Emergency plan for those with disabilities

The following evacuation procedures are intended for anyone with a permanent or temporary disability who is unable to evacuate a building unassisted or via the stairwell. You are asked to contact the Student Accessibility Centre and/or Security and Traffic if you have specific concerns. All information provided will remain confidential; only those persons coordinating the required assistance will have access to your information. Students with disabilities are also advised to inform their professors/instructors that they may require assistance during an evacuation.

Campus accessibility

The University will make its best efforts to ensure there is barrier-free access to buildings including parking areas, pedestrian routes, accessible entrances (ground level with automatic door openers), elevators and accessible washrooms.

The University accepts as a priority that future construction of campus facilities will incorporate principles of universal design and barrier-free access. Recognizing our unique challenges, e.g., the topography and legacy of old buildings on the Fredericton campus, work continues towards the renovation of existing facilities to ensure accessibility is a priority.

If you require additional assistance during emergency, you are recommended to contact the Student Accessibility Centre and/or Security and Traffic, preferably prior to arriving on campus so that your individual needs may be adequately considered.

Individual responsibilities

All members of the university community, including students with disabilities, are reasonably expected to take responsibility for their own personal safety. Please take the following steps upon arriving to campus:

  • Familiarize yourself with the building(s) you frequent.
  • Know the location of all fire exits and stairwells.
  • Taking into consideration the nature of your disability, plan how you would respond to an emergency.
  • Identify yourself to your professors/instructors and discuss your plans with them.
  • In all larger buildings, there are Fire Wardens who are responsible for the evacuation of all individuals – contact Security and Traffic at the beginning of each term with your class/study schedule in these buildings if you require assistance in evacuation.
  • Initiate a "buddy" system with a classmate to assist in case of emergency.

Campus emergency plans

You are encouraged to read and become familiar with the "In Case of Fire" procedures which are posted in all university buildings adjacent to fire pull boxes, the Emergency Procedures booklet (gold in color) posted in all buildings on bulletin boards and near telephones, or access emergency procedures, including the procedures for the fire wardens who will assist you.

Fire drills are conducted in each building in each semester. Fire extinguishers are routinely inspected and maintained by Facilities Management.

Fire wardens

The dean, chairperson or administrative head of the unit is responsible to ensure that fire wardens are designated for all larger buildings/complexes and in any building where persons with disabilities may require additional assistance to safely evacuate. Fire wardens are usually faculty members or support staff volunteers who are also caring members of the departmental safety committee. 

Fire wardens are responsible to provide assistance to all occupants of the building and Security personnel during emergency evacuations as well as practice drills. Fire wardens and their alternates are responsible for coordinating the orderly evacuation of their floor/section of the building as follows:

  • Wear the orange arm band supplied by the EHS Office
  • Ensure all persons are evacuated from the floor of the building; assist persons with disabilities and visitors as necessary (pre-planning may be necessary to ensure persons with disabilities have assistance or are taken to a pre-designated safe area to be determined in consultation with Security).
  • En-route to the designated exit, if there is no immediate danger to personal safety, ensure all windows and doors are closed, laboratory equipment (such as heating elements) is switched off, valuables secured, etc. Proceed to designated exit and remain outside the door to discourage re-entry to the building until the “all clear” is given by Security personnel.
  • Depending upon the nature of the emergency, stand by to provide information such as the location and severity of the emergency and location of persons with disabilities and their buddies to emergency responders.
  • Return to the building when so directed by Security personnel.
  • Review the UNB Emergency Procedures Booklet and "In Case of Fire" poster above fire pull stations periodically to ensure you are aware of emergency procedures.

In an emergency situation:

If you cannot safely evacuate, proceed with your buddy to the designated safe area you have arranged with Security and Traffic. The safe area is normally the nearest fire exit stairwell (do not enter the stairwell; remain just inside the set of fire doors at the head of a stairwell) and provided there is no immediate or apparent danger, wait with your buddy until the main flow of traffic has passed. Make your presence known to the fire warden in the area. Fire wardens can be identified by the orange arm bands that they wear during an emergency evacuation. The fire warden will inform emergency responders of your location. Fire exits are fire-rated and provide a safe refuge, therefore you will be quite safe there until evacuated.

Once out of the building, the fire warden will report your location to the chief warden. The chief warden in turn will relay this information to the Fire Department who will assume control of the emergency situation and decide how to effectively respond. The Fire Department might conclude that you are in no danger and that evacuation is not required.

If, on the other hand, evacuation is necessary, the Fire Department can over-ride the controls that operate the elevator. If the fire fighters decide that they cannot safely use the elevator, with their specialized equipment and training, they can physically evacuate anyone needing assistance by other means.

We are fortunate on the UNB Fredericton campus that the Fire Department is nearby and can normally respond to a University alarm within minutes. Under these conditions, a person with disabilities is far safer to wait a few extra minutes to be assisted by professionally trained fire fighters.

When the fire alarm sounds, and if there is no fire warden in the building, you should:

  • Evacuate the area immediately proceeding to the nearest fire exit stairwell
  • Report the alarm using one of the following methods:
    • Dial emergency 911 (from UNB office and lab phones)
    • Dial 911 (from Residence rooms or pay phones – no coin required)
    • Dial UNB Security at 453-4830
    • Press the “Security” direct access key on UNB coin operated phones (no coin required)
    • Use the red emergency phones located in some buildings
    • Use the emergency phones (with blue flashing light) located on the grounds to inform Security of your exact location.
  • If there is no telephone, ask someone who is evacuating to inform the responding emergency services (e.g., fire warden, UNB Security, Fire Department, police) of your location.

By remembering these simple procedures you will be able to better react during an emergency. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Accessibility Centre or Security and Traffic.

Supplementary information

Do not use elevators

Under no circumstances should elevators be used to evacuate unless you are directed to do so by a member of the Fredericton Fire Department. Using an elevator during an emergency, such as a fire, could seriously endanger your personal safety.

Classrooms and lecture theatres

It is the responsibility of the professor/instructor to evacuate the classroom or lecture hall in an orderly fashion by the nearest and safest exit route. Fire wardens will oversee the evacuation from the section or floor of the building.

"In case of fire" procedures (as posted on campus)

Upon discovery of the fire:

  • Evacuate fire area immediately
  • Activate fire alarm (Pull Box)
  • Leave building
    • Use nearest safe exit or stairwell
    • Do not use elevators
    • Assist any persons with disabilities
    • Remain calm
  • Assemble outside building entrance
  • Call fire department - dial 911
  • Provide:
    • Your name
    • Your phone number
    • Your location (UNB campus, building, room no.)
  • Notify Security
    • Dial 453-4830 by phone or use the blue emergency phones on the grounds, red emergency phones inside buildings or the direct access key on coin-operated phones (no coin is required).
    • Notify Security immediately if you extinguish a fire.

Unplanned events:

All maintenance concerns, such as interruption to utility services, should be reported to the Facilities Management Work Control Centre during normal operating hours at 453-4889 or after hours to Security at 453-4830. Inquiries relating to interruption in communications should be directed to the IT Service Desk at 457-2222.