Occupant Fire Emergency Responsibilities


  1. Each Occupant should appoint a Fire Warden and an Alternate for every 7,500 square feet of space. Searchers should also be assigned for each floor. Full-floor and multi-floor Occupants will require multiple Fire Wardens and Alternates. The people chosen should be individuals who rarely travel and who are familiar with names and faces of all employees in your office. One Fire Warden should be responsible for the development and implementation of the Building's Safety Program with the Fire Safety Director. This program should include:

    • Development of evacuation plans.
      • Familiarize employees with the location of all exit stairwells.
      • Familiarize employees with the location and proper use of fire extinguishing equipment within the Building.
      • Inform employees who is responsible for the order to evacuate.
      • Inform the Management Office of all handicapped people who might require assistance during evacuation.

    • Assignment of fire-fighting responsibilities.
      • Designate and train individuals in fire-fighting techniques for small fires only (areas of less than 10 square feet).
      • When fire-fighting personnel arrive, give them the information they need regarding the cause of the fire and the status of fire-fighting efforts.

    • Train employees in emergency response procedures.
    • Practice emergency procedures to assure familiarity with individual responsibilities.
    • In the event of an actual fire on your floor, make sure the fire alarm has been transmitted.
    • The Occupant on each floor should complete the reference chart on page 3 in consultation with the Fire Safety Director. This chart and any changes should be recorded promptly and sent to the Fire Safety Director. A current copy of this chart should be conspicuously posted within each Occupants space.
    • On multiple Occupant floors, the Occupants should know the Fire Warden and be familiar with the Reference Chart on page 3
    • Provide for Fire Warden and Deputy Fire Warden identification such as armband, hat and whistle, which are to be used during the fire drills and actual fires.
    • The Occupants are required to keep the premises in a safe and clean condition. Aisles, corridors and exit doors are to be kept clear of obstructions.
    • Auxiliary fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers, which can be found near the stairwells, should be kept accessible for immediate use. The Occupants should provide additional specialized equipment for specific fire hazards and high-risk areas, such as computer rooms, storage areas, etc.
    • Occupants are required to participate in the annual drills scheduled by the General Manager to familiarize employees with fire exits, fire alarm procedures, etc. Employees should assemble in the designated areas and follow the instructions of the Fire Wardens.
    • The Management Office is available to assist you in organizing training sessions for your designated employees.
  1. In the event of a fire in the Occupant's space. The Fire Warden and the other designated employees should initiate the following emergency procedures:
    • Close all doors and transoms leading to the fire.
    • Immediately call the Management Office at 703-226-2750, and report the fire's exact location and what is burning, and activate a pull station. The activation of a pull station shall notify the Fire Department via alarm monitoring company (Datawatch Systems).
    • Initiate fire-fighting operations. Occupants should attempt to extinguish small (areas of less than 10 square feet) fires unless doing so would expose them to personal danger and/or cause delay in calling the Management Office, or in evacuating the area. If the fire is in a wastebasket, move it to a less dangerous location if possible. If machinery is on fire, shut off power to it.
    • Use available fire extinguishers. Use Building "ABC" fire extinguishers for paper wood, cloth, plastic, rubber, grease, oil, or electrical fires.
    • If after the discharge of 1 fire extinguisher, the fire is still active, immediately evacuate the building. Follow all evacuation procedures.


Due to the fire resistant qualities of the Highline at Greensboro District Building, immediate evacuation is only necessary:

  • From the floor where the fire is burning.
  • From floor areas one story above the fire floor.
  • From the floor area directly below the fire floor.
  • When ordered to leave by the General Manager or Assistant Manager, Police or Fire Department personnel.

In most instances when evacuation of an area is required, only the fire floor and one floor immediately above and one floor immediately below will need to be evacuated. (The Fire Department will designate a floor for their Command Post). In order to ensure clear uninhibited entry for the Fire Department into the Building and to the fire area, it is extremely important that all Occupants evacuate in the precise manner and to the exact area designated by the Building's General Manager or Assistant Manager, Fire Safety Director, Fire Warden, or Fire Department.

The following evacuation procedures should be observed:

  1. If possible, grab purses, wallets, valuables, etc. as soon as the order to evacuate is given. You will not be allowed back into the space until the Fire Department or Building Management say it is safe to re-enter.

  2. Before opening any door to the corridor, check the door and doorknob for heat using the back of your hand. If it is warm, stay in your office and caulk around the door seams, an extra garment or some type of tape. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!! Find another exit to the corridor.

