Fire Safety

General Information

Campus Policy – Fire Safety

UW-System Policy, Chapter 18 Conduct on University Lands – Fire Safety, establishes procedures for faculty, staff and students to protect lives and property.

  1. “No person may light, build or use, or cause another to light, build or use, any fires, including but not limited to burning candles, burning incense or gas or charcoal cooking appliances, on university lands or in university facilities except in such places as are established for these purposes and designated by the chief administrative officer.”
    • UWM departments or UWM-approved groups desiring to engage in one of the above activities (such as grilling or other fire cooking apparatus) must receive approval from the Director of Facility Services via University Safety and Assurances. Complete the Grilling or Other Outdoor Fires Approval form.
  2. “No person may handle burning material in a highly negligent manner. In this subsection, burning material is handled in a highly negligent manner if it is handled under circumstances in which the person should realize that a substantial and unreasonable risk of serious damage to another’s property is created.”
  3. “No person may throw away any cigarette, cigar, pipe ash or other burning material without first extinguishing it.”
    • Use the receptacles provided for safety and campus cleanliness. Be a responsible smoker.

Emergency Response to Fire Occurrence

It is important to determine in advance what your response will be in the event of a fire occurrence on campus. The basic steps you will follow are:

  • Step 1: Activate Alarm
  • Step 2: Evacuate the Building
  • Step 3: Dial 9-911 (or from a cell phone 414-229-9911) to notify University Police

Fire Alarm Procedures

The fire alarm means: “EVACUATE!” Even if you are in the middle of a class it is time to leave.

  • Alert persons in area of fire and direct them away from danger.
  • Close door(s) to confine fire.
  • Activate the fire alarm.
  • Evacuate through nearest safe exit.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Move calmly to the designated Evacuation “Assembly Area” for your building.
  • Keep streets, fire-lanes, hydrant areas and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and personnel.
  • Call the University Police from a safe location. Dial 9-911 from any campus hard-wired phone or 229-9911 from a cell phone.
  • Do not re-enter until the Fire Department or University Police announce “All Clear.”

According to UWS Chapter 18, Conduct on University Lands, section (g):

  • “No person may remain in any university facility or on university lands when an audible or visual fire alarm has been activated or upon being notified by fire fighting, law enforcement or security personnel to evacuate.”
    • Police and fire personnel lives are at stake when people do not properly evacuate. Save your life and theirs by evacuating.

Instructions for Anyone Confined by Smoke or Fire

If you notice an increase in room temperature or a strong smell of smoke in your area:

  1. CAREFULLY FEEL THE DOOR USING THE BACK OF YOUR HAND. If the door is hot, do not attempt to open it. If you feel no heat, then;
  2. PARTIALLY OPEN THE DOOR WHILE STANDING BEHIND IT FOR PROTECTION. Survey the existing conditions before exiting, if your passage is blocked, then;
  3. Close the door and use any available material (towels, shirt, blouse, etc.) to seal threshold openings. If a water source is available, soak materials before packing them into place. If you are in an older building equipped with transoms above the doors, make certain that these are closed.
  4. Use the room phone to contact University Police (x9911) to let them know your exact location. If no telephone is available, signal your location by waving a cloth or similar material from the window.
  5. ONLY IF SMOKE BEGINS TO ENTER YOUR AREA, should you partially open a window and stay near it, keeping low and breathing the fresher air from outside.
  6. If you are in a building that does not have windows that can be opened and smoke begins to enter, it may become necessary to break a window to obtain needed oxygen. This must be done only as a last resort and with extreme care, by keeping out of the direct path formed between the window to be broken and the doorway or opening through which smoke is entering. The glass pane must be broken low, to provide easy access to outside air. This can be done by throwing a heavy object at the lower pane, while standing out of the direct path formed between the window and doorway or opening.

Elements of a Fire

For many years the concept of fire was symbolized by the Triangle of Combustion and represented, fuel, heat, and oxygen:

  • Fuel — For a fire to start there must be something to burn. The physical state of the fuel may be gases (natural gas, propane, butane, hydrogen, etc.); liquids (gasoline, kerosene, turpentine, alcohol, paint, varnish, lacquer, etc.) or solid (coal, wood, paper, cloth, grease, etc.)
  • Heat — For a fire to start there must be a source of ignition, usually heat or a spark. Heat sources include: open flame, hot surfaces, sparks and arcs, friction-chemical action, electrical energy and compression of gases
  • Oxygen — A source of oxygen is needed. Approximately 16% is required. Normal air contains 21% oxygen. Some fuels contain enough oxygen within their make-up to support burning.

