General Safety Tips

Advice to ensure you’re prepared for any emergency

Prevent, Plan for, and Respond to Emergencies

NUPD’s Crime Prevention Unit and Fire Safety Unit work throughout the year to promote safety initiatives on how to protect yourself in different environments. Below are pointers about how to stay safe when in your residence, on or off campus, in your car, and on public transportation.

General Advice

  • Don’t leave your valuables unattended.
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Know where you’re going.
  • Trust your instincts. If someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave and call the police immediately.
  • Program your cellphone to speed-dial 911 and NUPD’s emergency number 617.373.3333.
  • Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods where you live and work.
  • Stick to well-traveled streets.
  • Don’t flash large amounts of cash in public.
  • Carry your purse close to your body.
  • If someone tries to rob you, don’t resist. Give up your property.
  • When using an ATM, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Have your car, apartment, or residence hall key in hand before you reach the door.
  • If you think someone is following you, don’t hesitate to yell for help or call the police.
  • If someone harasses you, loudly say “Leave me alone!”

On Public Transportation and in a Car

  • Plan to wait for trains in well-populated areas.
  • Use well-lighted, busy public transit stops. Stay alert.
  • Hold purses, bags, backpacks, or wallets in front of you.
  • Keep your car in good running condition.
  • Always roll up the windows and lock car doors.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas or underground parking garages.
  • If you think someone is following you, call the police or drive to the nearest police or fire station.
  • Don’t give rides to strangers.

In Residence Halls or Off-Campus Housing

  • Check your locks and doors to ensure proper operation.
  • Don’t leave accessible windows or doors unlocked.
  • Be aware that most residential burglaries happen in the daytime.
  • Leave a light or a radio on when you’re not home.
  • Prune back shrubbery so it doesn’t hide doors or windows.
  • When you’re not home, leave shades, blinds, and curtains open.
  • Don’t let mail pile up.
  • Make a list of your valuables.
  • If something looks questionable (for example, a slit screen), don’t go in. Call the police from a safe location.
  • Consider installing house alarms, which can be a good investment to protect your property.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Activate the fire alarm system by pulling a fire alarm station on your way out of the building.
  • If time permits, stabilize lab procedures, turn off stoves and ovens, and unplug or disable any device that could make a dangerous situation worse.
  • Leave the building via the nearest exit. Warn others as you leave.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Feel doors before opening, and close doors and windows as you leave if it’s safe to do so.
  • Report the fire to the local fire department by calling 911, then contact NUPD by calling 617.373.3333 once you’re outside.
  • If you’re trapped, keep the doors closed and place cloth under them to keep out smoke. Signal for help by hanging an object (for example, a shirt or jacket) out the window to attract attention.
  • Remain a safe distance away from the building and await further instructions. Keep roadways open and beware of approaching emergency vehicles. Notify emergency responders of anyone trapped or any special conditions in the building.
  • Do not go back into the building for any reason until an authorized university official deems it safe to re-enter.

Safety Tips for Faculty and Staff

  • Lock all office doors when unattended.
  • Keep valuables in locked desks, file cabinets, or storage areas.
  • Practice effective key management—don’t leave spare keys accessible.
  • Report suspicious people or odd behavior to NUPD immediately. What’s suspicious? Anything that seems unusual for the area or time of day when it occurs. Trust your instincts.
  • Threatening, violent, or otherwise inappropriate conduct by students need not be tolerated and should be reported to NUPD.
  • Report all thefts to NUPD immediately.

Online Safety

  • Shop online only with companies you know.
  • Use a secure browser that will encrypt or scramble purchase information.
  • Never give anyone your bank account number, Social Security Number, or other personal information.
  • Never give out your internet password. When using social media, never post personal identification information or photographs that could be used for identity theft.
  • If you or someone you know suspects that you may be the victim of identity theft, notify NUPD or your local police department as soon as possible to file a report. If you suspect you’re the victim of identity theft, contact your local Social Security Administration Office and at least one of the national credit rating agencies listed below to report your concern and check activity on your accounts.
    • Equifax: 1.888.766.0008
    • Experian: 1.888.397.3742
    • TransUnion: 1.800.680.7289