Apply Now

Fire/Earthquake/Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely, and in the college research setting, these materials are handled daily. Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects and damage to buildings, homes and other property.

If there is a hazardous materials release/chemical spill inside a building:
  • Isolate and secure the spill area.
  • Warn others in the immediate area.
  • Based upon the hazard, attempt cleanup if trained and if you have appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • If assistance is needed, call 911 and give the location and type of material spilled.
  • Evacuate the building if required (use of public address system preferred or use of building fire alarm system).
  • Meet with and assist emergency response personnel.
If there is a hazardous materials release/chemical spill outside the building:
  • Isolate and secure the spill area.
  • Warn others in the immediate area.
  • Based upon the hazard, attempt cleanup if trained and have appropriate personal protective equipment.
    If unable to do cleanup but conditions do not require evacuation, contact the emergency management coordinator at 501.882.4469.
  • If assistance is needed, call 911 and give the location and type of material spilled.
  • Do not wash spilled material into storm drain.
  • Meet with and assist emergency response personnel.
If there is a personnel injury involving chemical contamination:
  • Assist with emergency eyewash/shower use, as appropriate.
  • Provide first aid immediately for serious injuries.
  • Call 911 and give the location and type of material involved.
  • Notify the Emergency Management Coordinator at 501.882.4469.
  • If it is possible to remove contaminated clothing without harming the victim, do so.
  • Obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the material involved. A Safety Data Sheet is a document created by a manufacturer or distributor of a chemical that provides information about the contents, characteristics, physical hazards and health hazards associated with the chemical.

ASU-Beebe lies within the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). Due to the nature of the bedrock in the earth’s crust in the central United States, earthquakes in this region can shake an area approximately 20 times larger than earthquakes in California. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in the NMSZ is expected to cause major damage near the fault system in the Missouri bootheel, northeast Arkansas, western Kentucky and Tennessee.

If an Earthquake occurs:

  • DROP down onto your hands and knees before the earthquake knocks you down. This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
  • COVER your head and neck and your entire body if possible underneath a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • HOLD ON to your shelter or to your head and neck until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

If you are inside, stay inside.

Do not run outside or to other rooms during an earthquake. You are less likely to be injured if you stay where you are.

To reduce your chances of being hurt, take the following actions:

  • If possible, within the few seconds before shaking intensifies, quickly move away from glass, hanging objects, bookcases, china cabinets or other large furniture that could fall. Watch for falling objects, such as bricks from fireplaces and chimneys, light fixtures, wall hangings, high shelves and cabinets with doors that could swing open.
  • If available nearby, grab something to shield your head and face from falling debris and broken glass.
  • Do not use the elevators. The electricity may go out, and the sprinkler systems may activate.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor can cause injuries if you walk or roll onto the floor.
  • If you are trapped, stay calm. Try to get someone’s attention by tapping on hard or metal parts of the structure. Doing so may increase your chances of being rescued.

If you are in a crowded place, drop, cover, and hold on.

  • Do not rush for the doorways. Others will have the same idea.
  • Move away from display shelves containing objects that may fall.
  • If you can, take cover and grab something to shield your head and face from falling debris and glass.

DO NOT stand in a doorway. You are safer under a table. In modern houses, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house. Doorways do not protect you from the most likely source of injury − falling or flying objects. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by falling or flying objects such as TVs, lamps, glass or bookcases, or by being knocked to the ground.

If you are outside, stay outside

  • Move away from buildings, utility wires, sinkholes, and fuel and gas lines. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls of buildings.
  • Go to an open area away from trees, telephone poles and buildings. Once in the open, get down low and stay there until the shaking stops.
  • The area near the outside walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be. Windows, facades and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. Stay away from this danger zone.

If you cannot drop to the ground, try to sit or remain seated so you are not knocked down.

