Rally Points

Building 37 (McNair) Building NE-83 Buildings NW17/NW22
  • Primary: Courtyard in front of Bldgs 33 & 35
  • Alternate: Vassar St, near Bldg 34
  • Inclement Weather:
    • Primary: Lobby of Bldg 9
    • Alternate: Lobby of Bldg 34
  • Primary: Area between 300 One Kendall
    Square and Draper Lab loading docks.
  • Alternate: Corner of Hampshire St &
Across Albany St in front of
Bldg NW21


General Procedure in the Event of Fire

When an alarm sounds:

  1. Do not stop for valuables or to get a coat.
  2. Shut off electrical appliances.
  3. Leave lights on.
  4. Close doors and windows.
  5. If you lock your door, take your keys with you.
  6. Alert others around you.
  7. Assist any special-needs people in evacuating.
  8. When evacuating, WALK, never run, and keep to the right of the hallways.
  9. Leave the building, even if the alarm stops while you are on your way out.
  11. Once outside, move away from the building to allow room for the firefighters and their equipment. Proceed to the rally point and look for others who work with you to ensure everyone has evacuated.
  12. Give any information about the fire or about persons who might still be in the building to your Warden, the fire department, MIT Emergency Response Team, or MIT police department.
  13. Do not re-enter the building for any reason until told to do so by the MIT Emergency Response Team or MIT Police Department.

If you cannot leave because all exits are obstructed:

  1. Crawl or stay low to the floor where there is cleaner and cooler air.
  2. Get to a phone, dial 100, and let someone know where you are.

Of particular importance:

  1. Keep calm. A fire may be hot, noisy, and generally overwhelming, but your best weapon is a composed and logical approach.
  2. Assume there is a fire when the alarm sounds. Take it seriously.
  3. Do not call the MIT Police Department or Department of Facilities to ascertain if there is a real fire.
  4. Do not use the elevator. The shaft may act like a chimney, and the car may stop at the fire itself. Elevators may also act like giant pistons, pushing smoke and fire to other portions of the building. Use the nearest exit stairway or passageways to an adjacent building.
  5. Do not run if your clothes catch fire. Running will only fan the fire, causing it to intensify. Drop to the floor and roll back and forth to smother the flames. Call for help. Rescuers can smother the flames by quickly wrapping a blanket, coat, sheet, or rug over the victim.
  6. Leave the building. This includes lobby areas. Not doing so is considered interference with fire fighting operations and violators of this Massachusetts state law are subject to a fine, inprisonment, or both.

Exiting horizontally:

Horizontal evacuation generally means to move on the same floor to another section in the same building or an adjacent building rather than exiting vertically via the stairs or elevator. The advantage to horizontal evacuation is that one may remain inside, protected from the weather, and avoid descending over stairs. Hence, this method is of primary importance to people with disabilities.

For horizontal evacuation to be effective, one must pass through smoke barriers and/or fire barriers. Usually this means smoke or fire doors or perhaps a firewall. The terms fire doors and smoke doors are really synonymous except a fire door can withstand a fire and prevent its passage more effectively because of heavier construction materials and a heftier frame. Smoke doors and their frames are comparatively more lightly constructed and cannot withstand a rigorous fire for as long a period as a fire door. Both, however, will keep deadly smoke and fire confined long enough to make an escape or rescue possible provided they are kept closed. Doors blocked open with wedges, broken or improperly working doors, a fire hose or other object holding the door even a little is enough to render the designed safety effect useless.

It is important to note when evacuating horizontally that it is not enough merely to exit into an adjoining building. It is necessary to go beyond an operating fire or smoke barrier.

Evacuation of Persons with Disabilities

Horizontal evacuation will be used whenever possible. Refer to the floor plan for possible routes.

If horizontal evacuation is not possible, staff will assist individuals with disabilities to the nearest enclosed stairway that is free from smoke and tell the person to remain there until help arrives (Fire department, MIT Police Department, etc.). If possible, we will send someone to dial 100 to inform the MIT Police Department of the stairway and floor location.

Evacuation in the Event of a Bomb Threat

Evacuation procedures are the same as fire evacuation procedures except it is permissible to use elevators to evacuate. The elevators, however, should be reserved primarily for those who are disabled, elderly, pregnant, have heart or respiratory conditions, or other medical conditions. Others should exit via the stairwells to expedite evacuation. Please follow the directions of supervisory personnel during this situation.

Note: The handling of explosives is strictly a job for professionals. Should you notice something you suspect may be a bomb because it is an unusual item in an area you are very familiar with, do NOT touch it! Report it to the MIT Police Department, Emergency Response personnel, or Fire Department personnel. Be prepared to describe the item and its location.

Evacuation in the Event of an Explosion

In the event that an explosion occurs, use the Fire Evacuation Procedures.