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Building Evacuations and Drills

From time to time, building evacuations and drills are required to ensure the safe exit of occupants. These could be in response to an active fire alarm or in response to a fire in the building. In some cases, it could be in response to a non-fire hazard in the building.

In accordance with Ryerson University’s Evacuation Policy and Evacuation of Disabled Persons Guidelines, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) has prepared the following guidelines:

Be prepared, stay informed

Know the location of the fire exit, fire alarm and fire extinguisher closest to your office or classroom. Familiarize yourself with the procedures below so that you are generally prepared in case of a fire. There are approximately 200 designated fire wardens across campus. Find out who the google sheetdesignated fire warden, external link is for your area.

Evacuation plans for people requiring assistance

There are many types of health conditions and impairments that may affect a person’s ability to safely evacuate a building. Review what steps to take to plan for the evacuation of people requiring assistance.

What to do

Upon hearing an alarm or being directed to leave, the person in charge of a class, meeting or activity is responsible for stopping the activity and directing people to leave by the nearest safe exit. You must comply with this person and quickly and safely exit the building.

Provide assistance to persons with disabilities/special needs as appropriate.

  1. Leave the fire area immediately, removing any person in immediate danger. Make sure that the doors to the affected area are closed.
  2. Activate the fire alarm system by pulling the nearest pull station (i.e. stairwell) as you leave the fire area.
  3. Do not use a fire extinguisher unless trained. You are not to put yourself at risk.
  4. Call 911 when it is safe to do so. Provide them with the details and do not hang up until you have provided all the information.
  5. Exit the building using the nearest stairwell.
  6. Before opening any doors, test the door for heat by using the back of your hand.
    1. When you check a door for heat, you should always use the back of your hand and not your palms. If you burn your palms, it may make it difficult for you to use them to open doors or crawl on the floor if needed.
  7. If the door is hot, leave the door closed and unlocked. If you are in an office with no alternate exit, remain where you are and alert 911 to your location. Otherwise, try an alternate exit.
  8. If the door is not hot, brace yourself against the door and open it slightly. If you feel air pressure or a hot draft, close the door quickly, leaving it unlocked. If you are in a room with no alternate exit, remain where you are and call 911 and alert them of your location.  Otherwise, try an alternate exit.
    1. If the door is not hot and you did not feel air pressure or a hot draft, walk to the nearest exit and leave the building.
    2. Use the stairwell and/or exterior exit doors to exit. Do not use the elevators. If you encounter fire or smoke in the stairwell, use an alternate exit (crossover).
  9. If a door feels too hot to the touch, do not open it. There could be fire/smoke on the other side and both factors may impair your ability to continue down to the ground floor.
  10. Remember to remain calm.
  1. Stop whatever you are doing.
  2. Drop to the ground.
  3. Roll to smother the flames.
  1. Take short breaths through your nose, stay low and crawl if necessary. Do not stop. There is less smoke at floor level.
  2. Call 911 and alert them of your location. They will coordinate with local authorities to locate you.

Do not re-enter the building until the “all clear” is given Toronto Fire Services.

  1. Return to an office and close the door, leaving it unlocked.
  2. Seal off all openings which may admit smoke to the room.
  3. Crouch low to the floor if smoke enters the room.
  4. Call 911 and alert them of your location. They will coordinate with local authorities to locate you.

Fire alarm systems at Ryerson

Ryerson is equipped with two different alarm systems: single and two-stage. Several of the buildings that students, faculty and staff occupy are maintained by Ryerson. However, there are a number of buildings that are not maintained by Ryerson and therefore may have unique alarm systems.

Buildings not managed by Ryerson

Below is a list of the buildings that are not maintained by Ryerson. Contact the building manager or your google sheetfire warden, external link to find out about each building’s specific evacuation procedures.