Fire Tetrahedron

Further fire research determined that a fourth element, a chemical chain reaction, was a necessary component of fire. The fire triangle was changed to a “Fire Tetrahedron” to reflect this fourth element.

The four elements are:

  • Oxygen to sustain combustion
  • Sufficient heat to raise the material to its ignition temperature
  • Fuel or combustible material, and subsequently
  • An Exothermic Chemical Chain Reaction in the material.

Emergency (SAFE) Phones

SAFE Phone

UWM maintains an advanced system for the reporting of any problems to the University Police. The heart of the system is a dedicated 911 emergency telephone computer with enhanced location determination capabilities.

There are four types of phones on campus, all connected to this system:

  • All office and laboratory phones which are part of the campus Centrex system (229- exchange) are connected to the emergency telephone system. One must dial 9-911 from these phones to gain access to the emergency system.
  • All public pay phones in campus buildings and on campus properties are connected to the 911 system. No coin is required when dialing 911.
  • A network of outdoor emergency S.A.F.E. phones covers the campus. These phones, which are found primarily along walkways, are located in yellow boxes which are topped by blue lights. Most phone boxes are mounted on black poles which are labeled “Emergency.” Other phone boxes are located on buildings, in parking lots and on other structures at locations where they will be most visible.The location of all the outdoor emergency phones can be found on this campus map.
  • To use the Emergency S.A.F.E. phone, open the door to the box and hold the red button until the call is answered. This will activate the 911 system, which will indicate the phone’s location at the campus police station.
  • The caller can then talk to the police dispatcher. Please remain on the phone until the dispatcher has recorded all of the pertinent information including the nature of the emergency, your name, your location, and any other relevant information.

How to Request Assistance When Calling from a Cell Phone

  • Dial 229-9911. This will connect you with the UWM Police Department Dispatcher.
  • Provide information on the exact location (including cross streets, mileposts or landmarks) and the nature of the emergency
  • Indicate whether police, fire or medical assistance is needed
  • UWM University Police will arrive in addition to other emergency responders


When a fire alarm is sounded, elevators are programmed to go to the first floor of the building and remain locked out of normal service prevent building occupants from using the elevator during a fire. In the event of a fire or other emergency condition, the elevator can only be operated by trained firefighters.

Under no circumstances should anyone, other than a trained and experienced elevator technician attempt to perform repairs to an elevator or its associated equipment, or attempt to rescue any entrapped passenger(s) unless a bona fide emergency, such as a risk to life or a fire, exists.

Under certain rare circumstances, when it is believed that a serious life/safety hazard exists, police or fire department personnel may access elevator shafts or cars using the proper procedures.

Most campus elevators are equipped with emergency phones for the purpose of summoning aid for those stranded in a stalled elevator. Please identify yourself and the number from which you are calling. Identify the emergency, including type, location, injuries, and/or other known details to determine assistance needed. If possible, stay on the line until the dispatcher tells you that you can hang up.

The University Police non-emergency phone numbers are 229-4627.

Fire Alarm Equipment

All university buildings are equipped with fire alarms that sound an audible tone. Some buildings have strobe flashers for the hearing impaired.

Most campus building alarm systems are directly monitored by the university police. To ensure proper notification, however, you are also encouraged to call them via telephone. In an emergency situation, dial 9-911 from a campus phone or 229-9911 from a cell phone. Buildings that are not directly monitored by the police are the Alumni House, Purin Hall, Zelazo Center and the University Services Building.

Therefore, from these buildings you must dial 9-911 from a campus phone or 229-9911 from a cell phone (this will connect you with the University Police Dispatcher). You may also dial 911 from a campus coin phone, or use an outdoor emergency phone to report an incident to the University Police.

Per Chapter 18, “No person may interfere with, tamper with or remove, without authorization, any smoke detector, fire extinguisher, fire hose, fire hydrant or other firefighting equipment.”

Fire Preparedness

Emergency Evacuation Map

  • Learn where emergency exits are located. All designated exits are clearly marked.
  • Review the Emergency Evacuation Floor Plans for your building in advance of an emergency so that you are familiar with alternate routes in the event that your normal exit route is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Participate in fire drills. Fire drills are conducted to familiarize you with the sound of your building’s fire alarm, the emergency exits which you may not normally use, and the procedures for calling the UWM Police.
  • In case of fire evacuate through the nearest, safe stairwell. Do not use elevators.

