Fire Safety News & Highlights

Important Fire Safety Information

Dear Faculty and Staff,

George Mason University strives to be a place where everyone can thrive, and that means being aware of how to make and keep our campus safe. We encourage you to become familiar with the university’s building evacuation procedures and fire safety resources.  The university is required to inform you of these procedures under Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

Evacuation Procedures: The following procedures must be observed when a fire alarm occurs, or you are notified to evacuate a building by Mason Alert or emergency response personnel.

  • If you become aware of a dangerous situation that requires evacuation, activate the fire alarm by using a manual pull stationlocated next to a building exit door. 
  • Notify Emergency Responders by dialing 911 and report the situation and associated details if known.
  • Do not use elevators during a fire or evacuation.
  • Assist individuals with physical disabilities and those unfamiliar with evacuation procedures. 
  • Exit the building by way of the nearest safe exit. Please note that the safest exit may be different than the one you use on a daily basis. 
  • Assemble outside of the building (at pre-designated assembly area identified by your office/unit), take account of your colleagues, and await further instruction from emergency response personnel.  
  • Report missing persons to emergency response personnel.  
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so by University Police or emergency response personnel. 

Evacuation and Fire Safety Plans: All university buildings have Evacuation Plans posted that identify primary and alternate evacuation routes, fire extinguisher locations, pull station locations, and the location of available automated external defibrillators(AEDs). Evacuation Plans also indicate recommended designated assembly areas; however, each office is encouraged to identify their own designated assembly area and record it in the Emergency Procedures Guide (flip book) provided by Emergency Management.  If your office/unit requires Emergency Procedures Guides, please contact Emergency Management at   

Specific instructions on how to evacuate a building are documented in the university’s Emergency Evacuation Guide. The university also maintains a Fire Safety Plan that is available to faculty and staff which outlines the strategies and procedures used to protect buildings and work areas from fires. 

Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on the university’s fire safety procedures. If you have any questions or concerns about Mason’s emergency and fire safety programs, please contact SEERM at or 703-993-8448.

Safety, Emergency, & Enterprise Risk Management 


Fire Safety News & Highlights

Campus Fire Safety Month

September is Campus Fire Safety Month, and the Environmental Health & Safety Office (EHS) is pleased to use this opportunity to remind the Mason community of a few essential fire safety tips. In addition to the advice below, EHS encourages you to review the university’s Fire Safety Plan, which describes roles and responsibilities, policies, and procedures designed to mitigate the causes of fire, prevent loss of life and property by fire, and outline the procedures used to maintain fire protection and life safety systems at George Mason University.

Stay Warm…and Safe!

With cold weather approaching, it’s important to be aware of heating safety practices. While the university permits the use of personal space heaters, they must be used in accordance with the directives below.

  • Space heaters must have tip over automatic safety cut-offs and wiring that is in good condition.
  • All combustible materials must be removed at least three feet from the space heater.
  • Never place a space heater directly on top of combustible paper products, wood, or fueled equipment.
  • Space heaters must be plugged directly into the wall, without the use of an extension cord or power strip.
  • Space heater may never be used in areas where hazardous materials (i.e., flammable materials) are used or stored.
  • Space heaters must be turned off when they are left unattended.
  • Heaters must have a ceramic element. Coil elements are not permitted.

Download this tip sheet from the National Fire Protection Association to learn more about heating safety practices.

Fire Emergencies – Evacuation

Most of us have a habit of entering and leaving our offices through the same door. In an emergency, that exit door may not be accessible, and you’ll need to quickly locate an alternate way out.

Evacuation Plans, like the one pictured here, are posted throughout all university buildings. Students, employees, and visitors are encouraged to know and use two exit routes for all buildings and know your designated assembly area. Evacuation plans also show the location of fire extinguishers and pull stations.

Review your evacuation plan today, and if you have any questions or need additional guidance, please contact EHS.

Training Opportunities

EHS offers Fire Extinguisher Use training to all members of the university community. In this engaging, one-hour course, you’ll learn how to operate a fire extinguisher through hands-on practice and classroom instruction. Visit to register for a class today, or contact EHS to schedule a group session for your office.

Emergency Management Fire Safety News & Highlights Occupational Health

Heat Safety Tips and Resources

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Emergency Management Fire Safety News & Highlights

University Landline 911 Calls to be Transferred to Local County Police Agencies

This summer, 911 calls placed from university landline phones will start being transferred directly to local county police agencies. This modification will ensure uniformity in all Fire/EMS and Police 911 calls, as all cell/mobile 911 calls are currently answered by the local police agencies.

Should you dial 911 from a university landline, the local police agency will transfer your call to the George Mason Police Communication Center, located at the Police and Public Safety Center on the Fairfax Campus.

All police responses will still be handled by George Mason Police Department, and calls made to the department via the non-emergency line (703-993-2810) and the TDD line (703-993-2817) will be received by the Fairfax Campus Communications Center. The Arlington Campus police line (703-993-8070) and SciTech Campus police line (703-993-8370) are also unchanged.

Changes in the transfer of university landline 911 calls will go into effect on the following dates:

  • Arlington Campus: July 9 (Arlington County 911 Center)
  • SciTech Campus: July 16 (Prince William County 911 Center)
  • Fairfax Campus: July 23–25 (Fairfax County 911 Center)

Questions about these changes may be directed to University Police at 703-993-2810.


This announcement was originally posted to News at Mason on June 23, 2019 – follow this link to view the original post: