The University and Resident Life take reasonable steps that contribute toward maintaining a safer and more secure environment. Staff, equipment and information resources are provided to encourage behaviors that prevent dangerous situations and to assist should an emergency should occur. However, despite these reasonable and good faith efforts, it is impossible to predict individual actions or guarantee absolute control that will assure no unwanted acts or situations ever will occur.
Each individual residing in campus residence halls has primary responsibility for his or her own safety and security.
Security Services and Policies
- full-service Police department with uniformed officers
- security escorts
- residence hall doors are locked 24 hours a day
- electronic card access system in all traditional residence halls
- residents typically use their keys/access cards four times; to open the entrance door, to enter ground level stairwells, to call the elevator and to open their room door
- Shuttle-UM buses stop outside each residence hall every 15-30 minutes 5:30pm-3am every night
- N.I.T.E. Ride escorts by Shuttle-UM vans 5:30pm-7:30am every night
- outdoor Emergency phones
- dusk to dawn patrols by Police officers in marked and unmarked cars, motorcycles and bicycles
- Shuttle-UM bus drive-through of main roads and parking lots
- surveillance cameras
- crime prevention programs
- Visitors should call their host's room from telephones at the main entrances and wait to be accompanied into the building.
In the Residence Halls
- Guests should be escorted at all times
When crimes occur on campus, they are reported by Police in "crime alerts" and in The Diamondback newspaper. This is done to encourage crime prevention behaviors by all community members and therefore foster a safer environment. Crime statistics are published each year, in compliance with federal regulations.
Please visit the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety for more information.
Residents will be expected to
- keep their room doors locked
- never walk alone after dark, either walking with friends or utilizing escort/transit services
- not allow strangers into their building
- report suspicious persons or activity to Police
- stay away from relatively isolated areas of the campus
- not place themselves in vulnerable or potentially dangerous situations
Safety First in the Residence Halls
For fire safety and sanitation/health reasons, cooking is prohibited in all student rooms without a kitchen. This is why students in traditional halls and suites are required to participate on an approved meal plan.
The only permissible appliances are popcorn poppers and hot water pots that have enclosed heating elements and bear the UL seal. These items should never be used in student rooms, only in a designated cooking area within a floor lounge.
Students may not bring or use:
- extension cords,
- electric skillets,
- crockpots, or
- appliances with open or exposed heating elements or coils such as hotplates, toasters and toaster ovens.
Small refrigerators are permitted in student rooms. They must meet these safety specifications:
- 3.6 cubic foot maximum
- 1.5 amp maximum
- 120 volts, 60 cycle AC
- grounding type, 3-prong electric plug and 3-wire cord
- Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Seal of Approval
Food preparation in rooms should be limited to cereal and pre-packaged snacks. Food should be stored in a refrigerator or in air-tight containers to avoid spoiling, odors and pests.
Students are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and carrying their trash to outdoor dumpsters. You should bring a waste basket and plastic liner bags.
Fire Safety Reminders
If you hear your building's fire alarm:
- Immediately exit the building
- Always assume an emergency, never assume a false alarm
- Use stairs, not elevators
- Do not open door if knob is warm to the touch; stay in room and call 911
- Crawl on floor (where air is fresher) if you encounter smoke
If you smell smoke or see smoke or fire:
- Pull the nearest building alarm
- Close your room door
- Safely exit the building
- Call 911
- Never attempt to fight or put out a fire
- Tell staff or fire authorities exact location of fire or smoke
What you should do upon check-in:
- Read emergency/evacuation procedure posted in your room
- Know locations of exit stairwells and doors
- Plan more than one exit route
Early Warning Systems
Our campus has multiple ways of providing instant notifications to students, faculty and staff of imminent dangerous conditions. First, students who sign up for the service at UMD Alert System will receive text message alerts to their cell phones, pagers, Blackberry, PDA and/or email accounts in an emergency.
Also in an emergency, sirens around campus will sound continuously for at least three minutes. If you ever hear the sirens:
- Stay inside and seek information from the sources below.
- If outdoors, seek shelter inside the closest building.
- When danger has passed, a single 30-second siren blast will sound.
Instructions for responding to an emergency should be learned by checking:
- WMUC 88.1 FM
- 1640 AM radio
- Comcast Cable Channel 76 (Terp TV)
- Calling extension 5-SNOW or (301) 405-7669 (recorded message)
- Emergency Preparedness at Maryland