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Environmental Health and Safety

Fire & Life Safety

Fire and Life safety involves numerous safety issues including fire prevention, fire suppression and emergency evacuation/response. Fire and life safety is everyone's responsibility.

Learn how to prevent fires and respond to fire- what you learn will be invaluable. The K-State administration is committed to providing a safe environment for building occupants and emergency response personnel. The Kansas Fire Prevention Code and other adopted nationally accepted codes are used as guidelines for inspections, testing and procedures on University property.

The Effects of a Fire

Most fires produce an immense amount of smoke that is highly toxic. In fact, smoke is responsible for more fire fatalities than flames.A smoky fire can have the following effect on humans:

  • Within 30 seconds - Disorientation
  • Within 2 minutes - Unconsiousness
  • Within 3 minutes - Death

Therefore, timing is critical during a fire. To ensure your safety, you must know how to prevent and respond to any fire emergency.

Fire Prevention

The greatest protection against property loss and injuries from fire is prevention. Follow these guidelines to promote fire/life safety:

  • Minimize combustible storage.
  • Store waste materials in suitable containers
  • Use flammable materials in well-ventilated areas. Use and store flammables away from ignition sources, such as cigarettes.
  • Keep equipment in good working order. Have electrical wiring and appliances inspected regularly.
  • Ensure that heating units are properly safeguarded.
  • Do not hunt for gas leaks using an open flame. Use approved gas indicators
  • Report and repair all gas leaks immediately.
  • Conduct hot work in well-ventilated areas
  • Test enclosed or confined spaces for flammable atmospheres
  • Use open flames carefully. Do not open flames where flammable atmospheres may be present.

Fire Response

If you see a fire or smoke, or if you smell smoke, complete the following steps:

  • Pull the fire pull station to begin evacuating the building.
  • If you are not in immediate danger, call 911 to report the fire. Provide the dispatcher with the following information
    • Building or area name.
    • Approximate location of the fire
    • Size and type of fire (Class A,B,C, or D)
  • If you are formally trained in the use of fire extinguishers and are not in immediate danger you may attampt to fight the fire. Do not place yourself or others in unnecessary danger.
  • Exit the building as rapidly as possible. Do not use elevators during an emergency

During actual emergencies, building occupants must receive permission from the Manhattan Fire Department, the Kansas State University Police Department of Environmental Health & Safety before re-entering the building.

Evacuation plans and fire drills are essential for building occupants to respond correctly to a fire alarm. Department personnel should plan ahead and practice safe building evacuation.


If you suspect arson, no matter how small the incident, contact the KSUPD. Do not alter the fire scene in any way, unless you are trying to extinguish a live fire. The KSUPD and Manhattan Fire Department work together to investigate possible arson.