If You Are Disabled
If you are disabled you should learn about fire safety, plan ahead for fire emergencies, and be aware of your own capabilities and limitations. Look for “areas of refuge”, like stair enclosures or the other side of corridor fire doors. Most elevators are designed to stop operating when the alarm is sounding and are not safe during a fire. Sometimes it may be safer to stay in your room. Contact the Accessibility Resource Center (414-229-6287; voice or TTY) or see Emergency Evacuation of People with Disabilities for information.

Report Fire-Related Crimes to the Police:
There is a reward for information leading the arrest of an arsonist. Causing a false alarm is a crime punishable by a fine of $5,000 and 5 years imprisonment. Vandalism of fire extinguishers, exit signs, and fire alarms robs you of your fire protection. Any person found responsible for these crimes will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Help Eliminate Fire Hazards

Electrical Abuse:

  • Electrical hazards represent a serious, widespread occupational danger; practically all members of the workforce are exposed to electrical energy during the performance of their daily duties. It is important that you be aware of the potential for fire resulting from electrical hazards.
  • Use of electrical “octopuses” to obtain more outlets can result in overloaded circuits and fire. Use only 15 amp fused power strips. Replace damaged wires and be sure to match your appliance power requirements to the circuit power.
  • Never remove the grounding post from a three-prong plug.
  • Hotplates, coffee makers, irons, space heaters, etc. should never be left unattended. They should be unplugged after use and not stored until they are cool enough to touch. Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture.
  • Match the size of an extension cord to the appliance power cord to prevent cord overheating. Extension cords are not intended for “permanent” installations. Wherever possible, appliances shall be connected to permanently wired receptacles.
  • A three-foot clearance is required in front of all circuit breaker panels. Storage of combustibles in mechanical/electrical service closets is prohibited.

See also Electrical Safety in the Officepdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required for information relating to eliminating electrical hazards in the office environment.

Storage of bicycles, chairs, desks, file cabinets, boxes and other items is prohibited in all exit ways. Storage is prohibited in all exits and aisles leading to exits. This includes primary hallways and all stairwells.

Exits must remain unobstructed and accessible at all times. Blocked exits have caused “chain reaction” pile-ups of fallen people during emergencies. Obstructed stairwells or exits can seriously hinder your escape effort during an emergency.

Historically, blocked exits are the cause of most fire-related deaths in commercial buildings.

Open Flames:
Open flames such as Bunsen burners, barbecue grills, torches, etc. shall never be left unattended. Extinguish all open flames, even if left for a very short time.

Never prop open fire doors with wedges or other objects. The very purpose of these doors is to prevent smoke and heat from traveling up stairwells and along corridors.

Flammable Liquids and Gases:

  • Storage of flammable liquids in laboratories, shops, and classrooms is limited to specific quantities and approved containers, cabinets or vaults.
  • Know what the maximum permissible quantity of flammable liquids is for your laboratory area and never exceed this amount. Reference your department’s Laboratory Safety Plan for additional information.

Other Resources

Emergency Evacuation

Emergency Preparedness: Emergency Evacuation

Emergency Evacuation of People with Disabilities

Emergency Preparedness: Emergency Evacuation of People with Disabilities

Fire Inspection Checklist

The following items are included on the checklist used by the Milwaukee Fire Department when inspecting UWM buildings: Here is a Fire and Life Safety Inspection Building Checklist for your use.


  • Obstructed exit: Remove any obstruction to exit immediately.
  • Fire escape route blocked or restricted: Remove any obstruction to fire escape route immediately. Storage resulting in restricted access is prohibited.

Fire Doors

  • General: Exit doors must be identified and operable.
  • Exit door blocked or restricted: Remove any obstruction to exit doors immediately.
  • Inoperative fire door: Fire doors must be operative, self-closing or attached to a fused device.
  • Closing door device: Check self-closing device to assure it is functional.
  • Door wedged open: Immediately remove wedge or item holding fire-rated door in an open position.
  • Latches: Self-closing doors should close fully and latch.
  • Panic Bar: Assure that panic bar is in operable condition.

Housekeeping – Miscellaneous

  • Aisles/Stairs/Hallways: Immediately remove any obstruction, material, trash that could hamper easy exits from aisles, hallways and stairwells.
  • Storage in basements and attics: Must be neat and reasonable.
  • Storage in stairwells and stairwell landings is prohibited.
  • Wall decorations: Combustible decorations on walls not to exceed 10% of overall wall space.
  • Gas cylinders: Pressurized cylinders must be labeled and secured.
  • Storage areas: Storage rooms or areas must be neat and reasonable.


