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What Should You Do When the Fire Alarm Activates?

In this blog, we’ve outlined some of the main things that individuals should do and should not do in the event of a fire, to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.

If you hear the fire alarm, it’s important to stay calm and follow the building’s evacuation procedures. Depending on where you work and the type of building in which you work, these procedures may vary slightly. However, there are some general steps that everyone should take when the fire alarm sounds.

What You Should Do When an Alarm Goes Off

As previously mentioned, the evacuation procedure that you’ll need to follow will be unique to your place of work – so make sure that you’re fully aware of each of the steps in your procedure. However, there are a couple of things that everyone should do, no matter where they work:

Act Quickly

Once the fire alarm sounds, how quickly you act determines how successful your evacuation will be. It’s important to remember that a fire can spread incredibly quickly, so you need to move fast. If you’re in an office building, try to leave the building as quickly and calmly as possible. If you’re in a store, head for the exits. And if you’re in a school, follow your teacher’s instructions.

Evacuate to the Assembly Area

Once you’ve left the building, it’s important to go to the designated assembly area. This is usually a safe distance away from the building, where everyone can be accounted for. By evacuating to the assembly area, you’re ensuring that everyone in your workplace is accounted for and safe. If everyone is not accounted for at the assembly area, that could be an indication that people are still inside the building. In this case, it’s important to notify the authorities so that they can carry out a search of the building.

What You Shouldn’t Do When the Alarm Sounds

Being aware of the steps to take in the event of a fire is critical, however, knowing what not to do can be considered of equal importance – ensuring that individuals aren’t going to be acting in a way that puts themselves or others at risk:

Don’t Stop to Collect Your Belongings

When the alarm sounds, it’s important to resist the urge to grab your belongings before you evacuate. belongings can be replaced, but your life cannot. So, leave everything behind and evacuate the building as quickly as possible.

Don’t Attempt to Extinguish Large Fires

In the event of a small fire, it might be possible for you to put it out – however, if the fire is large, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Trying to extinguish a large fire can be incredibly dangerous and put yourself and others at risk.

Don’t Use the Elevator

When evacuating a building, always use the stairs – never the elevator. This is because elevators can become stuck or even caught in the event of a fire, trapping individuals inside. If you’re unable to use the stairs for any reason, make sure that you let someone know so that they can assist you in evacuating safely.

Don’t Re-Enter the Building

Once you’ve evacuated the building, it’s important not to go back inside. Even if you think that the fire may have been extinguished, it’s still not safe to enter the building. If someone is missing, make sure that you let the authorities know so that they can conduct a search of the premises.

Don’t Leave Fire Doors Open

When evacuating a building, make sure that you close all of the doors behind you – this includes fire doors. Leaving doors open can allow smoke and flames to spread more quickly, putting people at risk.

Don’t Block Escape Routes

When evacuating, make sure that you’re not blocking any escape routes. This includes staircases, corridors and exits. Blocking escape routes can impede other people’s ability to evacuate safely and quickly.

In summary, it’s important to stay calm and act quickly when the fire alarm sounds.  Evacuate the building immediately and go to the designated assembly area. Do not attempt to extinguish large fires, use the elevator or re-enter the building. Make sure that you close all doors behind you, including fire doors, and do not block any escape routes.


By following these steps, you can ensure the safety of yourself and those around you in the event of a fire.

Fire Alarm Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I am outside of the building and the alarm goes off?

If you are outside of the building, you should move to a safe location away from the building. If you are unable to safely move away from the building, you should stay where you are and await further instructions from emergency personnel.

What should I do if I am in a hallway and the alarm goes off?

If you are in a room or hallway when the alarm goes off, you should evacuate immediately. Proceed to the nearest exit and leave the building as quickly and safely as possible. Once you are out of the building, move to a safe location away from the building and await further instructions from emergency personnel. Do not use elevators during a fire alarm – use the stairs instead.

How can I prevent a fire from happening?

There are several things you can do to prevent a fire from happening: never smoke inside, always use caution when cooking, and be aware of electrical hazards. Additionally, make sure to practice proper fire safety procedures such as having an evacuation plan and knowing how to use a fire extinguisher.