Safety Tips and FAQs

Responsibility for a crime lies with the person committing it; however, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing crime. Read these prevention tips to learn more.

  • Call 911 immediately if you ever feel you are in an emergency situation.

 

Crime Prevention


  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions, especially when walking alone. Try to avoid isolated or dark areas. Walk in groups whenever you can—there is safety in numbers.
  • Let a family member or friend know when you’re going somewhere and your estimated time of arrival or return. This allows them to notify police as quickly as possible if there is a problem.
  • Remember, most crimes are committed in response to the opportunity, so the best prevention is to eliminate opportunities.
  • Use the U’s SafeRide program or a courtesy escort (Main campus: 801-585-2677; University Hospital: 801-581-2294) to get around campus.
  • Lock your door.
  • No tailgating—don’t hold the door to let others in the building if you’re unsure if they live in the community.
  • Always escort your guests in and out of the building.
  • Don't loan your keys or UCard to others.
  • Use the U’s SafeRide program or a courtesy escort (Main campus: 801-585-2677; University Hospital: 801-581-2294) to get around campus.
  • Lock doors and windows.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight. Lock up wallets, purses, jewelry, and other valuables.
  • Develop a relationship with neighbors and coworkers and check in on one another often.
  • Never leave your backpack, purse, or belongings unattended.
  • Record the serial numbers for laptops, cameras, and other devices as this can aid in recovering stolen property.
  • If you need to leave belongings in the car, put them in the trunk so they are out of sight.
  • Lock the doors and make sure that the vehicle and the windows are closed.
  • Do not leave money or any visible item in your vehicle.
  • Use a U-lock to secure your bike.
  • Do not use inexpensive locks, they can easily be cut.
  • Register your bike with U Police.
  • Keep pictures of your bicycle and document your bicycle serial number as this can aid in recovering stolen property.
  • Wait for your ride in a safe place. Try to avoid isolated or dark areas.
  • Make sure you are getting into the right car by matching the license plate, car make, and model, and the driver to information provided by the ride-sharing app.
  • Ask the driver to confirm your name before you get in the car.
  • Sit in the back seat, especially if you’re riding alone.
  • Wear your seat belt.
  • Share your trip details with a family member or friend. This allows them to notify police as quickly as possible if there is a problem.
  • Do not share personal information with the driver.
  • If you feel unsafe, end the ride at any time. Trust your gut if anything feels off.

SAFETY AND WELLNESS


  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions. Try to avoid isolated or dark areas. Hike in groups whenever you can—there is safety in numbers.
  • Pay attention to the trail and where you step.
  • Do not venture off designated trails.
  • Use GPS or physical maps to help you know where you’re going and how to leave.
  • Get to know the trails and do not underestimate them.
  • Use a helmet.
  • Avoid excessive speed, which is often associated with crashes.
  • Make sure you learn proper riding techniques and make sure you have good tires that are properly inflated in order to decrease the chance of “washing out” on curves.

ONLINE SAFETY


  • Lock your screen when stepping away from your computer.
  • When posting photographs and information on the Web, consider the information you might unwittingly be giving a predator, such as your name, appearance, addresses, school names, etc.
  • Do not give personal information (Account numbers, Social Security number, PIN, etc.) to anyone unless you know they are legitimately entitled to have such information.
  • Back up computer data. If a computer is stolen, the loss of the data on the computer is very often more interruptive to you and potentially more valuable than the loss of the computer. Set up a routine for backing the data and be faithful in keeping to it. Store the back-up away from the computer, preferably off-site. Consider password-protecting documents containing personal information.
  • Protect files, email, financial accounts, and other accounts with strong passwords. Strong passwords are not found in a dictionary; they contain a mixture of characters and are not easily identified. You might consider a sentence that is easy for you to remember and use a combination of characters from that sentence. For example, the sentence might be: As a student, I lived @ 756 Main St. Using the first letter of each word and the numbers, the password becomes aasIl@756MS. Be careful not to reveal the password or the sentence to anyone.
  • If possible, use only your university-issued device for work. These devices are managed and have additional security controls in place to better protect you and your data. Do not let friends or family use university-owned devices.
  • Stay on a private, secure Wi-Fi network. Do not use public computers for work, and avoid using public Wi-Fi. If public Wi-Fi is your only option, use a virtual private network (VPN) to create a private encrypted connection between your computer and the university's network.
  • Stay vigilant for phishing attacks. Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from people asking about employees or other internal information. If an unknown individual claim seems to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify that person's identity directly with the company.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email and do not respond to email solicitations for information. If you are suspicious of an email, don't hesitate to forward it to phish@utah.edu
  • Scams can lead to identity theft, regular theft, access to your accounts and personal information, and compromised computers. Learn about how to spot them here.

