DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Stay safe this winter quarter

Stay safe this winter quarter

Graphic urging 5 feet of clear space next to a fire hydrant
(U.S. Fire Administration/Federal Emergency Management Agency)

As the university moves through the winter quarter, Public Safety would like to remind about several policies and procedures designed to help keep the campus safe, along with a few seasonal tips.

Winter weather

The Facility Operations department works to clear snow and ice during the winter season from DePaul's campuses, including keeping snow away from fire hydrants. Firefighters need quick access to hydrants in case of a fire. If you live off-campus, consider "adopting" the fire hydrant closest to your home and clearing it after a snowfall. More information about preparing for winter weather is online.

DPU Alert: text, email, and voice calls

DPU Alert can notify the DePaul University community simultaneously in up to three different ways: via telephone, e-mail and text message. DePaul will send DPU Alerts only in emergencies, including university closure due to severe winter weather. Be sure to verify your contact information for DPU Alert in Campus Connect. More information on DPU Alert is online.

Fire alarms

Evacuate immediately upon hearing a fire alarm. Use interior stairwells if it is safe to do so, meaning no smoke or fire. Exterior fire escapes are a last resort. People with disabilities may need assistance in leaving the building during an evacuation; more information is online.

Acts of violence

Public Safety encourages you to contemplate a number of options for how to respond to a potential act of violence, whether on- or off-campus. If you hear gunfire, shouting, screams or commotion, react immediately. Please visit this page to view "Shots Fired On Campus" and a short video demonstrating how door barricades are used in classrooms. We encourage all faculty members especially to practice using door barricades in classrooms where they teach. Knowing how to use these devices BEFORE an emergency is critical.

The following actions are also 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 the room/office, stay quiet, turn lights off, hide under a desk or in a closet, and set cell phone on silent, not just vibrate;
  • Use the door barricade device in classrooms; and
  • If room does not lock, block the doorway 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; and
  • Use items such as chairs, fire extinguishers, coffee mugs, etc.

We recommend you first call 911 in any 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.