  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock your wheels. Remove any items that are not securely attached to the wheelchair.
  • Protect your head and neck with a large book, a pillow, or your arms. The goal is to prevent injuries from falling down or from objects that might fall or be thrown at you.
  • If you are able, seek shelter under a sturdy table or desk. Stay away from outer walls, windows, fireplaces and hanging objects.
  • If you are unable to move from a bed or chair, protect yourself from falling objects by covering up with blankets and pillows.
  • If you are outside, go to an open area away from trees, telephone poles and buildings, and stay there.

After an Earthquake

  • Check for injuries and provide first aid.
  • Check for safety. Check for gas, water and sewage breaks. Check for downed power lines and shorts, and turn off appropriate utilities.
  • Check for building damage and potential problems during aftershocks.
  • Clean up dangerous spills.
  • Wear shoes.
  • Turn on the radio and listen for instructions from public safety agencies.
  • Use telephone for emergencies only.

Support Links

In some emergency situations, such as flooding or release of hazardous materials, emergency responders may order protective actions for persons who live or work on campus. Typically, these protective actions are to evacuate to a safer area or to shelter-in-place. It is possible that some emergency scenarios could result in one of these protective actions being ordered for one part of campus and the other protective action for a different area of campus. When such actions are warranted, you will be appropriately advised by police, fire, safety or college officials via radio and television stations and the Vanguard Emergency Alert System, public address systems, loudspeakers, door-to-door notifications or other appropriate means.

Area Evacuation
An evacuation is an organized withdrawal from a building or area to reach safe haven. Upon notification to evacuate, quickly:
  • Dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Take only essentials with you such as eyeglasses, medications, identification and cash/checkbook/credit cards. Do not pack belongings.
  • Turn off unnecessary equipment, computers and appliances.
  • Close the door as you exit your room or office.
  • Follow the directions provided for safe routes of evacuation.
  • Listen to radio, if available, to monitor emergency status.
  • Do not use your personal vehicle for evacuation unless specifically instructed to do so. If cars are used to evacuate, protect against hazardous materials by keeping windows closed and outside air conditioning systems turned off.
  • If you need special assistance, contact your resident advisor, building manager, fire marshal or other appropriate emergency contact. If these persons are not available, call Campus Police at 501.882.8851 for assistance.
When emergency conditions do not warrant or allow evacuation, the safest method to protect individuals may be to take shelter inside a campus building and await further instructions.
  • Move indoors or remain there. Avoid windows and areas with glass.
  • If available, take a radio or television to the room to track emergency status.
  • Keep telephone lines free for emergency responders. Do not call 911 for information.
If hazardous materials are involved
  • Turn off all ventilation systems and close all inlets from the outside.
  • Select a room(s) which is easy to seal and, if possible, has a water supply and access to restrooms.
  • If you smell gas or vapor, hold a wet cloth loosely over your nose and mouth, and breathe through it in as normal a fashion as possible.
Persons with Mobility Impairment
Before an emergency, develop a personal plan for assistance during a building evacuation. Share this plan with leadership and co-workers in your area. Use the following guidelines:
  • Proceed to the nearest stairwell or exit if available.
  • Do not use an elevator in the event of fire, power failure or earthquake.
  • Persons with limited mobility or impairment(s) should be calm and remain at the exit or stairwell until assistance arrives. Make sure you inform other evacuees of your location.
Fire emergencies exist when there is the presence of smoke or the odor of burning, when there is an uncontrolled or imminent fire hazard in the building or surrounding area, where there is a spontaneous or abnormal heating of any material, or when the fire alarm is sounding. Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is no larger than the size of a waste can and you know how to operate the extinguisher safely. Always call 911 before attempting to put out the fire, so help is on the way if the fire becomes uncontrollable. Total and immediate evacuation is safest!

