Safety Awareness Strategies

Safety Awareness

Temple is committed to the safety and service of our community. We value working collaboratively with students, faculty and staff to promote and maintain a safe environment that fosters personal development and academic success.

These tips are provided to increase your awareness about potential safety concerns and empower you take action should incidents occur.

Apartment Safety

a secured house

Paying attention to your environment and taking precautions can help to reduce the opportunity for crime to occur:

Always be on the lookout.

  • Call the police at 9-1-1 if you are at home and hear or see something suspicious. Don't take direct action yourself.
  • Check out photo identification for any service personnel.
  • If you return home and suspect someone has broken into your home, go to a safe location and call the police.
  • Be suspicious of people loitering.
  • Know who's at your door before opening it.
  • Never let a stranger enter your home.

Be responsible.

  • Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are just going out "for a minute."
  • If a window is left open a few inches for ventilation, it should be locked to prevent someone from opening it more.
  • Don't leave keys in mailboxes or under doormats.
  • Deter others from knowing your electronic purchases by breaking the original packaging in flat cardboard. Never leave the empty box curbside.
  • Close curtains/blinds to shield items from view.
  • Don't discuss your finances or possessions with strangers.
  • If you have a vehicle, check on it regularly and do not leave any items in plain view.

Take care of your home.

  • Keep property free of trash, litter, weeds, leaves, hazards and other things that indicate neglect in caring for your property.
  • Remove loose rocks and other objects that could be used to vandalize your property.
  • Make sure repairs are completed in a timely manner.
  • Make sure the house number is visible from the street so police and fire departments can see it in case of emergencies.
  • Purchase renter’s insurance to safeguard your possessions.
Bike Safety & Security

person riding a bike

Many members of the Temple community use bikes as their primary mode of travel. Bikes provide a fast and convenient way to get around. However, preparing for your travel could be critical to a smooth ride.  

Bike Safety

  • Protect your head. Wear a helmet.
  • Learn the rules of the road. Obey traffic laws.
  • Assure bicycle readiness. Before using your bicycle, check to make sure all parts are working properly.
  • See and be seen. Wear neon, florescent or other bright clothes so you are more visible.
  • Take precautions when biking at night. Equip your bike with reflectors to ensure that it is visible. Wear reflective clothing or material, especially on your ankles, wrists, back and helmet. Only ride in areas familiar to you. Brightly lit streets are best. Always assume you are not seen by a driver.
  • Stay alert. Watch out for potholes, cracks, gates or any potential obstacles or hazardous conditions in your path.
  • Go with the flow. The safe way is the right way. Ride on the right side in a straight, predictable path. Always go in single file in the same direction as other vehicles.
  • Check for traffic. Over 70 percent of car-bicycle crashes occur at driveaways or other intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, be aware of the traffic around you.

Bike Security

Car Safety

  • Take precautions when parking. Park in a well-lit area with all the windows closed, doors locked and no items in plain view.
  • Never provide the opportunity for your car to be stolen by leaving it in operation, even if you are only exiting for a minute.
  • Be aware. Always be careful and alert of your surroundings. Scan the vehicle as you are approaching with your keys in hand, only unlocking the doors you need for entry.
  • Take care of your vehicle. Keep your car in good running condition.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood, use flares or tie a white cloth to the door handle. Stay in the locked car. When someone stops, ask him or her to phone for help.
  • If you are being followed while driving, drive to the nearest police or fire station, open business or well-lit residence where you can safely call the police. Try to get the car’s license number and description. If no safe areas are near, honk the horn repeatedly and turn on your emergency flashers.
Cell Phone Safety

cell with lock around it

  • Although you may feel more confident when you are talking on your phone or carrying your phone in your hand, the reality is that displaying your device could make you the target for a crime.
  • Walking and Talking or Texting is a distraction. Always be alert and aware of others and your surroundings.
  • Keep your phone out of sight so that no one can “snatch it” from you.
  • Locate Code Blue Emergency phones so you can contact the police if you need them.
  • Save the Temple Police number (215-204-1234) into your cell phone. Memorize the number so you can get assistance, even if you don’t have your phone. 
Identity Theft

Avoid identity theft

Take steps to protect yourself from identity theft:

