor above. The evacuation alarm will be a slow ‘whoop’. Upon the sounding of this slow ‘whoop’ on your floor, all occupants of the floor(s) should, without putting themselves in jeopardy:

  1. Shut down equipment
  2. Lock and secure cash drawers and valuables
  3. Close (but do not lock) office or lab doors, and
  4. Proceed to the nearest marked emergency exit on each floor. 

Do not use the elevators.

If the Boston Fire Department confirms that there is a fire/smoke or hazardous condition that threatens the life safety of the remaining occupants, the fire alarm system will sound on all floors and all occupants must evacuate the building.

  • Once outside the building, move away from the building. Assemble across the street or along the sidewalk of the adjacent building.
  • The front of the building is where the fire fighters and fire trucks will be operating. Do not obstruct their access to the building.
  • If there is an incident occurring on the upper floors and glass is being blown out of the windows, the area below is the hazard zone where serious personal injuries will happen.Do not remain in or near the hazard zone.
  • Once outside, never re-enter the building until you are told to do so by the fire department or Tufts Police.

Proger Fire Alarm

In the event that the Fire Alarm System in the Proger Building (adjacent to Dental) is activated, you will hear the following message (female voice) over the intercom system:

ATTENTION PLEASE, ATTENTION PLEASE.  BE ADVISED THAT THE FIRE ALARM SYSTEM IN THE ADJACENT PROGER BUILDING HAS BEEN ACTIVATED. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ENTERING THE PROGER BUILDING, FROM ALL LEVELS, UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE ALL CLEAR NOTIFICATION. IF FURTHER ACTION IS NECESSARY ON YOUR PART, YOU WILL BE INSTRUCTED TO FOLLOW FLOOR RESPONSE PLANS.”

When the alarm sounds, LISTEN – important information is being broadcast to you. IF YOUR FLOOR IS NOT INVOLVED IN THE INCIDENT YOU MAY REMAIN IN THE BUILDING, BUT YOU MAY BE TOLD TO LEAVE THE BUILDING once the Boston Fire Department arrives and evaluates the incident. Do not start any work that cannot be interrupted until you have received the “ALL CLEAR”.

Fire Alarm Evacuation Drills

Fire Evacuation Drills are conducted twice a year in all of the residence halls. The first drill is scheduled early in the Fall semester (September) and the second drill is conducted early in the Spring semester (January). Evacuation is mandatory for all occupants during all fire alarm activations.

Fire evacuation drills are also conducted on a quarterly schedule for Health Services and the Child Development Day Care Centers. Drills for other campus buildings are not conducted unless requested and scheduled by department managers or building curators.

When the fire alarm sounds, you must leave the building immediately. Never assume that the alarm is false or that the system is being tested. When a system test is being conducted the building will be posted with a notice indicating the day and time of the test. Most building systems are tested during the winter and summer breaks. The detection devices are very sensitive and the Fire Alarm System provides you with an early warning of an emergency situation. Even if your area is clear of any smoke or odor, do not disregard the alarm, as there could be an incident on a floor away from your area. Never use an elevator. Proceed to the nearest designated emergency exit and leave the building. Do not re-enter the building until told to do so by either a Tufts Police officer or a member of the local fire department.