Building name

Building address

Building acronym

147 Dalhousie Street

147 Dalhousie Street


Atrium on Bay

20 Dundas Street West


Bell Trinity Square

483 Bay Street


Campus Store

17 Gould Street


Civil Engineering Storage

106 Mutual Street


MaRS Building

661 University Avenue


Mattamy Athletic Centre

50 Carlton Street


Merchandise Building

159 Dalhousie Street


Office of University Advancement, University Relations

415 Yonge Street





Parking Garage

300 Victoria Street


Real Institute (College Park)

424 Yonge Street


St. Michael’s Hospital / iBEST / Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

209 Victoria Street


Toronto Eaton Centre

220 Yonge Street



1 Dundas Street West


Yonge-Dundas Square

10 Dundas Street East


Women’s College Bay

790 Bay Street


Ryerson-managed with single-stage alarm system

Below is a list of buildings that are maintained by Ryerson. These buildings are equipped with a single-stage alarm system.

  • For single-stage alarms, you will hear the alarm signal.
  • Only if it is safe to do so, take your keys, purse or wallet, and identification with you.
  • Leave the building immediately via the nearest emergency exit in a calm and orderly fashion.
  • Close (but do not lock) doors behind you.
  • Do not use the elevators.

Building name

Building address

Building acronym

Architecture Building

325 Church Street


Civil Engineering Building

341 Church Street


Co-operative Education

101 Gerrard Street East


Creative Innovation Studio

110 Bond Street


Eric Palin Hall / Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Studies in Community Health

87/99 Gerrard Street East


George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre

245 Church Street


Heaslip House and The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education

297 Victoria Street


Heidelberg Centre – School of Graphics Communications Management

125 Bond Street


International Living / Learning Centre

133 Mutual Street /240 Jarvis Street


O’Keefe House

137 Bond Street


Pitman Hall

160 Mutual Street


Projects Office

112/114 Bond Street


Research and Graduate Studies

111 Gerrard Street East


Rogers Communication Centre

80 Gould Street


Security and Emergency Services

111 Bond Street


School of Image Arts / Ryerson Image Centre

122 Bond Street


School of Interior Design

302 Church Street


South Bond Building

105 Bond Street


Student Campus Centre / Oakham House

55/63 Gould Street


Victoria Building

285 Victoria Street


Ryerson-managed with two-stage alarm system

Below is a list of buildings that are also maintained by Ryerson. However, these buildings are equipped with two-stage alarm systems.

Building name

Building address

Building acronym

Centre for Urban Innovation 44 Gerrard Street East CUI
Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex 288 Church Street DCC

Library, Podium, Jorgenson Hall

350 Victoria Street


Kerr Hall – All quadrants

(North, South, East and West)

60 Gould Street



Student Learning Centre

341 Yonge Street


Recreation and Athletics Centre 40 Gould Street RAC

Ted Rogers School of Management

55 Dundas Street


For two-stage alarms, please listen carefully to distinguish the signal, as there will be two different tones.

For the first stage, the signal is a slow, intermittent tone, and it signifies a “be alert” signal. In this case, stand by and be alert for potential evacuation of the building. Listen to any announcements made.

For the second stage, a fast, continuous tone signifies an “alarm” signal, and you must evacuate the building immediately. Do not wait for further announcements. Do not use the elevator.

Stage 1: Warning signal to stay alert

  • You will hear a voice announcement providing information and instructions, and a bell signal that is intermittent (every five seconds).
  • Action: Stay where you are, get ready to leave, and await further instructions.
  • If the alarm stops, then all is clear and you may resume regular activities.

Stage 2: Evacuation signal to leave the building

  • You will hear a voice announcement providing information and instructions, and a bell signal that is steady and continuous.
  • Action: Proceed to the closest, safest exit and move away from the building.
  • Security and fire wardens will confirm when re-entry to the building is allowed.


For questions regarding building evacuations or drills, please contact the google sheetfire warden, external link in your area or Environmental Health and Safety at or 416-979-5000, ext. 553770.