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Safety and Security

Providing a safe, secure campus

Point Park University's Department of Public Safety is responsible for ensuring a safe, secure living and learning environment for the campus community. Please review the following key sections of information regarding safety and security policies and procedures at Point Park.


The Department of Public Safety is responsible for providing a safe, secure living and learning environment for the Point Park University community. Public Safety provides services in the areas of patrol, investigations, residence hall protection, building security, crime prevention, and special event security. Police officers are on duty 365 days a year and provide immediate response to all types of emergencies on campus. For more information on safety, security, and emergency preparedness, contact the Department of Public Safety at 412-392-3960, or visit the Department of Public Safety web pages.

Annual Campus Crime Report

The Point Park University Annual Campus Crime Report includes statistics for the previous three years on reported crimes that occurred on the campus; in certain off-campus buildings, or property owned by, or controlled by, the University; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to, and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Department of Public Safety, Point Park University, 201 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or by visiting the Campus Crime Report webpage.

  • All suspicious activity should be reported to the Department of Public Safety by dialing 2222, from any campus phone only, or 412-392-3960 from any non-campus phone.
  • Timely and accurate reporting of information makes it easier to gather critical evidence and increase the odds of recovering stolen property and/or successfully apprehending and prosecuting criminals.
  • Be aware of campus and local crime trends. You are your best protection - educate yourself.
  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and project a confident attitude. 
  • Avoid walking alone at night; walk with a group. If you must walk alone, make sure to use well-lit paths and sidewalks, and take the most direct route. Inform someone of your destination and your expected arrival and return times.
  • Keep your doors locked, and do not prop residence hall doors open.
  • Identify your valuables - record serial numbers of TVs, computers, etc. or engrave them. Should you decide to engrave valuables, do not use your Social Security number. Instead use information that will have meaning to you alone.
  • Always secure your valuables and never leave items such as pocketbooks, wallets, keys, cell phones, etc. unattended, even for brief periods of time.
  • Use designated crosswalks and pedestrian crossings to safely cross roadways.
  • Carry only necessary cash and credit cards, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry. However, always carry enough money for an emergency phone call or ride home.
  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! If someone on campus does not look right to you or makes you feel uneasy, get away fast! Immediately report him/her to the Department of Public Safety.

Reporting Crimes and Other Emergencies

  • Dial 2222 from any campus phone to report a crime in progress and/or other emergency.
  • To report any crime or any emergency using a cell phone, dial 412-392-3960 for immediate attention and response.
  • Go directly to the Public Safety Department located on the third floor of Frontier Hall.

When reporting a crime or incident, provide as much information and be as specific as possible, to include:

  • Details of what happened
  • Specific location
  • Identity and/or describe person(s) involved
  • Date and time of incident

Police officers are radio dispatched to handle emergencies, safety, and security duties anywhere on campus. In addition, there are Metis emergency devices that provide two-way voice communications between the device and university police dispatch. At the press of a button, people in need can speak with our Public Safety dispatchers, and their location is automatically pinpointed so help can be rapidly dispatched if needed.

Confidential Reporting of Crimes

Persons wanting to report a crime or incident can do so confidentially by contacting the Assistant Vice President of Public Safety/Chief of Police at 412-392-3819 or through the following University departments: Human Resources (staff and faculty), Student Health Center (staff, faculty, and all students), Student Counseling (all students), Student Affairs (all students), or Campus Life (residential students). The reporting person’s name will be kept confidential, but the incident may be included in the Annual Campus Crime Report without divulging the person’s name or any other information that would infringe on his/her confidentiality.

Residence Hall Security

Unfortunately, thefts do occur from time to time, but thefts from residence hall rooms almost always take place when the room is left unlocked and unattended. Every student is issued a key and/or University student identification card for his or her own use. Do not loan your key/card to anyone. Always be sure your door is locked properly when you leave the room, even for a few minutes to go down the hall. Do not prop open corridor doors or emergency fire doors. Should a theft occur, contact the Department of Public Safety so that a report may be taken.

Residents of Lawrence Hall should not remove the blocks placed on the windows for safety and security reasons. You will be charged to have the blocks replaced by maintenance. Residents of Thayer Hall are not permitted to unbolt the windows for any reason. Propping open doors or intentionally allowing anyone to enter a building, except via authorized entrances, is prohibited. 

Fire Safety

Fire prevention can be defined as the common sense necessary to eliminate any condition that would cause a fire. Many fires are caused each year as a result of pranks or similar thoughtless acts. The cooperation of everyone within the University community is needed to avoid fire damage and bodily harm.

Misuse of alarm bells and/or fire extinguishers, or other emergency equipment is a threat to the safety of all and will result in disciplinary action by the Office of Judicial Affairs. This equipment is for emergency use only.

Fire Safety Policies

Violating any of the fire safety policies will result in University judicial action to include the possibility of losing University housing privileges and/or being suspended or expelled from the University.

