Keeping You Safe

Keeping You Safe

The personal security of resident students is a primary concern for Carolina Housing.  Additionally, there has been a concerted effort campus-wide to enhance safety and security in our community.  A number of safety initiatives have been implemented, including a text messaging service which is available to all students, faculty, and staff.  We are interested in your security concerns and problems and encourage you to work with us to make this community a safe and enjoyable one.  Residents can maximize their personal security by remembering to proceed with caution in and around their living environment. Use this alphabetical list of emergency measures and safety precautions to stay aware.

Alert Carolina

Alert Carolina is the University’s emergency notification system.  When UNC sounds the sirens and sends an emergency text message to registered cell phones, police have confirmed a major emergency or an immediate safety or health threat on campus. 

All Carolina Housing students and staff members should follow instructions from Alert Carolina.  For more information go to

Availability of Staff Members

Resident Advisors (RAs) provide “on duty” coverage in most residence halls/communities from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. on weekdays and on weekends beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays/Saturdays until 12 noon on Saturdays/Sundays.  From 12 noon until 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, coverage is provided by the desk staff in residence halls/communities.  To reach this staff person, please call the phone number posted on your floor, area, or building.  The availability of staff members may be limited during University break periods. 

Additionally, a professional staff member is on call every night from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. and throughout weekends and holidays to respond to emergency situations or other significant concerns.  If you need the assistance of this staff member, contact the UNC Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 919-962-8100.

Bomb Threats

As in any emergency situation, UNC Public Safety should be notified immediately at 919-962-8100 or 911.  In this particular situation, try to get as much information from the caller as you can and be prepared to give your name and report what you know to the police.  After contacting the police, contact your RA.  Do not investigate.  Wait for further instructions from UNC Public Safety, Carolina Housing staff, or other campus officials.

Building Evacuation

If you discover any situation that requires evacuation, leave the building and call UNC Public Safety at 919-962-8100 or 911 from a safe location.  If a cell phone is unavailable, remember there are Emergency Blue Light Call Boxes throughout campus that connect directly to UNC Public Safety. 

UNC Public Safety will contact the necessary emergency personnel.  Always follow instructions from Alert Carolina.  For more information, refer to the Fire Safety section below.

Campus Transportation

The University collaborates with the Town of Chapel Hill to provide free bus transportation on-campus and throughout the town.  For information and maps, visit  Additionally, UNC Public Safety provides rides through their Point-to-Point program.  For more information about the Point-to-Point program, visit

Campus Warning Siren

UNC Chapel Hill is equipped with an emergency warning system to notify students, faculty, and staff should there be any potential dangers or threats to the campus community.  The campus warning siren will sound to alert the University community in the event of emergency such as an active shooter or hazardous weather conditions.  If you hear the siren, go inside immediately.  Stay away from all windows and wait for further instructions.  Stay inside until you receive the “All Clear” announcement.  

Door Security

Most thefts in residence halls are crimes of opportunity.  To protect yourself and your belongings, securely close and lock your room door (even if you think you are just running down the hall).  And, do not let strangers “tail-gate” into residence halls behind you when you enter through exterior doors. 

Emergency Blue Light Call Boxes

Familiarize yourself with the Emergency Blue Light Call Boxes on campus.  There are dozens of these Blue Light Call Boxes located throughout the campus.  These call boxes automatically dial campus police with the touch of a button.  A built in speaker phone allows you to communicate directly with police.  The Call Boxes are also equipped with flashing blue lights that help officers quickly identify your location in the event of an emergency:

Emergency Text Messaging

To receive emergency alerts by text message and/or email visit and complete the form.  By providing your cell phone number you agree to incur costs from your carrier for text messages or telephone notifications.  UNC Chapel Hill will only send notification messages in the event of an emergency, or to test the system (once per semester, typically).  Please note:  text message alerts will not be used for weather delays/closings.

Fire Safety

Because of the dangers to residents and fire fighters associated with equipment that has been tampered with, false fire alarms, and intentional fires, there are criminal and civil penalties for intentionally starting a fire (including burning a candle or having any other open flame), for intentionally causing any fire alarm, and for vandalizing or tampering with any fire alarm or fire protection equipment (including covering smoke detectors and/or heat detectors).

Probable outcomes for these violations are removal from campus housing and/or criminal prosecution.  Causing a false fire alarm will result in removal from the residence halls and/or a $500 charge and/or six months in jail.  Additionally, a $500 reward has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals who tamper with the system or cause false fire alarms.

Assisting Residents with Special Needs

Students with a physical disability living in residence halls will be identified to emergency responders by Carolina Housing staff placing a document with their identifying information and room number at the fire panel in each residence hall.  Emergency responders can then use this information to make decisions and take appropriate action.  Students with special needs may wish to contact the UNC Accessibility Resources & Service Office at 919-962-8300; the office website is .

All students are required to exit a building during a fire alarm. The following guidelines are only for individuals with limited mobility. Failure to evacuate or failure to evacuate in a timely manner may result in a conduct hearing with the Community Director.

If you are a person with a physical disability or have a permanent or temporary condition impacting your mobility it is important that you learn about fire safety, plan for emergencies, and be aware of your own capabilities and limitations.  Outlined below are suggestions that provide increased options for safety but are not a guarantee for absolute safety if an evacuation notice is given for your building.

Many locations on campus will allow direct access to the outside from your floor, or you can relocate horizontally to another building or wing.  If you are unable to leave a building during an evacuation notice: REMAIN CALM.  DO NOT USE THE STAIRS OR ELEVATORS.

