Emergencies & 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 safety 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.

Fire safety

  • Activate the fire alarm if you detect a fire in a building.
  • Exit by the nearest stairway.
  • Call the Dal Security emergency number, 4109, or use a Blue Light Phone to notify emergency personnel.
  • Learn the locations of the emergency exits and fire equipment.
  • Always exit the building in the event of a fire alarm.

Personal insurance for your belongings

Purchasing personal insurance for your belongings is up to you. The university is not liable, directly or indirectly, for theft or loss of personal property due to fire, water, or any other cause. Therefore, just like for an apartment, you are encouraged to have your own insurance against loss or damage to personal property. You might be covered under your parents' home policy while living in residence. Be sure to check that out before you arrive.

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

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 (found in the Residence Community Living Guide) 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.

Notice of Entry Procedure

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.  

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.

DalSafe App

Download the DalSafe app in the App Store or Google Play to contact security easily if needed, and to stay up to date on the latest safety related information. 

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). In addition, we recommend downloading the DalSafe app! This app allows you to access security services, tiger patrol and more from your mobile device.

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.