  • Charge: Examine pressure gauge to determine if fully charged.
  • Service: Examine extinguisher pin for any apparent damage and check for broken seal.
  • Tagged/Marked: Tag should indicate inspection within past month.
  • Blocked: Assure that extinguisher is accessible for use and unblocked by furniture or debris (3 foot minimum clearance).
  • Mounted: The top of the fire extinguisher should be no more than five feet from the floor.

Flammable And Combustible Liquids


  • Excessive/Improper Storage: Remove flammable decorations from areas of assembly to alleviate hazard. Remove combustible material from mechanical or equipment rooms.


  • Defective Fixtures: Assure immediate repair of any damaged electrical fixtures.
  • Missing Cover Plate: Immediately replace any missing or damaged outlet covers.
  • Missing Electrical Panel Cover: Report any missing or damaged electrical panel covers.
  • Extension Cord: Cords are allowed for temporary use of portable appliances.
  • Access Blocked to Electrical Panel: Remove materials blocking access to panel (3 foot minimum clearance).


  • Storage: No items may be stored within 18″ of a sprinkler head in any direction.


  • Report any damaged or defective fire doors, smoke detectors, or sprinklers to Physical Plant Services.
  • Report unlit exit lights to Physical Plant Services
  • Common Fire Code Violations, City of Milwaukee, Department of Building Inspection

Fire Exit Drills

  1. General Guidelines and Policy:

    1. Purpose The purpose of fire exit drills is to ensure the efficient and safe use of the exit facilities available in the case of an emergency. Proper drills ensure orderly exit under control and prevent the panic that has been responsible for much of the loss of life in the major fire disasters of history. Order and control are the primary purposes of the drill. Speed in emptying buildings, while desirable, is not in itself an object, and should be made secondary to the maintenance of proper order and discipline.
    2. Responsibility  Fire exit drills shall be designed and conducted according to the occupancies specified below and in cooperation with the authority having jurisdiction. Responsibility for the planning and conduct of drills shall be assigned by campus risk management and safety to competent persons qualified to exercise leadership. A written record of all drills conducted should be maintained including a critique of the event. This record should be maintained by the campus safety or security coordinator.
    3. General Guidelines Drills shall include suitable procedures to make sure that all persons in the building, or all persons subject to the drill, actually participate. If a fire exit drill is considered merely as a routine exercise from which some persons may be excused, there is a grave danger that in an actual fire, the drill will fail in its intended purpose.All drills should be pre-planned and pre-announced. Surprise drills tend to limit productive learning, breed apprehension, and cause passivity to future alarms. Any alarm not preceded by plan or announcement shall be treated as an actual fire condition. Fire exit drills shall be held with sufficient frequency to familiarize all occupants with the drill procedure and to have the conduct of the drill a matter of established routine.Drills should be carefully planned to simulate actual fire conditions. Not only should they be held at varying times, but different means of exit should be used based upon an assumption that if some given stairway is unavailable by reason of fire or smoke, all the occupants must be led out by some other route. Fire exit drills should be designed to familiarize the occupants with all available means of exits, particularly emergency exits that are not habitually used during the normal occupancy of the building.
    4. Fire Exit Signs
      Adequate posting of fire exit signs is a responsibility which each campus must address. A highly visible graphic design should be conspicuously posted with the following information:

      • Evacuation routes
      • Identification of “you are here” location
      • Location of the pull stations
      • Location of portable extinguisher


    The term “fire exit drill” is used to avoid confusion between drills held for the purpose of rapid evacuation of buildings and drills of fire fighting practice that, from a technical viewpoint are correctly designated as “fire drill”, although this term is by common usage applied to egress drills in schools, etc.
  2. Fire Exit Drills in Specific Campus Occupancy:

    The usefulness of a fire exit drill and the extent to which it can be carried depends upon the character of the occupancy. Drills are most effective in occupancies such as classrooms, where the occupant load of the building is under discipline and subject to habitual control. In buildings where the occupant load is of a changing character and not under discipline such as Student Unions, no regularly organized fire exit drill is possible.

    In such cases, the fire exit drills must be limited to the regular employees, who can be thoroughly schooled in the proper procedure and can be trained to properly direct other occupants of the building in case of fire. In occupancies such as hospitals, regular employees can be rehearsed in the proper procedure in case of fire. Such training always is advisable in all occupancies whether or not regular fire exit drills can be held.