  • Secure your social security number. Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or write your number on your checks. Only give out your social security number (SSN) when absolutely necessary.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number or bank account number) by phone, mail or online. 
  • Watch out for “shoulder surfers.” Shield the keypad when typing your passwords on computers and at ATMs. 
  • Collect mail promptly. Ask the post office to put your mail on hold when you are away from home. 
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
  • Review your receipts. Ask for carbon copies and incorrect charge slips as well. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
  • Shred receipts, credit offers, account statements and expired cards to prevent “dumpster divers” from getting your personal information.
  • Store personal information in a safe place at home and at work.
  • Install firewalls and virus-detection software on your home computer.
  • Create complex passwords that identity thieves cannot guess easily. Change your passwords if a company that you do business with has a breach of its databases.
  • Order your credit report once a year and review to be certain that it doesn't include accounts that you have not opened. Check it more frequently if you suspect someone has gained access to your account information.

Additional Resource

Pedestrian Safety

students walking

Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers.

  • Wear bright clothing and reflective materials when walking at night.
  • Cross in a well-lit area at night.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors.

  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
  • Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
  • Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
  • Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.

Be careful at crossings: look before you step.

  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
  • Obey traffic signals such as walk/don't walk signs.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing a street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
  • Look across all lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
  • Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
Residence Hall Safety


Educate Yourself

  • Learn emergency numbers and post them in visible areas.
  • Know where the nearest exits and fire alarms are located.
  • Check with your parents' insurance company to see if your property is covered under their homeowners' policy while you are attending school.

Take Precautions

  • Do not prop open any residence hall doors because you do not know whom you may be letting in!
  • Lock your door and take your keys with you even if you are just leaving for a minute, even if you are just going to the restroom.
  • Lock your door when you and your roommate are sleeping.
  • Do not leave notes on your door stating that no one is home or when you will return.
  • Keep all valuables out of sight and locked up if possible.
  • Do not keep large sums of money around.
  • Keep a record of all your valuable items, noting descriptions, serial numbers and approximate monetary value of all items. These records should be kept in a secure location.
  • Do not loan your keys to anyone and do not attach your TUid to your keys.
  • Do not allow strangers into your room.

Don’t Wait and SeeCall Immediately

  • Report any suspicious person or behavior to Temple Police (215-204-1234).
  • Don't Stall; just call: report any medical emergencies and alcohol related concerns to Temple Police.
Risk Awareness & Sexual Assault

Help is Here

Every 2 minutes someone in the U.S...

is sexual assaulted and college campus are not exempt. Sexual assault is generally defined as unwanted sexual contact through physical force, threats or intimidation. It can also occur when individuals are unable to consent to sexual activity, such as when a person has been drinking, using drugs or may be unconscious. Sexual assault is a criminal act, which may subject the perpetrator to criminal and civil penalties under federal and state law, and in some instances, the accused may face university disciplinary procedures. Sexual assault can have severe emotional, physical, social and physiological effects on the victim and those who care about the victim.

Risk Awareness Strategies

  • Keep in mind that alcohol use and other drugs affect your ability to make decisions and react to situations.
  • Be direct: communicate your sexual desires and boundaries.
  • Be assertive. State what you really want and are feeling. When you say “no,” make your message clear.
  • Be cautious when inviting someone to your residence or accepting an invitation to his or her residence. Acquaintance rapes often occur in a residence.
  • Trust your instincts. Believe your inner feelings when you get uncomfortable about a person or situation. Leave!
  • Avoid secluded places where you are in a vulnerable position.
  • Be alert. Watch out for your friends.

If you are the Victim of a Sexual Assault

Find a safe place: Get away from the attacker. Stay with a trusted friend for support.

Consider reporting the attack. It is your decision to report the attack to police by calling 911 or (215) 204-1234. All formal complaints will be treated confidentially and consistent with applicable legal requirements and customary law enforcement practices. Complainants will be advised of available support services, as well as legal and administrative options.

Preserve evidence of the attack.

  • Don’t wash, shower or brush your teeth.
  • If you have to change clothes, keep the clothes you were wearing in a paper bag.
  • Don’t launder items from the area where the assault occurred (e.g. bed sheets).
  • Write down all the details you can recall about the attack and the attacker.

Get medical attention. Even with no apparent physical injuries, it is still important to get medical care. The hospital will complete pregnancy and STD testing. To preserve forensic evidence, the hospital will conduct a rape kit exam.

Get counseling support. Realize that you have experienced a traumatic event, and each person will react to it in a unique manner. It is recommended that you obtain support to help you through this difficult process. Whether you seek services on campus or in the community, remember that self-care is an important part in coping with the trauma. Give yourself the time you need.

