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Safety and Security Information

Residence life is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of all resident students, and employs 24-hour front desks, locked entryway doors and alarm systems to maintain that security. Residence life also asks that students take responsibility for their own and others’ safety and security within university living spaces. Below are just a few tips to help you:

  • Keep your doors locked at all times, even when you are inside your room or apartment; never leave your door unlocked when your room or apartment is unoccupied, even if you leave for only a short period of time
  • Carry your keys, swipe card and ID with you at all times
  • Never prop open entryway, stairwell or fire exit doors, or exit through emergency doors, as both allow non-residents to slip into the building after you leave 
  • Ask university police to engrave valuable items such as stereos, televisions, VCRs, and DVD players for you; the service is free, and might help you identify stolen items in the future
  • Never attempt to free yourself or someone else from a malfunctioning elevator. If you are in an elevator that suddenly stops, stay calm and press the emergency button. Should you find someone stuck in the elevator, contact the front desk immediately. Talk calmly with the person in the elevator until a staff member arrives. It is extremely important to follow elevator guidelines for the maximum number of occupants, as posted by the staff.
  • Keep valuables and money out of sight, even in your room; take important belongings home with you over breaks
  •  Immediately report any unescorted guests and suspicious people or activities to the residence life staff or to university police
  • Do not sign people you do not know into the building; at the Bates Complex, do not buzz people into the entryway unless they are coming to see you

How to Keep Yourself Safe

The university is not responsible for damage to or theft of your personal belongings, so you may wish to protect your valuables through your family’s homeowners insurance policy or by purchasing renter’s insurance.

You may also protect your property with university– recommended renter’s insurance from National Student Services, INC (NSSI) by contacting them through, or by calling their toll-free number (800.256.6774).

The risk of fire in a residential area is a reality. Candles, incense and unattended items on a stove have caused fires at Salem State in the past. Fortunately, no one was injured. We need only look to fires in a residence hall at Seton Hall University, in which three students died, and at the University of Texas, in which one student died, to remind us that we all need to pay attention to fire regulations. Not only do fires impact residents’ personal safety, they also destroy belongings. The university does not bear responsibility

for possessions destroyed for any reason. Residents are therefore encouraged to obtain personal property insurance, either through their family’s homeowner’s insurance, a rental insurance provider or through National Student Services, INC (NSSI) (see Protecting Your Property).

Salem State holds fire drills periodically throughout the year. As soon as you hear the alarm, take your keys, close and lock your door and evacuate via the stairwells. For safety reasons, never take an elevator in a fire situation. Do not hide in your room; in the event of an actual fire you could become trapped.

As soon as the fire department declares the building is clear, residence life staff and campus police officers will check each room to make sure that everyone has left the building. If you do not evacuate the building, or if you fail to cooperate with residence life, campus police and fire personnel, you may face student conduct action, including suspension from the residential areas.

Because of the risk of fire, residence life has strict regulations about what is and what is not allowed on campus. Violation of these regulations will result in student conduct action up to, and including, the loss of housing. Please review the policies section of this guide for more information on allowable and non-allowable items.

If you spot a fire:

  • Pull the nearest fire alarm
  • Inform a resident assistant, resident director or the desk receptionist of the location of the fire 
  • Exit the building immediately

To keep safe in a fire:

  • If your door is hot, do not open it, turn your light on so you can be seen and open a window to signal for help and get fresh air; do not jump out of your window
  • If you are able to leave your room safely, wrap a wet towel around your head, shut the window, leave the light on, and close and lock the door behind you
  • If you are not in your room, do not try to go back to your room
  • Always use the stairs; never use an elevator
  • If the hallway is filled with smoke, crawl along the floor to the nearest exit; use the stairs, and close the exit door from the outside
  • Go to the designated meeting place outside the building; stay there until you receive further instructions from residence life or campus police staff
  • In the event of inclement weather, you will be allowed to wait in the lobby of a nearby residence hall until it is safe to go back into the building 
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