Safety Tips

General Safety Tips

  • Remain Alert, both on Queen's property or off campus.
  • Trust your intuition and act on it. If you feel uncomfortable, there is a reason for it. Make your feelings known.
  • Familiarize yourself with your surroundings, especially phone locations, designated emergency exits, and other possible avenues for help.
  • Make your concerns about campus safety known: to students, to professors, to your colleagues, to the administration, and to Queen's Campus Security and Emergency Services (613-533-6733).

Suggestions for scheduled power outages, rolling blackouts or storm warnings that may interrupt power on campus

  • Reduce unnecessary electrical consumption where possible.
  • Review contingency plans in the event of a power blackout. 
    • Ensure any emergency contact lists for your department or area have current information including up to date names and telephone numbers.
  • Ensure battery and emergency power back-ups are maintained and in proper working condition.
    • Intrusion alarm systems with batteries over three years old should be replaced.
    • Contact your alarm installer to arrange this.
    • Consider replacing the existing battery with a higher amp/hour rating to ensure effective operation of the alarm system for an extended period.
  • In event of power outage, turn off equipment which might be damaged when power is restored.
    • Always ensure all appliances have been turned off before leaving for the day (i.e. coffee makers, kettles, stoves, etc).
  • Make note of the university's emergency status hot line number at 613-533-3333.
    • This number will be used to communicate important information on the status of the university during or immediately following a power outage or other emergency condition.
  • Consider what emergency supplies you need to have at home: i.e. flashlight, battery operated radio, spare batteries, additional water, food, etc.

Protect Yourself

The following information will help you stay safe, with specific tips for when you are on and off campus.

  • Do not leave items unattended for any length of time. Lock your room or office when leaving it, even for a few minutes.
  • Try to work with another person if you are staying past regular hours.
  • If you are uncomfortable working alone, keep your door locked. Inform Campus Security and Emergency Services where you are working, what time you expect to leave, and call them when you leave. Security can check on you.
  • When you leave, consider calling the Walkhome Service (613-533-WALK) to walk you home, or Campus Security (613-533-6080) to escort you across campus.
  • If you see someone acting in a suspicious manner, report it to Campus Security and Emergency Services by calling 613-533-6080 or by using one of the campus's emergency or security phones. This can discourage those who would violate the rights of others and yourself.

Report all broken locks, windows and doors to Fixit at 613-533-6000 ext. 77301

  • Consider arranging to walk with a friend or contacting the Queen's AMS Walkhome Service (613-533-WALK) or Campus Security and Emergency Services (613-533-6080) rather than walking alone.
  • Plan your route and avoid shortcuts and unlit areas. Campus lighting has been and continues to be upgraded, and emergency phones have been installed to create faster emergency access.
  • Familiarize yourself with the locations of the emergency phones along your routes, and if a situation causes you to feel fear or concern, use them. For a map of emergency phone locations, see our Emergency Response page.

  • Do not prop the buildings’ doors open.
  • Do not leave your room door unlocked when you are away, sleeping or even in the shower.
  • Do not give strangers access to the building. If they are legitimate visitors, they can call their host to let them in.
  • Purchase small safe or locked filing cabinet to secure valuables.

  • Consider calling Queen's Campus Security and Emergency Services (613-533-6733) to walk you to your car.  
  • Lock your car when leaving it and lock your car upon entering it.  
  • Have your keys ready so that you do not need to linger before entering your car. 
  • Check your car before entering to ensure that no one is hiding in the back seat.

  • Lock your door even when at home. Individuals with questionable intentions have been known to wander into residences in spite of people being present.
  • Avoid putting your first name on your mailbox and on correspondence - use your first initial instead.
  • Consider leaving your outdoor lights on at night in order to eliminate dark areas in your neighbourhood; this will likely increase your monthly utility bill by $1-$2.
  • When renting a phone, use your first initial for the Kingston phone book. You also have the option during registration of not listing your name in the Who's Where.

Information on what to do in the event of sexual violence, please visit the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Services webpage.

Information about date rape drugs

Watch your drink for substances commonly used to facilitate sexual assault.

In recent years a new kind of rape threat has reared it's ugly head at parties, on campuses and in nightclubs - so called "predator" or "date rape" drugs. What exactly are date rape drugs? Technically speaking, any substance that renders you incapable of saying no or asserting yourself and your needs can be used to commit rape.

To protect yourself always follow these simple rules:

  1. Don't accept open drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from others who you do not know or do not trust; this includes drinks that come in a glass.
  2. When in bars or clubs always get your drink directly from the bartender and do not take your eyes off the bartender or your order; don't use the waitress or let somebody go to the bar for you.
  3. At parties, only accept drinks in close containers: bottles, cans or tetra packs.<
  4. Never leave your drink unattended or turn your back on your table.
  5. Do not drink from open beverage sources like punch bowls, pitchers or tubs.
  6. Keep your eyes and ears open; if there is talk of date rape drugs or if friends seem "too intoxicated" for what they have taken, leave the party or club immediately and don't go back!

There are many types of "date rape" drugs, including Ketamine, Rohypnol and GHB. Students are advised to take steps to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of these drugs: always go out with trusted friends.

Safety tips source

Protect Your Property

The following information will help you to keep your personal belongings safe.

Laptop computers are the usual target of choice. These thefts have occurred in offices, libraries, Residence rooms, and homes. The break, enter, and theft takes place within a matter of seconds and even intrusion alarm systems on their own may not provide sufficient protection against this type of opportunity crime.