Here are some precautions that can increase your level for safety:

  • Shelter in place in your assigned room with the door closed.  Place rolled up towels at the foot of the door if you have them.
  • If your assigned room is not safe, shelter in place in or near a stairwell
    • If you are not able to get to a stairwell, look for a room with a window, door, and telephone to shelter.
  • Keep your cell phone with you so that you can call 911 to confirm your location.
  • If you are a student with a physical disability you can request a sign that you can voluntarily post in your assigned room the bottom right corner of an exterior facing window.  This sign will indicate to fire rescuers that you have a physical disability and could expedite their ability to locate you and provide assistance. You can email Steven Wiley at or your Community Director. Your Community Director will reach out to schedule a time to bring the sign to you and post it.
  • If you have an animal with you (service, emotional support, etc.) please place them in a carry size crate or put them on a leash to make it easier for rescuers to get them to safety.
  • If you are unsure if the danger has concluded (i.e. the alarm has turned off), please call campus police at 911 to confirm the danger is over.

Fire Drills

Planned fire drills are held each academic year in cooperation with the Fire Safety & Emergency Response Section of the UNC Department of Environment, Health, & Safety.  All persons are required to immediately evacuate the building during a fire drill.  Failure to evacuate or failure to evacuate in a timely manner may result in a conduct hearing with the Community Director.

Fire Evacuation Procedures

When a fire alarm sounds, always take the fire alarm seriously and assume there is a fire.  All persons are required to immediately evacuate the building.  Each student room in residence halls has a fire evacuation plan posted; student residents should familiarize themselves with this evacuation plan when they move into their room.

After you have exited, move away from the building and wait for further instructions. If UNC Public Safety personnel are not already on site, call 919-962-8100 or 911 from a safe location. If a cell phone is unavailable, remember there are Emergency Blue Light Call Boxes throughout campus that connect directly to UNC Public Safety.

Speak slowly and clearly so you can be understood.

Give your name.

Give the exact location of the fire or emergency.

Give any other relevant information (if anyone is hurt, etc).

Keep out of the way of emergency personnel.  If you believe that someone is trapped on your floor, report this immediately to fire fighters or UNC Public Safety.

Do not re-enter the building for any reason.  If you have any information regarding a fire, you are encouraged to tell the nearest officer or Carolina Housing staff member.

Keeping Hallways Clear

To help ensure safe evacuation should it become necessary, storing of personal belongings in hallways is a safety hazard and will result in a minimum of $25 charge and removal of the item(s).  The University is not responsible for such items that have been removed from common areas.   

Interpersonal Violence

If you or someone you know is a survivor of interpersonal violence, there are many options available for both reporting the incident and seeking medical attention.  Reports may be made to UNC Public Safety or local police (if the assault happened off campus), through the Office of Dean of Students, or through Carolina Housing.  Likewise, there are many resource both on and off campus for survivors, including Counseling & Psychological Services, Campus Health Services, and community agencies.  For more information please visit:

Medical Emergencies and Injuries

In the event of an injury or illness which requires medical attention, contact UNC Public Safety at 919-962-8100 or 911.  As you call, collect as much specific information as possible (names, location, and nature of emergency) to give to the police.  They will instruct you accordingly.  When time allows, please contact your RA for further assistance.  If someone has had too much to drink, please call a Carolina Housing staff member or UNC Public Safety for help.  No amount of “trouble” in the campus conduct system or in the court system compares to the loss of a life.

Missing Persons

All reports of missing residential students should be directed to UNC Public Safety which will investigate each report.  The University’s response is aimed at locating and assisting residential students who are reported missing.  In accordance with federal, state, and local law, the following protocol has been established to outline the University response procedures in the event University officials receive a report that a person residing in on-campus housing is missing.

Download the UNC's Missing Person Protocol.

Nighttime Walking Across Campus

It is suggested that you not walk on campus alone after dark and that you travel only on lighted pathways, particularly in wooded areas.  If you can’t find someone to walk with you, contact UNC SafeWalk Program.  You can learn more about the UNC SafeWalk Program at

Police and Public Safety

UNC Public Safety officers patrol the campus and are available to respond to calls 24 hours a day.  In an emergency situation affecting the safety of University residents or property, the police should be notified at 919-962-8100 or 911.  If at any time you feel threatened with physical harm, call UNC Public Safety.

If you dial 911 on your cell phone you may not reach UNC DPS.  Your call could actually be sent to other local agencies such as the Orange County sheriff’s office.  However, that office will contact the necessary emergency personnel and then route the call to UNC DPS.


Room Safety Measures

Find our room safety measures here


Should you be the victim of theft or other crimes, contact UNC Public Safety immediately at 919-962-8100 or 911.  Your RA may be able to offer you further assistance. 

Weather Emergencies

If a tornado or strong storm warning is issued, it may become necessary for you to move to a place of greater safety.  The following are refuge areas in residence halls:

  • External Suite Residence Halls (Hinton James, Ehringhaus, Craige, Morrison, Avery, Parker, and Teague): Seek refuge in the suite hallways.  Cover the closed suite door with a mattress and shut the room and bathroom doors. Utilize the elevator common area as needed. 
  • Internal Suite Residence Halls (Manning East, Manning West, & Carmichael): Seek refuge in their restrooms located in the suites and in floor hallway.  In Carmichael, consider using mattresses to block hallway windows. 
  • North Campus Residence Halls: Seek refuge in the floor hallways and stairwells.   Consider using mattresses to cover windows in floor hallways.
  • Ram Village: Seek refuge in the floor hallways.
  • Baity Hill: Seek refuge in stairwells and floor hallways. 
  • Granville Towers: Seek refuge in the floor hallways.