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Safety Tips

See Something Say Something

We all play a role in keeping our community safe. If you see something suspicious, report that crime using the contact methods on this website; or by texting MSUDPPS to CRIMES (274637) along with your message. You can also call our tip line at 844-99-MSUPD (844-996-7873).

  • Remain vigilant and reduce distractions such as using a cell phone or digital devices
  • Familiarize yourself with campus to know the quickest way to get help
  • Take extra precaution at night by walking with a friend or group of friends
  • Safely dispose expired, unwanted, or unused prescription drugs in the collection bin located in the main lobby of the Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety


Evacuation maps are posted at key locations throughout facilities on campus. If an evacuation alarm sounds or if you are ordered to evacuate an area, please keep safety in mind. Move quickly to the nearest exit and move away from the hazard or danger. In an active violence incident, this is the “Run” component in the Run-Hide-Fight paradigm and should be your first option.

There are also emergency classroom guidelines posted in classrooms throughout campus that identify accountability locations, weather shelter protocols, hazardous atmosphere shelter information, and suspicious package guidelines. Please familiarize yourself with exits at facilities you are frequently at.


Secure-in-Place is a protective action to take when an active violence incident occurs. For an active violence incident, if you are not able to “Run” or evacuate, then “Hide” or secure-in-place. That means finding a hiding place that is secure, safe and protects you from the threat. Some examples include: bathrooms, file storage areas, or locked offices.

Below are suggestions for what to do and what not to do when officers arrive on scene of an active violence incident.

Things to do:

  • Raise your arms
  • Spread your fingers
  • Follow officer commands

Things not to do:

  • Do not point at the police or at the offender
  • Do not make quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety
  • Do not have anything in your hands
  • Do not pull the fire alarm as a method of initiating an evacuation of the building


Seeking Shelter

Hazardous Materials Outside:

  • Close doors and windows in your selected shelter area
  • Turn off fans and/or air conditioner
  • If possible, have the building heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) turned off
  • Use plastic sheeting, duct tape, towels, or clothes to seal windows, doors, air vents, etc.
  • Notify emergency services of your shelter location and the number of persons sheltered
  • Monitor commercial radio/TV for an all-clear notice
  • Remain in shelter until notified that conditions are safe to exit

Hazardous Weather:

Sheltering from severe weather is typically thought of for a tornado; however, severe thunderstorms can produce extremely high winds, heavy rains and lightning that can be hazardous or even fatal if precautions are not taken. MSU building Emergency Action Plans have pre-identified Weather Shelter locations that are shaded in yellow on the building’s posted emergency maps.

If you cannot locate a posted map, seek shelter in an area that is as removed from windows as possible. Become familiar with those locations and be prepared to move to shelter if a weather warning is issued.

  • Never hold the door open to let strangers into residence halls
  • Do not prop any exterior door to residence halls
  • Document serial numbers of your valuables
  • Do not keep large sums of money, jewelry, or valuables in plain view
  • Never leave your personal property unattended
  • Before leaving your residence or vehicle, remember to lock the doors
  • Remember to lock your door and windows before going to sleep
  • Always lock your bicycle to a bike rack using a U-Lock through the frame and tire
  • Use complex passwords that are changed frequently
  • Do not open emails or links from untrusted senders
  • Do not leave devices unattended
  • Only shop online from known companies
  • If you think your laptop has been infected with malware, contact police and manufacturer - you may be at risk for identity theft
  • Destroy private records and statements
  • Never provide your social security number to an untrusted source
  • Monitor your credit report
  • Review bank and credit card statements
  • Research to see if police or security patrol the grounds or buildings
  • Ask the leasing office how often the locks are changed
  • Check to see if the parking lots are well lit
  • Research how safe the commute to campus will be

MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities is continuing its work to install hundreds of new door locks for classrooms and teaching lab spaces across campus. These new locks allow those inside the classroom to lock the door while still allowing emergency personnel the ability to enter.

There are two main types of locks being installed across campus in classrooms and teaching labs:

1. Locks engaged with a new lockdown button. Doors with this feature will electronically lock once the button installed near the door is pushed, and emergency personnel will automatically be notified. Doors must be closed for the locking feature to work. With these locks, used mainly in larger auditorium-style classrooms with multiple entrances and exits, signage with directions is being posted next to the button.

2. New lever door handles that are locked by turning a “thumb turn” on the inside of the door.


Regardless of lock type, those inside a classroom or teaching lab will always have the ability to leave the room. Faculty, students and staff should only lock their classrooms and teaching labs during an emergency presenting a threat of active violence. It is not required to keep doors closed and locked at all times. Work on installing new locks will continue into the academic year.

As previously communicated, new locks are not being installed in office spaces, most of which already can be locked with a key or via a toggle on the door edge.