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Princeton University Physics Department Princeton University

    Safety and Environment

Jadwin Hall and McDonnell Hall
Emergency Action Plans

Potential emergencies in Jadwin or McDonnell Halls may require the occupants to evacuate the building. The following information and procedures have been designed to help ensure your personal safety, should an evacuation become necessary.

University Fire Emergency Policy and Procedure:

In case of a fire emergency*, Public Safety must be notified immediately at 911. Public Safety has primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies and summoning outside assistance when necessary. Unauthorized re-entry into a building during a fire emergency is not permitted. Violators of this policy are subject to University and state fire code sanctions.

Each University Department must designate an Emergency Coordinator responsible for developing and maintaining a departmental Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and training employees on all elements of the plan as well as any special duties assigned specific individuals. During a fire emergency, only individuals designated in the EAP may remain in the building to fulfill their responsibilities. All other occupants must immediately evacuate the building in accordance with the departmental emergency action plan.

Building occupants are not required to fight fires. Individuals who have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire may use a portable fire extinguisher to fight small, incipient stage fires (no larger than a waste paper basket). Fire fighting efforts must be terminated when it becomes obvious that there is risk of harm from smoke, heat or flames.

If you discover a fire:

  • Alert people in the area of the need to evacuate
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm
  • Call Public Safety at 911

If a building fire alarm is sounding or you receive notification of a fire emergency:

  • Feel the door or doorknob to the hallway with the back of your hand. If it feels hot, do not open it - the fire may be on the other side of the door. If you are trapped, put a cloth or towel under the door to help prevent the entry of smoke. Dial 911 and tell the Public Safety dispatcher your location and telephone extension and that you are trapped in the room and need rescue. Stay on the phone until instructed otherwise.
  • If the door is not hot, open it slowly. If the hallway is clear of smoke, walk to the nearest fire exit and evacuate via the nearest stairwell to the street/grade level exit.
  • Close doors behind you.
  • Do not attempt to use elevators. Elevators are tied to the fire detection system and are not available to occupants once the alarm sounds.
  • Assemble at the area designated in your departmental Emergency Action Plan (see back) and remain there until instructed by Public Safety or the fire department that it is safe to re-enter the building.

A fire emergency is defined as (1) an uncontrolled fire or imminent fire hazard, (2) the presence of smoke or the odor of burning, (3) the uncontrolled release of a flammable or combustible substance, or (4) a fire alarm sounding.

Fire Safety Information Specific to Jadwin or McDonnell Halls:

The Physics Department Emergency Coordinator is Geoff Gettelfinger, Department Manager. If you have questions about this plan, contact Geoff (8-4404 or or Kelly States of Environmental Health and Safety (8-2648 or If you have questions or concerns about fire safety, contact University Fire Marshall Bob Gregory (8-6805 or

Fire protection Systems
Jadwin and McDonnell Halls are equipped with an audible alarm and manual fire alarm pull stations. The fire alarm system is a combination horn/strobe system that provides emergency notification by means of an audible alarm and flashing lights.

Evacuation Procedures
Evacuate immediately unless you have specific emergency responsibilities designated in the Additional Duties section of this plan. After you have left the building, you MUST go to the designated assembly point as shown below:
Building Assembly Point
Jadwin Hall Circle between Jadwin and the Stadium
McDonnell Hall Lawn near Washington Road (at the Jadwin-Fine-McDonnell sign)
At the assembly point, supervisors will account for personnel and notify the Emergency Coordinator or Public Safety if any personnel are missing.


During an emergency, students and visitors who may not be familiar with this plan must be informed of the requirement to evacuate. Special attention should also be given to any persons with disabilities, especially those who are visitors or unfamiliar with the building.

Assistance in an Evacuation
If you think you might need specialized assistance in recognizing an alarm (e.g. a visual alarm device) or help during an evacuation (e.g. specialized evacuation equipment or alternative egress route planning) due to a medical condition or disability, you may contact your emergency coordinator to arrange for an evaluation. Self-identification is voluntary. All such requests and any special arrangements made will only be disclosed to Public Safety and individuals who have a responsibility to assist under the plan. Remember that elevators are tied to the fire detection system and are not available to occupants once a fire alarm sounds.

