Safety and Security

Promoting Awareness, Providing Support

SMU campuses are located in metropolitan areas, and while we work hard at keeping our community safe and secure, things can happen. We encourage you to be alert.

Access to our campus spaces is limited by badge control. We need all students, faculty, and staff to be vigilant about safety. If you see something concerning, call the appropriate numbers below to make a report. 

We encourage you to update your contact information in our emergency notification system. In a crisis or major emergency, we will communicate with you via our SMU ALERT system. All students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled in the SMU ALERT system but we need your help to maintain it. We recommend that you avoid relying on one medium to get your messages.

The University also provides students and employees with a variety of safety-related educational programs each year. This includes giving new students tips on crime prevention in the online orientation and throughout the year.

    FOR EMERGENCIES – DIAL 911 

    Oakland Campus 

    • Police Department:  510.777.3211
    • Fire Department:  510.238.3856
    • Campus Security:  510.763.4001
    • SMU Administrator:  510.879.9200

    Sacramento Campus

    • Police Department:  916.264.5151
    • Fire Department:  916.808.1300
    • Campus Security:  916.275.1990
    • SMU Administrator:  916.646.2770

    San Francisco Peninsula Campus

    • Police Department:  650.522.7700
    • Fire Department:  650.522.7960
    • Campus Security:  (none on site)
    • SMU Administrator:  650.292.5565

    Fresno Campus

    • Police Department: 559.621.7000
    • Fire Department: 559.621.4199
    • Campus Security: 559.243.1217

    Fire

    • Remain calm
    • If alarm is not sounding, activate one of the manual pull stations nearest you. This will alert emergency responders.
    • Use a fire extinguisher only if it is safe to do so and you have been trained
    • EVACUATE you area via the nearest EXIT stairs, and continue to the Evacuation Assembly Area
    • Do not use elevators
    • Assist injured personnel or notify emergency responders of the medical emergency
    • Assist physically impaired individuals to the assembly area and notify emergency responders
    • Remain in the assembly area until the All Clear has been given

    R.A.C.E.  Emergency Response

    • R = Rescue/Relocate endangered persons
    • A = Alarm
      • Activate fire alarm nearest you
      • Alert Hospital Operator, ext. 0
      • State "Code Red" and location of fire
    • C = Confine
      • Close all doors and windows
    • E = Extinguish if small and safe to do so

     

    Earthquake

    • DROP

      • Drop wherever you are on your hands and knees. If you're in a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops.

    • COVER

      • Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.

    • HOLD ON

      • If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If you can't find a table or desk, cover your head and neck with both arms and hands. If seated, and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms, and hold on to your neck with both hands.

     

    Active Shooter/Violence

    • RUN
      • Run from danger when it is safe to do so
      • It is always best to place yourself as far from danger as possible
      • Non-traditional exits may be necessary when evacuating
    • HIDE
      • If you are unable to RUN from danger, barricade entry points
      • Utilize cover and concealment to shield yourself from harm
      • Prepare to RUN or FIGHT if necessary
    • FIGHT
      • When confronted by the gunman, fight back
      • Use any objects in the area to your advantage
      • Do not stop fighting until the threat is neutralized

    * This is not designed to be sequential

    * Always CALL 911 when it is safe to do so

    *Do not pull the fire alarm during an active shooter

     

    Medical

    • Remain calm
    • Initiate lifesaving measures, if trained to do so
    • Dial 911 for emergency medical assistance
      • State the medical emergency and location

     

    Bomb Threat

    If a bomb threat is received by phone:

    • Remain calm. Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible. DO NOT HANG UP, even if the caller does.
    • Be courteous. Listen - do not interrupt the caller.
    • Try to keep the caller talking to learn more information. Write down exactly what is said by the caller.
    • Notify supervisor by pre-arranged signal while caller is still on the line.
    • If you phone has a display, copy the number and/or letters on the window display.
    • Immediately upon termination of call, DO NOT HANG UP, but from a different phone, contact the Crisis Response Team, Campus Security, or 911.

    If a bomb threat is received by note:

    • Remain calm
    • Handle as little as possible with edges only
    • Immediately write down the description of person passing the note on a Bomb Threat Report
    • Notify the Crisis Response Team, Campus Security, or 911

    If you discover a bomb or suspicious package:

    • Remain calm
    • Leave is untouched and immediately leave the area
    • Notify the Crisis Response Team, Campus Security, or 911
    • Be prepared to give a detailed description to emergency first responders

     

    Suspicious Person

    If you encounter a suspicious person:

    • Remain calm
    • DO NOT let anyone into a locked room or building without proper authority
    • DO NOT engage in a physical confrontation with the person
    • DO NOT block the person's exit
    • Contact Campus Security or 911

    Signs of Suspicious Person or Activity

    • Anything out of the ordinary
    • A person(s) running or leaving quickly - as if he or she were being watched or chased
    • A person(s) hauling property - lab equipment, laptops, books, bikes - at an unusual time or location
    • A person(s) going door to door in a building or office
    • A person(s) pulling on multiple doorknobs or trying to open residence hall/office rooms
    • A person(s) pulling on car door handles or looking into multiple vehicles
    • A person(s) forcibly entering a locked vehicle or door
    • Car or person(s) repeatedly circling an area
    • A person(s) being forced into a vehicle
    • Strange(s) noises - arguing, yelling, gunshots, etc.
    • A person(s) exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms - person may be injured or under the influence of drugs
    • A person(s) who photographs, videotapes, sketches or asks detailed questions about power plants, buildings, bridges, hospitals, utility infrastructure, etc.
    • A person(s) who doesn't belong, gaining, or trying to gain access to a restricted area

     

    Power Outage

    • Contact Facilities Department
    • Conserve power, turn off and unplug all non-essential equipment
    • Utilize flashlights, open curtains, and use other illuminating procedures as needed
    • If evacuated, safely proceed to the Evacuation Assembly Area. Be cautious of safety hazards due to low lighting.
    • Do not use elevators
    • The Crisis Response Team, SMU Leadership or SMU Alert will notify the community.