  3. If both your door and doorknob are cold, and you leave your office:
    • Check for smoke in the corridor.
    • When smoke is present, stay low by crawling since clean air is closest to the floor.
    • Everyone should proceed quickly, but calmly to the nearest stairwell. DO NOT RUN! All the stairwells are constructed with fire-resistant materials to provide safe evacuation for building occupants. DO NOT bring drinks and coffee cups into the stairwell.
    • DO NOT PANIC! Panic is the most harmful and most difficult element to control in an emergency. Avoiding panic is accomplished through the following steps:
      1. Knowledge of procedures which must be followed.
      2. Confidence in the responsible personnel's ability and guidance.
      3. Calmness and self-confidence of responsible personnel.

    • DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS! Recent reports have indicated that elevators frequently travel to the fire floor.
    • Check stairwells for smoke.
    • If the corridor and/or stairwells are smoke filled, RETURN TO YOUR OFFICE and call the Fire Department at 911 and report your exact location.
    • Once you are in the stairwell, should you encounter smoke on your descent, get out of the stairwell into any clear corridor and proceed to a different stairwell.
    • Evacuate to the exact area designated by the Building's General Manager or Assistant Manager, Fire Safety Director, Fire Warden, or Fire Department.
    • If your designated evacuation area is outside of the Building, move to areas across the street to insure you do not inhibit fire-fighting activities. The stairwells exit the Building on the ground floor.
    • Should smoke prevent your descent in the stairwells, exit to the alternate.

  4. A Fire Warden (and an Alternate) should be designated to walk the suite to assist employees and make sure everyone is aware of the evacuation order.
  5. The last person leaving any enclosed office area should close the office door, without locking it. This will help to confine any fire until the arrival of the Fire Department.
  6. Form a single-file line at the stairwell exit door and proceed calmly and carefully up or down the staircase to the floor designated in the evacuation instructions. No one, however, should open any door without first checking to see if it is hot. If the door is hot, there is undoubtedly a fire on the other side. Proceed to another floor. PLEASE NOTE THE SIGNS ON DOORS INDICATING IF ACCESS IS PROVIDED.
  7. Conversation should be kept to a minimum. Everyone should stay in a single-file line on the right side of the staircase.
  8. Once the evacuation has begun, no one should attempt to re-enter the evacuated area until it has been declared safe by the Fire Department officials or Building Management.
  9. During evacuation, handicapped persons should be helped into the fire-protected stairwell. Security or Fire Department personnel will meet them in this area and assist their evacuation to the designated rendezvous floor. The Occupant Safety Coordinator should notify the Management Office as to the location of handicapped employees so that security personnel may respond to assist their evacuation.
  10. Upon arrival at the rendezvous floor designated by the Fire Warden or General Manager or Assistant Manager, everyone should remain in the prearranged corridor area. No one should wander about the floor or leave the floor unless directed to do so by the Fire Department or Building Management.
  11. The Searchers or Deputy Fire Warden should proceed to take a head count to determine if everyone is accounted for. If someone is missing, this information should be relayed to the security personnel at the rendezvous floor.

If evacuation of an area is not possible because fire or thick smoke blocks all escape routes, the following procedures should be observed.

  1. Move as far away from the fire as possible. Close all doors and transoms as you go. Every closed door between you and the fire provides a barrier against smoke.
  2. If a phone is accessible, call the Fire Department (911 or 703-691-2131). If you are unable to reach the Fire Department, then the Management Office (703-226-2750) with your precise location.
  3. Stuff clothing or other material around ventilation ducts and cracks in the doors to prevent smoke-filled air from penetrating the area.
  4. Open a window just a crack and hang a cloth or other signal outside to attract the attention of the firemen.
  5. DO NOT BREAK THE GLASS. Under certain conditions, an open window may draw smoke into the area. If the glass has been broken, there will be no way to stop the smoke from entering the room.


  1. Occupants should make arrangements with Building Management to protect areas such as computer rooms, mailrooms, and duplicating and storage areas with fire-rated enclosures and fire extinguishers. If the size or value density of these areas is large, smoke detectors or automatic extinguishing systems should be considered. Call the General Manager (703-226-2750) if you need any assistance in arranging the purchase of any of the above equipment.
  2. Occupants should take steps to safeguard their business from the effects of a fire in the Building by protecting vital documents and company records. Off-site storage duplicate records, or fire-resistance storage areas can do this. The specific method of protection will depend on the size and nature of the material involved.

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