Fire pull station and stairwell signage.

Emergency response and fire safety

Medical emergencies

In the case of a medical emergency, we request that all members of the University Community consider their own health and safety first.

Contact 911 if Emergency Services are required. If needed and you are able, initiate first aid or contact Security Services for first aid assistance. Contact Security Services urgent reporting phone line: 204-474-9341 or dial 555 from a university phone.

Security Services can also assist with the management of serious incidents, including ensuring that appropriate supports have been contacted, directing emergency services to the incident location, and securing the scene.

CPR and first aid program

The CPR and first aid program documents the requirements and procedures for the University of Manitoba as it relates to providing CPR and first aid training and safety equipment in accordance with The Workplace Safety and Health Act and Workplace Safety and Health Regulation (M.R. 217/2006).

The manual that outlines this program can be found on Emergency Response and Fire Safety page on the UM Intranet.

Fire safety programs

Fire Safety Programs at the University of Manitoba reside in both EHSO and in Physical Plant with the Life Safety Engineer. The role of EHSO in Fire Safety is to provide services in the university that engage the UM community in appropriate fire prevention and emergency response.

The EHSO Fire Safety Program includes:

  • Fire wardens
  • Fire evacuation and drills
  • Fire extinguisher training
  • Fire safety plans
  • Fire safety at events
  • And support in other requirements of the MB Fire Code

The Fire Safety Program manual is located on the UM Intranet within the Emergency Response and Fire Safety page.

Fire Safety Governing Documents

Hot work

Hot work is defined as any temporary operation involving open flames, producing heat and/or sparks. This includes but is not limited to brazing, cutting, grinding, soldering, thawing pipe, torch applied roofing and welding. When hot work is to be performed on UM property, a Notice of Hot Work Form must be completed prior to starting the project. Please refer to the UM Hot Work Policy for more information.

Building evacuations

The University requires that all staff, students and visitors leave a building where a fire alarm has been activated or when otherwise informed of a life safety risk. The only exceptions are:

  • the building fire safety plan has alternative measures in place to accommodate a person, patients or specific research (e.g. animal surgery)
  • where alarm systems are being tested and staff received advance notice from Physical Plant

If you have any concerns related to accessibility in the event of an alarm, please visit Emergency response information (Accessibility) on UM Intranet for more information.

No one may enter a building while the alarm is activated. An "ALL CLEAR" will be provided by the fire department or the UM Life Safety Engineer or their specified delegate.

Evacuation route maps and general fire safety information can be found on placards throughout buildings, most commonly near entrances, exits, stairwells and elevators. Every employee should be aware of this provided information in their immediate work area and review it periodically.

Spill response

Spills at the University of Manitoba are mitigated and cleaned immediately to prevent human exposure or releases to the environment. Use the links below to find more information. 

Employees are trained on hazardous material handling pertaining to their role at the University, this includes the clean-up of minor spills. For support regarding spills that pose an immediate threat to human health and safety or if you are unsure of your procedures, please contact EHSO (Monday-Friday; 8:30 am to 4:30 pm) at 204-474-6633 or outside of normal business hours contact Security Service urgent reporting line at 204-474-9341.

Inclement weather

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) continuously monitors weather and climate, allowing us to implement plans and prepare for extreme weather conditions. The public is notified of severe storms via two types of alerts:

  1. A Weather Watch is issued when conditions are favourable for a severe storm to develop.
  2. A Weather Warning is issued when severe weather is happening.

For more information on weather alerts see the ECCC page on Severe Weather.

Extreme heat

Extreme heat is a weather condition that can be a health and safety concern with the potential to cause Heat Stress and associated symptoms. For more information on the prevention of Heat Stress and working safely in outdoor environments see our page on Field safety.

Extreme cold

Extreme cold conditions are common in Manitoba and exposure to extreme cold can lead to cold-related illnesses such as hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains.  For more information on the prevention of cold-related illnesses and working safely in outdoor environments see our page on Field safety.

Thunderstorms, lightning and tornados

If a Tornado Warning is in effect, meaning a tornado has been spotted or is imminent refer to Shelter-in-Place procedures. For more information on thunderstorms, lightning and tornados, see our page on Field safety.


Whenever inclement weather conditions such as tornados cause UM community members to take immediate shelter in our facilities there are important things to keep in mind regardless of your current location.

  • Once in a building move towards the basement or the lowest floor.
  • Stay away from windows and doorways.
  • Take shelter in an inner hallway or room.
  • Do not use an elevator.
  • Protect your head from the potential of flying debris if windows or doors are compromised.

Utility failure

The following steps should be followed if there is a utility failure in a building on campus.

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Notify Physical Plant (474-6281) and/or Security Services(474-9312) of the utility failure, and include the following information:
    • Type of utility failure (i.e. power, water, gas, and/or heat).
    • Location of the utility failure.
    • Time of the utility failure.
  3. Follow instructions provided by Physical Plant, Risk/EHSO, or Security Services.
  4. Prepare to evacuate the building.
  5. Refer to utility specific sections below for utility specific guidelines.
  6. After the utility has been restored do not re-enter the building. Wait for Physical Plant, Risk/EHSO, or Security Services to provide the “ALL CLEAR”.

Power outages

The following steps should be followed in the event of a power outage.

  1. Ensure the safety of yourself and others by moving to areas away from hazards.
  2. Turn off all critical electrical devices and equipment (if possible). If in a laboratory containing a fume hood, close the sash before you leave if safe to do so.
  3. Do not open freezers. A full research freezer will keep items frozen for 24 hours if the door remains closed.
  4. All University buildings have emergency lighting and will operate for 30 minutes. After the emergency lighting has stopped working the building is considered closed and cannot be occupied.
  5. If the power has not been restored within 10 minutes you must safely and calmly evacuate the building while the emergency lighting is working. Evacuation options include:
    • The ground level of the building you are in during day light hours, while remaining near windows and doors.
    • Outside, weather permitting.
    • Another building that has not lost power.
  6. When safe to do so, you may be able to retrieve items left behind. You must be escorted into the building by a designated member of Physical Plant, Risk/EHSO, or Security Services.
  7. After the power has been restored do not turn electrical devices on immediately, wait a few minutes to allow the power supply to stabilize.


The Security Services department provides information on armed intruders within their Emergency procedures section. For more information on this and other programs managed by Security Services please contact them directly or visit the Security Services webpage.

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Contact us

Environmental Health and Safety
Room 191 Extended Education Complex
406 University Crescent
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

P310 Pathology Building
770 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne Campus)