    The purpose of Emergency Preparedness is to develop, organize, coordinate and lead the campus toward effective preparation for, and efficient response to, emergencies and disasters with the primary focus on saving lives, reducing human suffering and the minimizing of property loss and academic services.

    Have a Plan

    Some emergencies have a recognizable build-up period in which preparedness actions can be taken, but many do not. Plan for emergencies now by:

    • Talking with your friends, family, and co-workers about the actions you should take during an emergency
    • Ensuring you know the evacuation routes and shelter areas for the buildings in which you spend the majority of your day
    • Ensure you know the location of emergency equipment such as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), fire extinguishers, and first aid kits.
    • Update your SMU ALERT contact information so you are sure to receive any messages sent by campus officials

    Prepare a Personal Emergency Supply Kit

    • During or immediately following an emergency, you may be on your own for hours or days before emergency responders can reach you. Stashing away a few key items in an emergency supply kit can help you survive during this period of time.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255

    Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

    Oakland Campus

    • Alameda County Crisis Number: 1.800.309.2131

    Sacramento Campus

    • Sacramento Crisis Number: 916.368.3111

    San Francisco Peninsula Campus

    • San Mateo County Crisis Number: 650.579.0350

    Fresno Campus

    • Central Valley Crisis Number: 1.888.506.5991

    Our Oakland and Sacramento campuses offer security escort services to and from buildings.

    Oakland Campus 

    • To request an escort call 510.763.4001. Our campus security is available at any time.

    Sacramento Campus

    • To request an escort call 916.275.1990. Securitas provides escorts Monday-Friday, from 4p.m.–10 p.m.

    Each year, SMU offers a variety of educational programming to promote awareness of safety, crime prevention, and sexual misconduct and violence. These include:

    • Student Orientation—Covers personal safety, crime prevention, and how to report emergencies and incidents. It also introduces the SMU Alert System to new students
    • Community Learning Series—Features a broad range of topics from domestic violence and bystander training to healthy living tips
    • Title IX, Clery Act Reports, and Sexual Harassment Training—Online training as part of the University’s compliance with federal laws related to discrimination and crime reporting
    • Custom Programs—Students and employees may request special training as part of a campus club or because of a concern

    Our Safety and Security Team has a few safety suggestions:

    • To decrease the chances of vehicle break-ins or other criminal activity, do not leave valuables exposed in your car and use recommended/authorized parking areas or shuttle services

    • Stay alert and walk briskly with your head up and shoulders back; criminals look for easy marks, such as people who are slouched over, preoccupied, or fumbling with items

    • Look around the parking lot and your vehicle for suspicious people. If you notice suspicious behavior, remove yourself from the area and inform security or the police immediately

    • Walk with others when possible to ensure that each person arrives safely to their vehicle

    • Walk in well-lit areas and be aware of noises and movement

    • Have your keys in your hand, ready to open your vehicle

    • Look into your vehicle’s front and rear seats before entering

    • If someone approaches your vehicle inquiring about directions, do not open your door or roll down your window

    • If you are alone after dark, ask security to escort you to your vehicle

    Who should I call if I need escort service to my car after dark?
    We encourage you to use this service during the winter months when it gets darker earlier.

    • Oakland Campus: Campus Security- 510.763.4001
    • Sacramento Campus:  Securitas- 916.275.1990, Monday-Friday from 4p.m.-10p.m.

    I just saw a suspicious-looking person lurking in the parking lot? Who should I call?
    Do not approach the person on your own. The situation should be handled by a security professional.

    • Oakland Campus: Campus Security-  510.763.4001
    • Sacramento Campus: Campus Security-  916.275.1990
    • San Francisco Peninsula: SMU Administration-  650.292.5565 or Police Department-  650.522.7700
    • Fresno Campus: Campus Security- 559.243.1217

    Note:  Save these numbers in your cell phone to use while on campus in case of an emergency.

    Someone who does not appear to be a University employee or student is in my work area. How should I approach them?
    Simply ask them, how can I help you? If the person has a legitimate reason for being in your area, they will likely tell you. If the person should not be there, they will at least know that someone is aware of their presence in the building and will likely leave. Do not ignore strangers in the building. If you feel this person is a threat, please contact Security or local law enforcement.

    Someone just fell down the stairs in our building. They appear to be hurt badly. Should I call Security or 911?
    Call 911 immediately for any accident where serious injury is apparent. The person may require immediate medical attention. After calling 911, call Facilities at 510.907.2438 and we will notify Security so that a report can be filed.

    Some of my belongings are missing from my room/office. Who should I notify?
    Call Security or SMU Administration. They will notify the police to file a report.  In addition, please notify Facilities so that we are kept in the communication loop.  In the event of computer/laptop theft, call the IT/Helpdesk Ext. 2555.

    SMU Alert Notification System

    SMU Alert System

    The SMU Alert System delivers critical information to our community members by phone, email, and text. You are automatically enrolled in this service, and you may add or update your information at any time. 

    SMU Alert Details
    Student in Health Education Center

    Student Catalog and Handbook

    The Student Catalog and Handbook contains several sections related to safety on campus, including our code of conduct, policies on discrimination and harassment, and reporting procedures.  
     

    View or download (PDF)