EMERGENCIES


  • The University of Utah has an Emergency Response Guide to increase the U’s capabilities to respond to hazards that threaten the campus and to prevent or reduce the impact of hazards on the community. Check the complete guide here.

RUN: The second you think you hear gunshots, run. Look for the nearest exit and run away from the gun sounds. Help others and get out. When you’re clear of the building and in a safe place, call 911 and provide as much detail as possible.

HIDE: If you can’t run, hide. First, do anything you can to block the door. Just slowing down the shooter could save your life. Don’t all bunch together. If someone’s been shot, stop the bleeding. Turn off the lights and silence your cellphones. You can text the police at 911.

FIGHT: When you have no options left, fight. Fight dirty—throw stuff as hard as you can. Tackle the shooter high and low. Subdue the gun. Gouge the eyes. Make a plan and work together.

Find more information here.

It is possible that during your time at the University of Utah, you could receive a Campus Alert instructing you to either secure-in-place or shelter-in-place. You should know the difference between the two warnings.

You should secure-in-place during violence, threat of violence, when an active assailant has been reported or is nearby, or otherwise when instructed to do so by Campus Alerts and emergency personnel. When it is necessary to secure-in-place, you will be the safest by placing a locked door or other barricade between you and the associated threat. To minimize vulnerability, turn off lights, silence phones, draw blinds, and move away from windows. Await further instructions from Campus Alerts and emergency personnel. Do Not leave until an "All Clear" is received.

Shelter-in-Place incidents are usually weather related emergencies, they can be utility related. Be prepared to shelter for a matter of hours. When it is necessary to shelter-in-place, you will be safest by moving inside to a building space, above ground, that protects you from the danger. Try to avoid spaces with windows. Do not lock doors behind you as others may also need to shelter-in-place. The specifics of shelter-in-place procedures such as which locations in a building are the safest-depend on the type of weather emergency or natural disaster that is occurring. Follow instructions from Campus Alerts and emergency personnel.

If evacuation is necessary:

  1. Alert people in area to evacuate.
  2. Shutdown critical equipment if time permits.
  3. Activate fire alarm pull station, when present.
  4. Proceed calmly to assembly point – check in with supervisor.
  5. Call 911 if life is threatened.
  6. Have a person knowledgeable about the incident meet emergency response personnel.
  7. Do not re-enter building unless instructed by emergency response personnel.

Emergency Evacuation Chairs 

Stryker evacuation chairs are strategically placed in University buildings to aid evacuation of individuals with mobility impairment. Evacuation chairs are fold-up chairs, which allow for people with permanent or temporary mobility limitations to be evacuated quickly during an emergency. Contact OEHS to request an evacuation chair at 801-581-6590.

Resources


How can I register my bicycle or electronic devices?
We recommend using the U Police online property registration system to record the serial number of valuable property such as bikes and laptops. This will make it easier to recover your property if it is stolen. To register your bicycle, click here. To register a laptop, click here.

How to make a police report?
To make a police report, call the University of Utah Police at 801-585-2677 and ask to speak with an officer. This request will create a call log, which will show the date, time, and nature of your complaint. After speaking with an officer, you will receive instructions on next steps.

Do you have a fingerprinting service?
Yes. Campus Security offers this service. You need to schedule a 15-minute appointment, available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. To schedule, call 801-585-2677. Update 11/16/20: Fingerprint Services are suspended due to COVID-19 until further notice.

How can I get information about a police incident I was involved in?
University Police Records maintains and distributes information on any case the department creates. To use this service, call 801-585-2677 and ask for the records unit.

Some of my property was booked into evidence by your department. How do I get it back?
Evidence in cases can vary in time and is normally a case by case situation. Contact U Police at 801-585-2677 for information about your case.

Can I schedule a safety-related presentation?
Yes. University Police offers several safety-related presentations throughout the year. Capt. Shawn Bryce leads efforts to engage with students and campus partners in safety events and educational projects. Contact Capt. Bryce at shawn.bryce@utah.edu for initiatives focused on personal safety, mental health, and self-defense.

I have a question about parking regulations or a parking ticket I received. Who do I talk to?
Parking services is a separate entity from University safety. You will need to call Commuter Services at 801-581-6415.