Campus Security offers the following advice to increase your level of protection:

  • Record and keep in a secure location the make, model, serial number, and original cost of your computer.
  • Inspect your area for locations where laptop computers or other expensive types of equipment are visible from ground floor exterior windows. 
  • Instruct office workers with laptop computers to disconnect them each evening and lock them in a secure location such as a filing cabinet with a lock.
  • Close and lock your door when your office, work area, Residence room or home is left unoccupied. Keep your keys on you at all times.
  • Computers owned by the university should be indelibly marked in an obvious location as "Queen's University, 'YOUR DEPARTMENT' ". Use an indelible marker or an electric scribe (the later is available for sign out at Campus Security at no charge). This makes it very difficult to sell the computer on the street.
  • Back up your data frequently. Consult with your departmental IT representative to determine the method best for you.
  • If you are considering a new computer purchase, determine if you actually need a laptop computer. The size, portability, and additional value of a laptop computer is what makes them so attractive to thieves.
  • Report suspicious individuals promptly to Campus Security's Emergency Report Centre at 613-533-6111.

Valuable property of any type is an attractive target for any thief. Increasingly popular items are computers, computer equipment and especially laptops. On our campus, thieves interested in laptops have targeted residence rooms, offices and the libraries.

We suggest taking the following preventative measures to protect your valuables.

  • Keep your laptop with you at all times. Do not leave it unattended, even for a short period of time, in your office, in the libraries, bookstores,  cafeterias or anywhere. If you are leaving your residence room or office, ensure that your door is closed and locked. If you require more reference material in the library, take your laptop and other valuables with you.
  • Secure desktop computers and laptops to stationary objects.
  • Keep your laptop away from accessible windows where the thief can quickly break the window, reach in and remove the machine from your desktop. If you’re on the ground floor, draw your blinds after-hours.
  • Record the make, model and serial number of the computer and any peripheral attached devices. Keep these numbers in a safe place so if your computer is stolen, you can pass on the information to Campus Security.
  • Identify your computer. An engraved social security number will lead police directly to you should your laptop ever be recovered.
  • Always maintain an up-to-date backup copy of your data, stored in a separate location.
  • Regularly change your password and log out of your system when you are not using it.

Report all suspicious people to Campus Security at 613-533-6111.

  • Bicycle racks are provided across the campus and have been positioned in well lit, high traffic locations for your convenience. If your bicycle is obstructing building entrances, exits or is locked to a wheelchair ramp, tree or Blue Light Emergency Phone, it will be removed and held by Queen's Parking. More information can be obtained by phoning 613-533-6979 (ext. 36979).
  • Consider using the University's Secure Bicycle Compound
  • Register your bicycle on the Kingston Police Bicycle Registry
  • Alternatively, download and print off the Bicycle Theft Prevention Tips (PDF 64 KB) along with its own Bicycle Information Form and Process for Reporting Theft to Police [produced by Kingston Police].

We strongly discourage you from bringing very expensive bicycles on campus because these bicycles AND their components are most frequently targeted by thieves. Purchase a cheaper bicycle for transportation to and from classes if you can afford to do so.

Protect Your Belongings During Exams

Belongings left unattended for an extended period outside exam halls or at empty desks in libraries present an easy opportunity for a thief to walk away with them. We’ve listed below some options and tips to help protect your belongings during this time.

While it is tempting to leave your items on the desk and take a quick jog to the nearest Tim’s for coffee, or even take a quick bathroom break, 30 seconds or less is all it takes for a laptop to be stolen from a desk. The moment your laptop is out of your sight, thieves have an opportunity to take it. In most cases people leave their laptop with the thought “I will only be gone for a few minutes, nothing will happen during that time”, and they return to find their laptop missing. Here are some options for securing your belongings in the library when you need to leave your desk:

  1. Take all of your belongings with you. While leaving your belongings may prevent people from taking your study spot, you run the chance of someone taking your belongings instead. If you do decide to leave items behind to take a quick washroom break, take your valuables with you. A good way to determine this is to ask yourself: If I had to give up this item right now, could I do it? If the answer is no, either because of the item’s value, information on it, etc, then it is too valuable to leave unattended.
  2. Ask a trusted friend to stay and look after your belongings. While it might be easy to ask the person sitting across from you to look after your items, you don’t necessarily know them, or know how long they will be at the desk. If they also leave to take a washroom break, then your belongings will be left unattended all the same.

If an item isn’t permitted inside the exam hall, you will be required to leave it outside. This includes laptops, purses, bags, phones, etc. However, exams staff are not responsible for watching belongings left outside the hall. While Security and exams staff do regular rounds of the exam halls, belongings are not monitored 24/7, and so there is the chance they may be stolen. Here are some options for securing your belongings while writing an exam:

  1. Leave it at home. Belongings are safest at home, inside a locked house. But be sure to remember to lock your door when leaving for your exam!
  2. Leave your items with a trusted friend. If you have a friend who is also studying on campus, ask if they would be willing to hold onto your items.
  3. Last option would be to lock your items in a locker on campus. If you do not have time to return home to drop off your belongings as you are cramming in some last minute lecture notes before the exam and are unable to leave your items with a friend you trust, you could lock your items in a locker instead. Day use lockers are available at the ARC, and some departments offer their students locker space in their buildings as well. Check with your department or faculty to see if they offer this. If you don’t have a lock on you, or forgot your lock at home, they can be purchased from the ARC customer service desk for $10. But do not leave your items in an unlocked locker in the ARC! Majority of thefts from the change-rooms are due to items left in unlocked lockers.

You can visit the exam office website for more information about exam policies and regulation.

Best of luck during exam season!