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Safety Tips

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These guidelines and tips outline ways to help you stay safe and prepared in the event of an emergency. If you’re looking for in-person training opportunities, find out how to submit a request.

University emergency alerts

AlertUR: Get notified

In the event of an emergency, AlertUR sends out notifications by email, phone, and text. Make sure your contact information is correct and manage your alert preferences.

Visit AlertUR

Violent emergencies: What to do

In the unlikely event of a violent emergency, staying calm and following these guidelines could save your life. Learn what to do in different emergency scenarios.

If an active shooter threat arises, there will be emergency communication through Alert UR. However, if you see an active shooter, you shouldn’t wait for direction before reacting.

If you find yourself in the vicinity of an active shooter:

Run. Escape if you can, and encourage others to follow. Leave your belongings behind. If you can, prevent others from entering the area. Once you’re safe, call 911 or Public Safety. Be sure to keep your hands empty and visible.

Hide. Hide in an area out of the shooter’s view. Lock or block the doors. Remain quiet and silence your cell phone. Stay away from windows and doors.

Fight. If there’s no other option and your life is in danger, you should fight. Act with aggression and attempt to incapacitate the shooter. Use improvised weapons.

When law enforcement arrives, it’s important to realize that responding officers will be armed, and their number one priority is to eliminate the threat. This means they will pass by the wounded first.

Remain calm, keep your hands empty, and raise them in the air so the police know you are not a threat. Be sure to follow the police officer’s instructions. Don’t interfere with their efforts, chase fleeing suspects, run towards the police, or grab any police officers.

Robbery is the stealing of another person’s belongings by using force. If you find yourself in the middle of a robbery, here are steps you can take.

  • Stay calm and try not to panic.
  • Avoid confrontational eye contact or making any sudden movements.
  • Cooperate. Remember that items can be replaced, but people cannot.

While cooperation is important, do not voluntarily help the suspect. For example, don’t give the suspect more than what he asks for, like more money or additional items like watches, cell phones, computers.

Be observant. Try to get as much detail about the suspect as possible (for example: race, gender, hair and eye color, height, weight, clothing, weapon used, and direction of travel) Also, obtain as much detail as you can about any involved vehicles (for example: color, make, model, license plate, body type, and year).

Immediately following the robbery, move to a safe location and call for help as soon as you can. Speedy reporting improves our chances of solving the crime.

Get more information on reporting a robbery.

Vehicle and bicycle safety tips

Below is advice for keeping your vehicle or bike safe on campus. If you find yourself the victim of a robbery or larceny, our Victim Support and Services page can provide additional guidance.

  • Be sure to park in well-lit, well-traveled areas whenever you can.
  • Always lock your car and close your windows.
  • Hide any personal belongings, and lock valuables in your trunk.
  • If you see any suspicious activity, notify Public Safety at (585) 275-3333.
  • Use the best lock type. High-quality locks, like U-locks, work best. Avoid cable or chain locks as they can be cut or broken easily. You can also combine a U-lock with another lock for added safety.
  • Securely lock your bike. If possible, lock your bike to a bike rack. Don’t lock your bike to objects that can be easily removed, cut, or broken. Set the keyway to be facing the ground, as this prevents a thief from having easy access to the lock.
  • Make sure your lock is the correct size. Locks with a lot of extra room will give thieves an advantage.
  • Lock your bike in a safe place. Be sure to lock your bike in a well-lit area. Remember that bikes are not to be parked or stored blocking entrances or exits. Bikes also can’t be placed in pedestrian walkways, stairwells, hallways, or in other University building public areas.
  • Register your bike. The University’s Office of Parking and Transportation allows you to register your bike, which is an added layer of protection.

On- and off-campus living

Living safely on or off campus comes with different safety considerations. It’s also important to consider safety of your belongings when you leave for breaks or vacations. Explore these safety tips:

  • Lock up. Keep your doors and lower-level windows locked when you’re gone. Sleeping with your bedroom door closed and locked is a good safety practice, as well. If someone knocks, find out who it is before you answer.
  • Keep your keys safe. Have your keys ready as you approach your residence. Don’t attach your name or address to your keys. If your keys or ID card are lost or stolen, contact Residential Life right away to prevent misuse.
  • Keep your belongings safe. Close shades after dark, and don’t leave anything valuable visible from the outside.
  • Make sure the keys are changed when you move in and exterior doors have deadbolts. This helps prevent previous tenants from accessing the residence.
  • Make sure windows are free from cracks and damage.
  • Ensure there is both a functioning smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Don’t hide a spare key outside your home.
  • When traveling to and from your residence, take paths and walkways that are well-lit. Also note where the closest Blue Light phones are to you, and familiarize yourself with the neighborhood.
  • Don’t open the door for strangers.
  • If possible, keep bushes and hedges trimmed down. If bushes and hedges cover a window or door, a criminal can break in more easily.
  • If possible, take smaller items with you, especially valuables or irreplaceable possessions. If you do leave these behind, lock them in a sturdy trunk or safe, or cover them up so they’re out of sight.
  • Keep a record of what you’re leaving behind. This can include pictures, serial numbers, model, price, and date of purchase.
  • The last person to leave should do a double-check of the residence to ensure windows and doors are locked.
  • If you’re leaving your car, park it in a well-lit area and remove any valuables. You could ask a friend who is staying behind to keep an eye on it, as well.
  • Avoid posting your plans to social media while you’re away, as it could tip criminals that you’re not at your residence.
  • When coming back, check for broken windows, damaged doors, or other signs of foul play before you enter. If something seems off, contact Public Safety for assistance.

Other University safety resources

Here are additional online resources with safety advice and tips on a variety of topics.

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