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Fire protection policy


The aims of this policy are to prevent fires and, in the event of a fire, to prevent injuries, loss of life, or damage to property. It is based on the applicable fire prevention codes and on University standards, as set by the Central Safety Committee.


The University Fire Prevention & Emergency Measures department has been designated to organize, and implement fire protection programs including the following areas of responsibility:

  1. Ensuring that applicable fire protection codes and internal standards are respected;
  2. Recommending fire protection policies and procedures;
  3. Arranging for regular fire safety inspections of University premises and fire protection devices;
  4. Advising Building Directors and members of the community on fire safety matters;
  5. Coordinating fire safety training activities for Evacuation Monitors and other staff members.


All members of the University are responsible for respecting this policy and for familiarizing themselves with the locations of fire alarms and evacuation routes in the areas they occupy.

Building Directors and Department Heads are responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy and for referring matters requiring corrective measures to the appropriate parties.

Evacuation Monitors are responsible for guiding and instructing building occupants in the event of an emergency or practice evacuation.

Fire Protection Regulations

  1. Safe evacuation routes are to be maintained at all times. In particular, corridors, stairways, and fire escapes are not to be used for storage.
  2. Quantities of combustible material (paper, cardboard, etc.) and flammable materials (solvents) should be kept to a minimum, and stored in appropriate locations. Users of laboratories are referred to the McGill Laboratory Safety Manual for more details on the storage of flammable solvents.
  3. Avoid the use of long or multiple extension cords. Consult with Facilities Management when considering increases in electrical current demand.
  4. Defective electrical equipment, such as frayed cords, loose connections, and overheating equipment must be taken out of service without delay and appropriately tagged.
  5. Suspected leaks of natural gas are to be reported immediately to 398-3000.
  6. Any welding, cutting, grinding, or any other activity involving open flames, sparks, or other ignition sources which may cause smoke or fire or which may trigger detection systems may only begin upon the issue of a Hot Work Permit, available from the Departments of Facilities Management and Facilities Development. Workshops equipped with appropriate fire prevention and suppression facilities are exempt from the requirement for Hot Work Permits.

Suspected Fires/ Fire Procedure

Anyone discovering smoke, strong smell of burning, or smell of an unusual nature, should immediately:

  1. Pull the fire alarm.
  2. Begin evacuation procedures as describe below;
  3. If it is safe and you are trained to do so, use the correct fire extinguisher to put out the fire;
  4. Once evacuated, inform the authorities of the location and nature of the fire, the unsafe exits, persons requiring assistance, and other pertinent details;
  5. Remain available to Security to fill in incident reports.

In case of a fire alarm in your building

Always begin evacuation procedures, as follows:

  • Secure any hazardous materials before leaving and quickly perform any “Equipment Shutdown Procedures”, if applicable;
  • Evacuate the premises in a swift, orderly fashion using the nearest safe exit;
  • Do NOT use the elevators;
  • Follow the instructions of Evacuation Team;
  • Provide assistance to persons with disabilities or with special needs;
  • Move completely away from the building. Go to the meeting point*, as directed by the evacuation team, or at a distance of at least 100 m from the building;
  • When you are away from any danger, call 911 and McGill Security: for Downtown Campus call (514) 398-3000 and for MacDonald Campus call (514) 398-7777;
  • If you have special knowledge about the evacuation or incident remain available to Security and the authorities.  Inform them of the location and nature of the fire, injuries, persons requiring assistance and other pertinent details.  Remain available to Security to fill in incident reports
  • You may only re-enter the premises when it is officially authorized.


Simply use your common sense. Be prepared by knowing your work area, the equipment you work with and the fire protection equipment, such as portable fire extinguisher, manual pull station, etc. Have in mind that your personal safety comes first.