In preparation for a fire

  • Plan and practice an escape route.
  • Post emergency numbers near telephones.
  • Get training on using fire extinguishers.
  • Do not store combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.
  • Extension cords can be dangerous. Never run them under carpets, or anywhere they can be pinched under or behind furniture. Avoid overloading electrical sockets and plugging extension cords together.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from anything that can catch fire. Remember to always turn them off at the end of the day.
  • Pay attention to housekeeping issues. Do not clutter exits, stairways, and storage areas with waste paper, empty boxes, and other fire hazards.
If there is a fire inside a building
  • Activate a fire alarm or pull station.
  • Call 911 and give your name, building name, address, floor, location and related information.
  • Evacuate the building using building evacuation instructions.
  • Do NOT enter the building unless authorized by emergency personnel.
  • Follow instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Report to
Evacuation. When the building fire alarms sound
  • Immediately evacuate using building emergency plan procedures.
  • Walk to nearest exit/stairwell and close doors behind you.
  • Do not use the elevators.
  • Proceed to the designated gathering area outside the building and report to your floor proctor for a headcount.
  • Do not re-enter the building until cleared by authorized personnel.
  • Assist with the evacuation of individuals with limited mobility, impairments or specials needs.
If the fire is outside a building
  • Call 911 and give your name, building name, address, floor, location and related information.
  • Do not activate the building fire alarm system.
You can use a portable fire extinguisher if
  • You are properly trained and have had hands-on training.
  • It is a small, contained fire.
  • You can extinguish it within 12 seconds. Evacuate if it takes longer.

Minor Fires that Appear Controllable
Pull the safety pin from the fire extinguisher handle
Aim at the base of the fire
Squeeze the trigger handle
Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire

Major Fires that Appear Uncontrollable
  • Evacuate the building immediately and activate the nearest fire alarm pull station. 
  • Move at least 300 feet away from the building and to the designated rally point for the building.
  • Use marked emergency exits.
  • Assist individuals with limited mobility and impairments.
  • Close doors behind you as you exit rooms and the building but do not lock them.
  • Do not return to the building until cleared by the fire department or authorized personnel.

If you are unable to leave the building, you should create an area of refuge

  • Seal the room. Use wet cloth to stuff around cracks in floors and seal up vents to protect against smoke.
  • Do not break windows, unless as a last resort for escape.
  • Stay low under smoke. The freshest air is near the floor. Keep a wet cloth over your nose and mouth. Breath through your nose only.
  • Signal for help. Call 911, 9-911 from a campus phone or hang something in the window.

After the fire

  • Give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured or burned victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. Return to buildings when local fire authorities say it is safe.
  • Look for structural damage.
  • Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
  • Do not discard damaged goods until after an inventory has been taken.

Residence Halls Fire Safety

Click here for Video - Candles Fire Safety
Click here for Video - Stairwells Fire Safety

Candles are one of the leading causes of fire in both on-campus and off-campus housing and because of this, most colleges and universities won’t allow them in dorms. If you want to use candles off-campus, try flameless candles. They don’t cost a lot, they’re scented and come in a million shapes and colors. 

It’s a fact, there’s not a lot of space in your dorm room or apartment but that doesn’t mean you should store your bikes, suitcases, etc. in halls and stairwells – and especially NOT in front of exit doors. You need these areas free and clear so you can make a fast escape in case of a fire. If stuff is blocking your exits, you could easily get trapped inside the burning building.

A gas leak refers to a leak of natural gas, from a pipe or other containment, into any area where gas should not be. Although natural gas is by nature colorless and odorless, scents in the form of traces of mercaptans are usually added to assist in identifying leaks. As natural gas can explode when exposed to flame or sparks, it is important to report any suspected gas leaks immediately.

If you smell a gas odor, or if a gas monitor alarm sounds:
  • Evacuate and secure area.
  • Warn others in the immediate area.
  • Call the Physical Plant at 501.882.4526 and give your name and the location of odor.
  • Notify your department head/building manager/fire marshal/resident advisor.
  • Meet with and assist emergency response personnel.
If there is a major leak such as a pipeline break
  • Call 911 and give the dispatcher your name, location of odor and related information.
  • Initiate an evacuation of the building, or if outside, isolate the area.
  • Warn others in the immediate area.
  • Prevent source of ignition (cigarettes, electrical equipment, etc.).
  • Meet with and assist emergency response personnel.
  • Do not re-enter building or outside area until cleared by authorized personnel.
Expand Close All
Go Top