Safety Reminders from Jim Harrington, SA+P Facilities Manager

This is a reminder on basic procedures for dealing with emergencies occurring in our spaces. Please take a few moments to read this entire e-mail all the way to the end. The information just might save your life or the lives of your colleagues. Please note that there is also basic safety information posted in studios, darkrooms, and fabrication shops by the telephone or front door for future reference.


One of the single most important steps that you can take for insuring your personal safety at MIT in case of emergency is to be sure that MIT has your cell phone number and a non-MIT e-mail address accurately recorded with your personal information. The Institute will use these as part of the MIT Alert system, which can send out global voice, text and e-mail messages. Your most immediate warning of an emergency affecting the campus will most likely come from your portable phone. Please go to right now and click on the appropriate link to enter or verify your cell phone number. 


For a medical, criminal, or fire emergency, please dial "100" from any MIT telephone. If you need to call from a cell phone, it is best to dial "617-253-1212" (MIT Police). Please program this number into your cell phone. This will insure a faster response than by dialing “911”. 


Fires can also be reported by pulling a red alarm station. These are typically located at exit stairwell entrances. In the event of a fire, please sound the alarm by phone or pull box, turn off any heat-producing equipment, close the door to the space where the fire is occurring, and then evacuate the area. PLEASE do NOT attempt to fight a fire yourself unless you have had special training. We have evacuation plans posted at every exit stairwell at the School of Architecture & Planning. Please familiarize yourself with exit pathways and alarm locations. Assume every instance of the fire alarm sounding is a real emergency and evacuate immediately. Anyone with mobility impairments (whether temporary or long term) should please identify themselves to me right now so that we can make provision to assist you should the need arise in future.


In the event of the need to place a physical barrier between ourselves and an exterior physical hazard (such as contaminated air or extreme weather), a "shelter-in-place" emergency will be declared. If appropriate, the fresh air ventilation of our buildings will be shut down and exterior doors will be secured. Building users should proceed to the places listed below which were chosen for their limited exposure to the exterior. Please familiarize yourself with these locations.

The primary rooms for use as shelter-in-place for the Architecture Department are 3-402 (15 persons), 3-412 (49 persons), 5-418 (30 persons), 7-336 (49 persons), 7-338 (40 persons), 7-429 (aka AVT or Long Lounge) (49 persons), 10-491M (30 persons), N51-100CA (49 persons) and N51-347A (13 persons). The alternate shelter locations for this department are Building 7 4th floor dome corridor (200 persons), N51-160 (49 persons) and N51-347B (15 persons) 

The primary rooms for use as shelter-in-place for the Art, Culture & Technology program are E15-212 (49 persons), E14-251H (49 persons) and E14-151 (49 persons). The alternate shelter locations for this department are E15-001 (49 persons) and E14-151A (49 persons).


In the event of a person(s) actively attacking our campus by firearm or other means, you will be notified via MITAlert and should follow any instructions given. In general, if your location is affected, then your first option should be to RUN as far and as quickly as you can to safety. If your path to an exit is dangerous or blocked, then your next best alternative is to HIDE. Conceal yourself and silence your phone. If you are cornered and confronted with no other option, then improvise a weapon, commit to violent action, and FIGHT savagely without stopping until the aggressor is immobilized and you can RUN to safety.


People often freeze in an emergency. Having read the above and at least thought about your options and potential actions in advance will help you to act for your own safety. You can rest assured that help will come quickly at MIT. You just need a plan for the first several minutes which can make all the difference.

Thanks for reading,