Fire Safety FAQs

What do I do when the alarm goes off?

Instructions to Occupants in Case of Fire

When you discover a fire in the building:

  1. Leave the fire area immediately.
  2. Sound the fire alarm by activating the nearest red fire alarm pull station.
  3. Call the Fire Department, dial 9-1-1 from a safe location and give address: (B.C.I.T Building____, (street address), (Municipality).
  4. Close doors behind you while leaving the building via the nearest safe fire exit.
  5. Remain calm and assist others.
  6. Proceed directly to the Designated Assembly Area

If you hear the fire alarm:

  1. Leave the building immediately via the nearest safe fire exit
  2. Close doors behind you while leaving the building
  3. DO NOT use the elevators
  4. Remain calm and assist others.
  5. Proceed directly to the Designated Assembly Area

General Information

While exiting, walk, do not run. Shut all doors behind you and alert those who have difficulty hearing that an emergency evacuation of the building is under way. Proceed along corridors and through exits in a quiet and orderly manner. High-heeled shoes are hazardous while proceeding downstairs, and it is advisable to remove them before entering the stairwell. Do not push or jostle.

Assist persons requiring assistance to reach the nearest safe exit.

When you have reached the outside of the building, move away from the doorway to allow others behind you to emerge from the exit and proceed to the assembly area.

DO NOT use the elevators

DO NOT RE-"ENTER THE BUILDING FOR ANY REASON until you have been advised to do so by the Fire Department.

What are Designated Assembly Areas?

Designated Assembly areas (DAA) are situated around campus as muster points in case of building evacuation. The DAA allows people to safely congregate leaving a clear path for emergency personnel access.

View map of campus designated assembly areas

What is a refuge Area?

All BCIT buildings have areas of refuge. These are found in building Fire Separations and are generally found in building stairwells.Individuals with mobility impairments should access these areas during evacuations and wait for emergency fire personnel.

How do I add/remove Fire Extinguishers or other Life Safety Equipment?

Schools/Departments who require additional life safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, must make a request for review by Facilities Services. All costs of installations and the required Fire Plan updates will be the responsibility of the requesting department. Ongoing inspection and maintenance activities will be taken on by Facilities Services.

When are Fire Drills scheduled?

Fire drills occur on a regular basis in order to prepare the BCIT community for a fire event and to comply with legislative requirements.

View upcoming Fire Drills at BCIT campuses.

How do I perform an inspection on portable fire extinguishers (PFE)?

Portable fire extinguishers must be ready to use at all times. Facilities maintenance performs monthly and annual checks of fire extinguishers, however it is good practice for area occupants to periodically inspect PFEs in their work areas.

If any problems are noted, please submit a work request to BCIT Facilities.

Is it a problem to store equipment or materials in the hallways?

The answer, in most cases, is yes! Not only can these items present fire hazards, storage of equipment or materials in hallways, even on a temporary basis, can seriously impact the safety of building occupants and first responders during a fire event. Consider, for example, that if a fire occurs, visibility will be greatly reduced. If you are trying to exit the building--perhaps by crawling on the floor to minimize your exposure to smoke--those items in the hallway could impede your ability to get out quickly. Or, if they're easily movable (rolling carts, for example) and you bump into them, they could actually obstruct your exit access.

Also, during a fire the first responders may be dragging fire hose down the corridor. If there is storage or easily moved equipment located in the hallway, the hose could catch on these stored items and either obstruct the hallway of impede response efforts.

In general, any furniture located in the means of egress must be approved for that location through Facilities and Campus Development. Never store anything in stairwells!

Are employees expected to use a fire extinguisher?

In general, there is no employer expectation for employees to attempt to extinguish a fire or otherwise stay in their workplace for any reason upon being notified of a fire emergency.

Certain employees, however, may need to be trained to use fire extinguishers based on their job duties or work location. Persons who oversee hot work operations (welding, cutting or brazing), who work in fuel dispensing areas, or where there are unusual fire hazards, for example, would fall in this category.

Do I need a fire extinguisher in my area?

If you feel that you require a Fire Extinguisher in your area, please contact BCIT Facilities Maintenance to have your area evaluated for Portable Fire Extinguisher needs. This evaluation will include determining the type and size of the extinguisher that would be appropriate for the space and operation.

Is Fire Extinguisher training available?

Yes, training is available upon request. Training is encouraged for personnel who are expected to use fire extinguishers, such as chemical laboratory personnel, those performing welding/cutting (i.e. "hot work"). Please contact Samantha Garofalo to arrange training.

How can I get my fire extinguisher serviced?

After an extinguisher is placed in an area, it is scheduled to be inspected and tested periodically by Facilities Maintenance. If extinguishers in your area require servicing, please submit a BCIT Facilities work request.

Can I use a space heater in my area?

Many buildings on campus have uneven heat distribution, resulting in occupants to bring electric space heaters into their work areas. Employees are encouraged to work with Facilities Maintenance to correct heating and cooling issues in their work areas. Although the practice of bringing heaters into the work area is discouraged, it is recognized that certain conditions require this measure to be taken. Anyone using space heaters should be aware that, if used improperly, electric space heaters can increase the risk of fire significantly. If you choose to use a space heater, be sure you comply with the following:

How do I determine the maximum occupancy load for a space?

Please contact BCIT Facilities for help with this calculation.

What are intentional false alarms?

A false alarm is an intentional activation of a fire alarm when no emergency exists. This does not include malfunctions of the alarm system. False alarms have the potential for causing panic and harm to building occupants unnecessarily. Anyone caught making a false alarm may be subject to criminal charges and referred for disciplinary action per BCIT policy.

What is the BCIT smoking policy?

BCIT has 7100-PR6 Smoking Locations procedures. This procedure outlines that smoking is prohibited inside all BCIT buildings and vehicles and within 6 meters of building entrances, open windows, eating areas (with the exception of the Student Association Pub patio), building air intakes, parkades, thoroughfares and covered walkways. Outdoors, discarded smoking materials carelessly tossed in waste containers or into landscaping can easily start a fire. Use approved waste containers to discard all smoking materials properly.

Where do I get an evacuation or emergency exit map for my area?

Building fire plans and evacuation maps are maintained by the Safety, Security and Emergency Management Department. Please contact BCIT_Safety_and_Security@bcit.ca for any related inquiries.