Additional Duties
None Assigned

Additional Information
Additional information on emergency action planning can be found in the Princeton University Health & Safety Guide, on the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) web page (, or by contacting Kelly States, Safety Engineer (8-2648), or the University Fire Marshall (8-6805).

All new employees or other regular building occupants must receive initial EAP training. All building occupants must be familiar with the contents of this plan. The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for full dissemination of any changes to the plan following the annual review.

Fire extinguisher training is available upon request through the University Fire Marshall (8-6805)

Spill Response Plan:
Pre-planning is essential to handling a spill. Laboratory workers should consider the following items to prepare themselves and their laboratories for spill control and cleanup.

  1. Review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) or orther references for recommended spill cleanup methods and materials, and the need for personal protective equipment (i.e., respirator, gloves, protective clothing, etc.).

  2. Acquire sufficient quantities and types of spill control materials to contain any spills that can be reasonably anticipated. The need for equipment to disperse, collect and contain spill control materials (i.e., brushes, scoops, sealable waste containers, etc.) should also be reviewed.

    ***Spill control kits are available in Jadwin Physics in room 124 and at the loading dock.

  3. Acquire recommended personal protective equipment and know how to use it properly.

  4. Place spill control materials in a readily accessible location within or immediately adjacent to the laboratory.
Spill Response Procedures: In the event of a spill, the general procedure listed below should be followed:
  1. Immediately alert others in the area and the supervisor, and evacuate the area, if necessary.

  2. Contact Public Safety at 911 if there is a fire or medical attention is needed.

  3. Attend to any persons who may have bene contaminated. Contaminated clothing must be removed immediately and the skin flushed with water for no less than fifteen minutes. Clothing must be laundered before reuse.

  4. If a volatile, flammable material is spilled, immediately warn others in the area, control sources of ignition and ventilate the area.

  5. Don personal protective equipment, as appropriate to the hazards. Refer to the MSDS or other references for information.

  6. Using the chart below, determine the extent and type of spill. If the spill is large, if there has been a release to the environment, or if assistance is needed, contact Public Safety at 911 or EHS at 258-5294. In the event of a release to the environment, immediately contact Public Safety at 911 and notify Bob Ortego, Environmental Compliance Manager, at 258-1841.
    Category Size Response Treatment Materials
    Small up to 300 cc chemical treatment or absorption neutralization or absorption spill kit
    Medium 300 cc - 5 liters absorption absorption spill kit
    Large more than 5 liters call Public Safety outside help

  7. Consider the need for respiratory protection. The use of a respirator or self-contained breathing apparatus requires specialized training and medical surveillance. Never enter a contaminated atmosphere without protection or use a respirator without training. If respiratory protection is needed and no trained personnel are available, call Public Safety at 911 and then call EHS at 258-5294. If respiratory protection is available, be sure there is another person outside the spill area in communication or in sight, in case of emergency.

  8. Protect floor drains or other means for environmental release. Spill socks and absorbents may be placed around drains, as needed.

  9. Clean up the spill according to the previous table.
    • Loose spill control materials should be distributed over the entire spill area, working from the outside, circling to the center. This reduces the chance of splash or spreading of the spilled chemical.
    • Bulk absorbents and many spill pillows do NOT work on hydrofluoric acid. PLLYZORB products and their equivalent will handle hydrofluoric acid.
    • Many neutralizers for acids and bases have a color change indicator to show when neutralization is complete.
    • Several materials for cleaning up mercury spills are available in chemical catalogs, safety supply catalogs and at some of the science and engineering stockrooms. Broken thermometers, gauges or other mercury-containing materials, may be placed in a plastic bag or glass or metal container, and sealed.

  10. When the spilled materials have been absorbed, use a brush and scoop (spark-resistant if flammable materials are involved) to place materials in an appropriate container. Polyethylene bags may be used for small spills. Five gallon pails or 20 gallon drums with polyethylene liners may be appropriate for larger spills.

  11. Complete a hazardous waster sticker, identifying the material as Spill Debris involving XYZ Chemical, and affix the sticker to the container or bag. Remember the use of an absorbent does not alter the chemical properties of the chemical. Contact EHS at 258-5294 for advice on storage and packaging for disposal.

  12. Place the container in a hood or other properly ventilated area until the next chemical waste pick-up.

  13. Decontaminte surfaces involved in the spill using a mild detergent and water, as appropriate.

    Report all spills to your supervisor or the principal investigator.


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