    The following sections address some of the special fire exit drill details which should be observed for specific occupancy classes.

    1. Educational Occupancy — Classrooms, Lecture Halls, Laboratories, Administrative Buildings, Workshops All educational buildings on campus must hold one fire exit drill per year, preferably during the first four weeks of the semester. Faculty and staff shall work in cooperation with safety personnel in scheduling drills before the semester begins to allow for curriculum planning.Evacuation instructions are to be conspicuously posted in each classroom, hallway, and stairwell to provide the necessary evacuation information and ensure orderly egress from the building. Signs should also specify that elevators must not be used to exit and should delineate alternative routes.Classroom faculty and staff should be familiar with the easiest exit to be used in the fire drill and the alternative exits available. Faculty and staff should close (not lock) doors and windows and take responsibility for checking facilities for complete evacuation. All personal belongings within reach should be taken from classrooms by students.Handicapped students should inform faculty or staff at the start of the semester of any special requirements with respect to locations and procedures that will best facilitate those students’ egress from the building in an emergency. In general, wheelchair users should go to the stairwell which is furthest from the fire and wait for help. Fire departments should be notified that stairwells be checked first. Other handicapped persons should be assisted by students faculty or staff.
    2. Residential Occupancies — Housing, Lodges, Etc. Residential facilities demonstrate the greatest need for adequate and effective fire exit awareness due to the potential loss of life in what often are high rise structures. Fire exit drills in dormitories must be performed once per year at a minimum. Because of the nature of the occupancy, it is usually the case that additional drills are performed due to false alarms.A major concern in dormitory fire drills is the resistance of residents to evacuate the building in the event of a drill. This problem may be alleviated by contacting the city attorney to determine what type of citation may be applied (i.e., disorderly conduct). Citations may then be issued during the fire drill by the fire department or other official to achieve cooperation. Resident assistants and other employees must take responsibility for the complete and orderly evacuation of the building. Education and awareness are key components to an effective fire evacuation program. Directional signs in hallways and in each dorm room will help student to become more fully aware of their options.Special consideration must be given to handicapped students with regard to fire safety in dormitories. To be most effective, handicapped students should be required to evacuate the building during a fire exit drill regardless of their location in the building. Preplanning is key for the handicapped person because his/her own familiarity with the buildings, exits, and the safest methods of egress is vital. First responders should preplan by having designated individuals assigned to evacuate handicapped persons requiring assistance. The handicapped person should also seek out buddies to assist in the evacuation and should explain all instructions beforehand. No-one should be left behind during a fire exit drill or fire condition.To facilitate evacuation, handicapped persons should be assigned to rooms on ground or egress level whenever possible. Rooms should be identified on the outside of the building with a distinctly coded sign to advise the fire department without distinguishing the student. If evacuation of a handicapped person is not possible, he/she should return to the room, close the door or proceed to the nearest stairwell if possible and wait for the fire department rescue. For this reason, each dorm should have a list of all handicapped students and their room location on file with the fire department.On each floor of the facility, the resident staff should proceed down the hall knocking loudly on each door as he/she passes. Staff should not unlock each door as this is time-consuming and may result in danger to the staff person.
    3. Assembly Occupancies — Theaters, Auditoriums, Lecture Halls, Arenas, Student Unions Because actual fire drills are not practical for places of noncontinuous assembly where the students or public body changes with each program, employees or attendants of such places should be schooled in the duties they are to perform in case of fire in order to be of greatest service in effecting orderly exit of assemblages.An adequate number of competent attendants must be on duty when assembly occupancy is used. Attendants should be instructed in the proper use of portable fire extinguishers and other manual fire suppression equipment if provided.An audible announcement may be made prior to the start of each program to notify occupants of the location of the exits to be used in the case of emergency. Signs with directions for speedy and orderly egress should be posted at aisle ends and at all entrances and exits.
    4. Health Care Occupancies The administration of every health care facility shall be responsible for the development of a written plan for the protection of all persons in the event of a fire. A qualified person shall be appointed as the fire exit drill coordinator (safety director, security director, disaster committee member, etc.) and will conduct fire drills at least once per quarter on all three shifts including weekends.Fire exit drills are to be pre-planned and pre-announced over the P.A. System, (e.g., “Attention please – a fire drill will be conducted at this time. All personnel return to your departments.”) Patients should be advised by unit staff. Advanced planning will test the efficiency, knowledge, and response of personnel without disturbing patients.Fire drills should be instructional in nature and include the following:
      • Describing the hypothetical situation
      • Sounding the alarm
      • Removing personnel and patients from danger
      • Confining the fire (close doors)
      • Turn on all lights
      • Extinguishing techniques (blankets, extinguisher, hose)
      • Ventilating according to need (engineered smoke system)