  • Fire Alarms and Evacuation: In the event of a fire alarm, all students and guests must evacuate the building(s). Failure to evacuate the building(s) during a fire alarm will result in disciplinary action by the Office of Judicial Affairs which may include a sanction of housing termination or suspension from the University.  Falsely activating a fire alarm or being the cause of a false fire alarm will result in judicial action to include a fine of up to $500 to cover the expense that the City of Pittsburgh assesses to Point Park University for each false alarm.
  • Fire Equipment: Unauthorized use, or tampering with, emergency safety equipment (including automatic door closures) is strictly prohibited. Illegal use of fire alarms, fire hoses, sprinkler system, emergency phones, and fire extinguishers are a violation of state and local laws, and jeopardizes the safety of all members of the campus community. Students violating this policy will be charged through the Office of Judicial Affairs. Sanctions resulting from a violation could include, but are not limited to, a charge for the repair/replacement cost, a fine of $100, the loss of housing, and/or suspension from the University.
  • Flammable Materials: flammable liquids or materials (i.e., spray paint, gasoline, kerosene, etc.) and explosives (i.e., fire crackers) are strictly prohibited in all University-owned or leased buildings.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms

A smoke detector/alarm is located in each residence hall room. When the detector is activated it will emit a loud, pulsing sound. It will sound in your room only when a general alarm has been sounded.

A few basic rules to remember:

  1. Never smoke where receptacles are not provided or where “NO SMOKING” signs are posted. The smoke alarms are very sensitive to smoke.
  2. Do not tamper with fire safety equipment.
  3. Do not use combustible material for decorative purposes.
  4. Do not burn candles or incense; they are not permitted in the residence halls.
  5. Do not prop open corridor entrance doors or fire emergency doors.

First time violators of the incense and candle policies will receive a $25 fine. Second time violators will receive a $50 fine.

In the event of a fire alarm, all faculty, staff, students, and guests must evacuate the affected building(s). Failure of a student to evacuate during a fire alarm will result in disciplinary action by the Office of Judicial Affairs.

Emergency Notification System

In an effort to better disseminate emergency information, Point Park University’s PointALERT Emergency Notification System alerts students, faculty, and staff during, and only during, a campus emergency or weather alert. This system is a mass notification system that alerts the campus community by text message, email, Twitter and Facebook. PointALERT is a completely voluntary service. To register, visit the PointALERT web page.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

It is recommended that all faculty, staff, and students become familiar with the fire exits on the floors where they live, attend or teach class, or work. This can be done by walking down the hall of the building in which you are located and noting the location of doors marked “Exit.”

Fire alarms may go off within the University for a number of reasons, including fire drills, false alarms, and actual fires, but all alarms must be reacted to as though they are an actual alarm. Should a fire alarm occur during class hours, please leave the classroom in an orderly manner and evacuate the building through the appropriate exit. When an alarm sounds, be sure to follow the basic procedures outlined below::


  • Immediately prepare to leave the area (classroom, residence hall, office, etc.).
  • Leave the lights on.
  • Close and lock the door.
  • Close windows.
  • Turn off air conditioners.
  • Secure any hazardous materials or equipment.
  • If possible, take readily available personal items (keys, ID, coat, etc.) with you.
  • Evacuate the building using the nearest hallway door marked “Exit.”
  • If you encounter smoke or the exit is blocked, try another escape route.
  • If you have to escape through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, and keep your head low where the air is cleanest.
  • Walk, do not run, in single file, down the stairs.
  • Follow the stairs down to street level, exiting onto the sidewalk. Do not use the elevator!
  • Do not cross the bridge between Lawrence Hall and Academic Hall.
  • Do not stand in front of, or block entrances to, the affected buildings.
  • Cross the street to be out of the way of any fire or police vehicles.
  • Follow directions given by evacuation wardens.
  • Notify emergency services of anyone trapped or injured inside.
  • Go to the evacuation assembly point (EAP) designated in the building’s evacuation plan and on building emergency evacuation signs.
  • Do not reenter the building until permission is given.

Procedures and additional responses to other emergencies are set forth in the Public Safety section of the University website at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/PublicSafety. Any questions can be addressed by the University Public Safety Department at 412-392-3960.

Physically Challenged Residents

Any resident who is temporarily or permanently disabled should be familiar with and follow the emergency evacuation procedures listed below; also visit the website at www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/PublicSafety/EmergencyProcedures/SpecialNeedsEvacuations.

  1. All physically challenged residents must self identify to the coordinator of disabled services, located in the PAS Office, seventh floor of Lawrence Hall, AND to their community facilitator/mentor to be placed on the emergency evacuation list.
  2. When first arriving in the residence halls, secure the assistance of at least three residents who will be available to assist you in the event of an alarm.
  3. Upon hearing the alarm, all students must immediately evacuate the building. The physically challenged student, and his or her assistants, should proceed to the elevator area on their floor as quickly as possible to facilitate a rapid evacuation. Once arriving in the elevator area, use the emergency phone to contact the Public Safety Dispatch Center at extension 2222, or using your cell phone, call direct at 412-392-3960 to report your location.
  4. Please be sure that the coordinator of disability services is informed of any room changes, or changes to the emergency evacuation list throughout the year.

Residence Halls

If you hear a fire alarm in a residence hall room, evacuate the building. Upon hearing the fire alarm, all residents and guests must immediately evacuate the building. Failure to evacuate during an alarm will result in a fine of $30 and possible action by the City of Pittsburgh Office of Public Safety.

In addition to the general emergency evacuation procedures mentioned previously, residents are reminded of the following:

  • Wear hard-soled shoes.
  • Wear or carry a coat in cool weather.
  • Take eyeglasses and/or medication.
  • Carry your room key and ID card.
  • Use your assigned emergency exit or closest exit to leave the building.