Emergency Evacuation

University of Central Arkansas (UCA) students who may require special assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation should consider filling out the UCA special assistance/emergency preparedness form.  Students who require special assistance are encouraged to develop their own evacuation plans and identify their primary and secondary evacuation routes from each building they use.

Note: most UCA buildings have accessible exits at the ground level floor, which can be used during an emergency. Elevators cannot be used because they have been shown to be unsafe in an emergency and in some buildings they are automatically recalled to the ground floor.

Evacuation Guidelines

The evacuation of a building during a fire alarm is required, regardless of cause, In accordance with regulatory requirements and University of Central Arkansas policies and procedures everyone must evacuate a building in which a fire alarm is sounding. Fire alarms include, but are not limited to: accidental alarm, false alarm, or conditions caused by fire and/or smoke.

The following are the Emergency Evacuation Guidelines for persons with special needs and/or disabilities at the University of Central Arkansas. As a standard practice:

Persons with limited mobility:  individuals who walk with canes, crutches,  walkers, etc., and those who utilize wheelchairs should decide whether or not  they can descend stairs or evacuate the building with little assistance from  others. If not, they should:

  • Stay in place within their room, or
  • Move to an area of refuge.

Persons who are blind or have low vision-persons who are blind/low vision can, with the assistance of others, evacuate a building using the stairs if they are familiar with their immediate surroundings and frequently traveled routes  and if stairs are safe to use. If the blind/low vision person is unfamiliar with the emergency evacuation route, they should either:

  • Stay in place within their room, or
  • Move to an area of refuge.

Persons who are deaf/hard of hearing-many buildings on campus are equipped with fire alarm strobe lights; however, there may be some remaining with audible alarms only. Emergency instructions can be given by writing a note to evacuate. Reasonable accommodations for persons who are deaf/hard of hearing may be met by modifying the building fire alarm system or through other alternative methods.

Evacuation Options

Individuals with disabilities have four evacuation options:

A.   Horizontal evacuation: using building exits to the outside ground level or
going into unaffected wings of multi-building complexes,

B.   Stairway evacuation: using steps to reach ground-level exits from the building.

C.   Stay in Place:  unless danger is imminent, remain in a room with an exterior
window, a telephone and a solid or fire resistant door. If an individual  requiring
special evacuation assistance remains in place, they should dial 450-3111
immediately, and report their location to the University of Central Arkansas Police
Department (UCAPD), who will in turn relay that  information to emergency
personnel (Conway Fire Department).  If you remain in the room:

  • Call 450-3111 and report your location so that on-site emergency personnel can be informed and respond.
  • Notify others, that you are doing so.
  • If possible, close the door to prevent smoke and fire injury.

The Stay in Place approach may be more appropriate for sprinkler protected buildings
or buildings where an area of refuge is not nearby or available. It may also be more appropriate for an occupant who is alone when the alarm sounds

D.  Area of Refuge:  an area of refuge is an area that can be used as part of the
required means of egress for persons that are disabled. These areas are
located on floors above or below the buildings and exits can be used by
individuals with disabilities until rescue can be facilitated by the fire
department. UCAPD or your resident coordinator can assist in identifying
these locations. Areas of refuge can be pressurized stair closures in
high-rise buildings, or fire rated corridors adjacent to exit stairs and
pressurized elevator lobbies.

Go to an area of refuge away from obvious danger, Residence life staff will then go to the building evacuation assembly point and notify the on-site emergency personnel of your location. Emergency personnel will determine if further evacuation is necessary.