      Staff members should be assigned to evaluate the response to the drill in other areas of the hospital; for example:

      • Person assigned to meet and escort fire department to fire area
      • Sprinkler control valve person to locate appropriate valves and standby for instruction
      • Fire pump observer to station
      • Auxiliary generator observer to station


      A written record of any drill conducted should be maintained by the fire drill coordinator including a critique of the event and recommendations to correct any deficiencies noted.

    5. Day-Care Occupancies In order to meet the requirements for certification, an approved fire evacuation plan shall be executed not less than once per month in campus day-care centers pending severe weather. Fire safety should be included in the curriculum of the day-care center taught by knowledgeable staff to ensure preparedness by children and staff.Large uncomplicated signs should be strategically place and explained to children prior to a fire exit drill to help educate them in orderly egress. A fire exit drill coordinator shall be assigned to coordinate the fire drill efforts and to maintain written records of the drills and critiques thereof.Staff shall be instructed to check each room for children and shall have responsibility for a specific group of children during a fire drill. Upon exiting a room, doors and windows should be closed but not locked. Roll call will be taken immediately after exiting building to ensure that all children have evacuated and are present. Area fire authorities should be consulted to confirm that fire exit drills are being executed in the safest and most efficient manner for a specific building.
    6. Administrative Occupancies Due to the stable nature of administrative buildings, fire exit drills should be held annually following the guidelines set forth in the section on educational occupancies above. Special consideration must be given to handicapped employees and non-employee guests in the building. Awareness by the occupying staff of the needs of these people will help to facilitate easy egress.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Employees are not expected to fight fires. Your responsibility in a fire situation is to alert others and to evacuate.

Small fires can often be put out quickly by a well-trained individual with a portable fire extinguisher. However, to do this safely, you must understand the use and limitation of a portable fire extinguisher and the hazards associated with fighting fires. Do not attempt to extinguish any fire without calling for help and pulling the fire alarm. Always leave an exit at your back in order to escape before using an extinguisher. Make sure the fire is limited to the original material ignited andis contained (such as in a waste basket).

To extinguish a fire with a portable extinguisher, a person must have immediate access to the extinguisher, know how to actuate the unit, and know how to apply the agent effectively. Attempting to extinguish even a small fire carries some risk. Fires can increase in size and intensity in seconds, blocking the exit path and creating a hazardous atmosphere. In addition, portable fire extinguishers contain a limited amount of extinguishing agent and can be discharged in a matter of seconds. Therefore, individuals should attempt to fight only very small or incipient stage fires.

Remember (P.A.S.S.): Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep



Holding extinguisher upright, twist the pin to break the plastic safety seal. Pull the pin completely out.


Aim low. Point the extinguisher nozzle (or its horn or hose) at the base of the fire not the flames. This is important – in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.


Squeeze the handle. This releases the extinguishing agent.


Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Watch the fire area. Back away if fire breaks out again repeat the process.

Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher – different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!

Report missing, discharged, or otherwise tampered with fire extinguishers to Facility Services (229-4742)

Fire Extinguisher Training


The UWM Department of University Safety and Assurances offers fire extinguisher training to UWM faculty, staff, and students upon request. This course utilizes live fire scenarios and actual fire extinguishing equipment. Training includes a lecture and then individual “hands-on training.”

Training can be arranged in various locations on campus and will be scheduled for groups of 10 or more. If you are interested in attending the next session of this training, please contact University Safety and Assurances at x6339.


This course utilizes live fire scenarios and actual fire extinguishing equipment.

  • Participants may be briefly exposed to fire, smoke and intense heat in a controlled environment.
  • Participants clothing may pick up smoke or soot during the training exercise.
  • Participants with respiratory ailments should use their judgment to excuse themselves from any portion of the training that may be potentially harmful to their well-being.

One of the purposes of this training is to give participants a sensation of extinguishing a fire insofar that a fire can be safely controlled in a training situation. Participants should feel free to excuse themselves from the hands-on use of the fire extinguisher part of the training if they feel they will be harmed in any way.