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Escaping buildings safely

Last updated on 6 December 2021
When there is danger in a campus building, the escape plan (slow whoop) may take effect. This can happen in case of fire or a bomb threat, but also a physical threat or accident with a dangerous substance.

In these situations the company emergency response team (BHV) may ask people to leave the building (they can be recognised by their vests with the text BHV).

In addition to the slow whoop signal, important information is often shared via the intercom, which is available in all buildings on campus. Go the to corridors if you cannot hear the message clearly.

An escape plan of the building may be hindered when obstacles, such as tables, chairs or other goods are blocking the escape routes. Particularly in combination with smoke, dangerous situations may occur (limited sight and toxic air). Never use the escape routes as storage space and remove any goods blacking the routes as soon as possible.


Be aware of available safety facilities in any study or work space. Make sure to navigate the emergency exit in the space you are in. When the alarm goes off, follow the green signs to the emergency exit.

Alarm means react

When focused on work we are less likely to notice danger. We are inclined to finish the task or activity at hand first. When the alarm signal goes off, it is important to stop whatever you are doing immediately and start the evacuation.

Only take things you need or that are valuable for you. Help students or colleagues who need it, such as someone with a physical disability.

Close the door of the space you are leaving and go outside. Then go to the designated meeting points.

Meeting point for each building

  • Main building: restaurant W&N building
  • W&N building: restaurant Main building
  • MF building: restaurant W&N building
  • Transitorium/EC: restaurant MF building
  • OZW building*: restaurant W&N building
  • Bellevue: restaurant W&N building
  • Initium: restaurant Main building
  • Botanic garden Zuidas: restaurant MF building
  • O|2: Gustav Mahlerlaan
  • New University building: restaurant Main building
  • Basket*: Volleyball field / restaurant Main building

    * These are external parties (non-VU) and have their own emergency response teams; VU Amsterdam supports

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