How Can You Help a Friend

  • Be supportive and not judgmental.
  • Let your friend know the assault was not their fault; the responsibility lies with the perpetrator, not the survivor.
  • Encourage your friend to seek medical attention, and offer to accompany her or him.
  • If you want to hug or touch your friend to show your support, ask if this is okay first. Remember, the survivor was violated and did not have control over what was done to his/her body.
  • Allow your friend to make her/his own decisions about whether or not to report the assault, whom to tell, etc., but offer options.
  • Allow the survivor to share what he/she wants when he/she wants. Don’t pressure your friend to share information before he/she is ready, and don’t judge her/his actions.
  • Offer resources. Your friend is entitled to support. Ask if she/he would like to speak to an advocate, mental health professional or other person(s) she/he trust.
  • If the survivor thinks that she/he may want to report the assault, or at least keep that option open, it is important to preserve all evidence.
Safety in Social Settings

Protect Yourself

  • Always tell a friend your whereabouts, who you are going with and when you plan to return.
  • Travel with trusted friends. Watch out for each other and don’t let a group member wander off alone or with someone unknown.
  • Stay in public view and don’t allow unknown individuals to seclude you. Once you are isolated, it may be more difficult to extract yourself from a precarious situation
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, leave!

Be Responsible

  • Keep all valuables (keys, identification, phone, etc.) with you at all times.
  • Be cautious of beverages served from punch bowls. Open your drinks yourself. Never share drinks or leave your beverage unattended. If you lose sight of your drink, discard it. Be aware that date rape drugs can easily be slipped into drinks and cause loss of or altered consciousness.

Obtain Consent

  • Clearly communicate your boundaries. If you are not interested in spending time with someone or engaging sexual activity, express your feelings. If you are ignored, be assertive and focus on getting away.
  • Be respectful. If a person is not interested in spending time with you or engaging in sexual activity, do not pursue the situation. 
  • Do not personally engage in or allow anyone in your presence to engage in sexual behavior with a highly intoxicated, high or unconscious individual. If you believe that a person is unable to give consent at that time, or that they are being coerced into a sexual act, request that the activity cease. If the situation persists, seek assistance.
Student Community Living

Living in off-campus housing may offer independence and excitement. Yet it is an important decision worthy of careful consideration. You will be expected to:

  • Pay rent
  • Be a “good neighbor"
  • Communicate with your landlord/property manager
  • Negotatiate roommate conflicts
  • Ultimately be responsible for your safety and safeguarding your possessions

You can learn about features that may influence your decision-making by reviewing apartment safety information below.


Best Nest Program

Safety by Design

Public Safety provides service to the Temple community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The department monitors security operations for more than 120 buildings, spanning approximately 330 acres. Temple Police officers and security personnel have a high level of visibility on the Main, Health Sciences Center, Center City, Podiatry and Ambler campuses, which helps create a strong connection with the community. Linked through the state-of-the-art communication center, officers patrol the Main, Health Sciences Center and Ambler campuses 24 hours a day.

Temple ensures the security of university facilities and the campus with the intentional design and use of key safety tools including the following.

Design Features

• Over 1,000 lights mounted on building rooftops. The 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs create a bright white illumination that mimics daylight at ground level.

• Ensuring shrubbery is appropriately located and maintained so that all areas are illuminated properly and safety hazards are corrected.

• Enhancing communication through technology. The Temple Guardian App is a one-touch personal safety mobile app that allows students, faculty and staff to request a virtual safety walk, call or connect directly with Temple University Police.

• Providing shuttle services for convenient transport on and around the Main campus. Flight Loop provides service to/ from over 50 designated drop-off/pick up points to students traveling within Temple University patrol zone.

• Maintaining Code Blue Emergency Phones. There are approximately 90 outdoor emergency phones strategically located on campus walkways, near on-campus student housing facilities and university buildings, and at or near parking areas on the Main, Health Sciences Center, and Ambler campuses. These communication devices are highly visible and provide a fully self-contained emergency communication device for anyone in urgent need of assistance

• Maintaining video imaging systems (security cameras). Temple University has more than 600 cameras within the Public Safety video imaging system installed on various campuses with images streaming to a central server authorized by Public Safety. Campus cameras include both internal and external uses, with low-level and rooftop perspectives.