HMS NRB Emergency Procedures

Harvard Medical School
New Research Building
Emergency Procedures

The New Research Building (NRB) is a high rise building and has emergency procedures which are different from buildings with fewer floors. The fire evacuation procedure is detailed below.
All NRB building occupants have been instructed to activate the fire alarm upon the discovery of fire, smoke, smoke odors, and in any threatening situations, such as a natural gas leak, bomb threat, etc. Activating the fire alarm initiates a Code Red (fire alarm) and automatically notifies the Boston Fire Department (BFD). Fire alarms are located throughout the NRB building at the main entrances to the laboratory areas and along the walls of the main corridors. Upon activation of the fire alarm, the Facility Manager, Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) and BFD personnel will respond and investigate the circumstances of the alarm. All Code Red events will be treated as if there were a fire in progress. The NRB Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Office will support the activities of the Facility Manager and HUPD personnel during the alarm.
When a fire alarm is activated within the NRB building, an evacuation signal will be generated on the floors, which are required to evacuate. The evacuation signal is a distinctive sound that can be heard in all parts of the facility. It begins with a series of four (4) pulsed pre-signal tones at one-second intervals followed by this announcement (recorded female voice): "Attention please! The signal tone you have just heard indicated a report of an emergency in this building. If your floor signal sounds after this message, walk to the nearest stairway and leave the floor. While the report is being verified, occupants on other floors should await further instructions." This announcement shall be repeated twice.
If a NRB tenant hears this signal:

  1. Begin preparations for evacuation by shutting off all energy sources (i.e., electric appliances, gas burners, high pressure gas valves). Move to the nearest exit door (there are four on each floor) and stand by for further instructions.
  2. If the source of the alarm is on your floor or the floor below your floor or the floor above your floor, the EVACUATE SIGNAL will sound. This signal is a series of "slow whoop" tones that will run continuously. If you hear this signal, immediately walk to the nearest exit stairway or door and move to your prearranged assembly area outside of the building. The last person to leave the area should make sure that the exit door from the area is closed.
  3. Once outside of the building, report to the assembly area for the NRB, which is the Merck parking lot. The laboratory evacuation monitor will account for all personnel in the area of responsibility and be prepared to report to the floor evacuation monitor when asked.  The floor evacuation monitor will report the results to the NRB Security representative at the assembly area