DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Stay alert this fall: Review safety procedures

Stay alert this fall: Review safety procedures

Campus scene outside the John T. Richardson Library
Outside the John T. Richardson Library. (DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)

As DePaul advances through the fall term, Public Safety would like to remind the community about several university policies and procedures that help keep the campus safe.

Emergency notification systems

DePaul would alert the campus community to an on-campus emergency in a number of ways:

Fire alarms

Evacuate a building immediately upon hearing a fire alarm. Use interior stairwells if safe to do so, meaning no smoke or fire, and use exterior fire escapes as a last resort. Persons with disabilities may need assistance to evacuate a building. Visit the Public Safety website for more information.

In-building emergency speakers

All university-owned buildings have speakers that allow for audible announcements of emergencies (not related to smoke/fire).

DPU Alert: text, email, and voice calls

DPU Alert can notify the DePaul community simultaneously in up to three different ways: telephone, e-mail and text message.

DePaul will send DPU Alerts in emergencies only. Be sure to verify your contact information for DPU Alert in Campus Connect. More information on DPU Alert can be found online.

Act of violence

Public Safety encourages you to contemplate a number of options for how to respond to an act of violence in various locations both on and off-campus. Please visit the Public Safety website to view "Shots Fired On Campus" video and a short video demonstrating how door barricades are used in classrooms. We encourage all faculty members especially to practice using door barricades in the classrooms where they teach. Knowing how to use these devices BEFORE an emergency is critical.

If you hear gunfire, shouting, screams or commotion, react immediately. The following actions are recommended:

  • Run: Escape from the threat if you have a clear path of escape. When in doubt, barricade/secure your area. Call 911 when you are safe.
  • Hide: Barricade or secure your area to delay the attacker if you do not have a clear path of escape.
    • When in doubt, seek a secure location.
    • Lock room/office; stay quiet; turn lights off; hide under desk or in closet; put cell phones on silent, not just vibrate.
    • Use a door barricade device in classrooms.
    • If the room does not lock: barricade the door with whatever is available-chairs, tables, desk, etc.
  • Fight: As a last resort, attempt to incapacitate the shooter, improvise weapons or throw items.
    • Attack as a team if possible, from multiple angles.
    • Use items such as chairs, fire extinguishers, coffee mugs, etc.

We recommend you first call 911 in an active shooter situation. Then call Public Safety at the Loop Campus (312-362-8400) or the Lincoln Park Campus (773-325-7777).

More safety tips while on- and off-campus are online.

Cheryl Hover is the assistant director of emergency management for Public Safety.​