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Emergency Procedures & Personal Safety

Staying safe

The campus has 24-hour security to help ensure the safety of our residents and students. Residence buildings offer additional security Thursdays through Saturdays, as well as during exam periods.

The friendly nature of residence might mean you don't pay as much attention to your own personal safely as you should. Here are some important safety tips to remember:

  • Don't prop doors open. If you find one propped open, close it.
  • Don't lend your keys/keycard out to friends.
  • Report lost or stolen keys/card immediately to the residence office.
  • Don't keep money, wallets, valuables or jewellery lying out.
  • Don't leave your room unlocked, even to go to the washroom.
  • Don't let people you don't know into your residence.
  • Develop a buddy system to go shopping, to walk to and from class, etc.
  • Know the location of the emergency phones in your area.
  • Let your fellow residents know where you are going.

Alarms and evacuations

  • Evacuation: Your RA will review evacuation procedures with you. They are also posted on the back of your residence room door. During any alarm, you must exit the building. Failure to evacuate could result in Residence Code of Conduct violation outcomes or criminal charges by Halifax Fire.
  • Drills: Fire drills will be conducted in your residence hall to help you become familiar with evacuation procedures.
  • Fire alarm pull stations: Each floor in each residence building is equipped with manual fire alarm pull stations, as well as automatic heat and smoke detector systems.
  • False alarms: False, malicious or prank alarms aren’t tolerated and result in disciplinary action. Fire pull stations in each building are equipped with dye to reduce instances of tampering.
  • Exits: Do not block the exits—they will be the access point for Fire Department officials to enter and exit.
  • Posted information: Each residence has an evacuation sheet, fire procedures, fire exits, and the location of fire extinguishers/pull station alarms posted.
  • Laws and regulations: Dalhousie residences are governed by the laws and regulations of the Province of Nova Scotia as enforced by the Office of the Fire Marshall. Violations of these laws and regulations may result in criminal charges.

Building security and access

One of the most effective safeguards is our own “No Tailgating/Buddy” system.

As a resident, you are expected to report:

  • anyone from outside the residence who is hanging around in the building
  • anyone selling anything within the building
  • anyone who tampers with fire and electrical equipment or locks
  • anyone who uses fire doors as exits—or props them open
  • anyone who has explosive materials, guns, weapons, barbeques or space heaters

Your privacy

To protect your privacy, we can’t release any information regarding your whereabouts—even to your parents or friends.

For the Residence Office to be able to provide others with your phone number, room number or any other information about you, you need to sign a Personal Information Release Form (PIRF). Normally students fill this out when they accept their room offer. If you would like to change the status of your PIRF throughout the year, please contact the Residence Office.

Right of entry to residence rooms

Residence or university staff (including RAs, facilities staff, security, etc.) have the right to enter your room in the following situations:

  • in an emergency where the health, safety or security of the residence building or a resident is involved
  • when residence or university staff has reasonable grounds to believe that the Residence Code of Conduct is being violated (this can include possession of weapons, illegal substances or alcohol)
  • for the purpose of cleaning, maintenance or inspections
  • when you’ve provided a Maintenance Request Form (MRF) to do something in your room

Notice of entry will be given in advance, whenever possible.

To enter your residence room, staff will follow these steps:

  1. Knock on the door, and wait.
  2. Knock on the door, announce who they are and that they will be opening the door with a key.
  3. Knock on the door while entering the room.

We won’t let friends and family go into your room to get personal items that may be left behind. It is also important that you do not leave items in each other’s rooms. Exceptions may be made if personal safety and wellness are involved—and only with your permission.  

Emergency phones

Pay phones and courtesy phones are located in all residence lounges and on campus. They can be used to contact security by dialing 4109 (no change required).

Lost keys

If you lose your keys, you have to pay a replacement fee. If you find the lost keys after the door has been re-barreled, you can get refunded for the front door key.

If you lose your DalCard, go to the DalCard Office. You will be charged a replacement fee.

Lock outs

If you are locked out of your room, talk to your RA to get back in. Only the officially listed residents of a particular room will be given access to that room. Individual residence buildings may charge for lockouts after September 30th. The Residence Office will only help you get back into your room in emergency situations.