Emergency Evacuation Guidelines

Classrooms, Administration Buildings, and Residences


Please follow these instructions in case of an emergency situation:

  • know fire-exit stair locations

  • go to the nearest fire-exit stair

  • wait on the landing of the exit stair

  • ensure that the the Division of Public Safety is notified of your location

Members of the Penn police force or members of the Philadelphia Fire Department will assist you from the building.

Responsibility of Students, Faculty, Staff, Guests and Visitors

Students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors with disabilities must be cognizant of emergency evacuation procedures.

You must be aware of the location of the nearest fire-exit stair and emergency phone. Inform another student, staff member, or administrator of your location should you be working in an isolated area of a building.

Classroom Buildings

In classroom buildings, the Office of Disabilities Services notifies building administrators of the time(s) and location(s) of classes that have students who use wheelchairs.

Administration Buildings

In administration buildings, students and staff are responsible for notifying building administrators of their arrival, location(s) and departure.

In the event of an emergency evacuation, building administrators notify the the Division of Public Safety of fire-exit stair location(s) of students/staff.

Van Pelt Library Patrons

PLEASE NOTE: Library patrons with disabilities are responsible for informing the Rosengarten staff at the Reserve Desk of the location and approximate length of stay in the building.

Library patrons who use wheelchairs enter Van Pelt Library through Rosengarten Reserve.

In addition, patrons are given a map of the physical layout of the library.

Library staff is available to answer questions about fire-exit stair locations and provide information as needed.

Residence Hall

In residence halls, your name is kept on file at the front desk so that emergency personnel are informed of your location upon arrival. (This information is furnished to the front desk by Disability Services after consultation with the student who is registering.)

Wherever you are in the residence hall, proceed immediately to the nearest fire-exit stair and wait in the area for University police officers or members of the Philadelphia Fire Department to assist you from the building.

If you are in your room and require assistance to the nearest fire-exit stair, an advisor and/or classmate identified in advance will assist you to the nearest fire tower and stay with you.

If you are alone and require assistance, notify the front desk of your location and the assistance you need.

If the number at the front desk is busy, call 215-573-3333 or 511 from any campus phone for assistance. Visual-alert devices and bed vibrators are installed in residential rooms for students who are deaf or severely hard of hearing.

Assistance from Non-disabled Students

If you are studying with a non-disabled student in a dormitory room or other campus location, please notify the Division of Public Safety at 215-573-3333 or 511 from any campus phone if a fire alarm or other emergency warning system is activated.

Then ask the non-disabled student if s/he will accompany you to the nearest fire-exit stair. Stay together in the fire-exit stair landing unless given instructions to the contrary by the Division of Public Safety or other emergency personnel.

If you have questions or comments about these procedures or if you want more information, contact the Office of Disabilities Services: 3702 Spruce Street, Suite 300 (Stouffer Commons), Philadelphia, PA 19104-6027

If you would like to learn more about Penn’s Emergency Preparedness please go to the Division of Public Safety’s website.