Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures

Most emergencies require one of three primary emergency procedures: evacuation, lockdown and shelter in place. It is very important to know what the action steps are for each of these procedures so that you will be ready when the time comes. Gain awareness by clicking on the icons below. The more knowledgeable we become on what to do, the better equipped we will be to help ourselves and others in emergency situations.




Evacuation is the directive given in order to put as much space as possible in between you and the threat. Follow these simple steps so you're prepared in the event of an evacuation emergency.

  1. Leave immediately when the fire alarm sounds. Close all doors behind you, proceed to the fire exit and leave the building.

  2. Do not use elevators. Use the stairs. Elevators will cease operation if power fails, trapping occupants. Elevator shafts will fill with smoke, making it difficult to breathe.

  3. Check doors for excessive heat before opening. If the door is hot, or if smoke is seeping in, do not open it. Feel the door that leads from your room to the corridor for heat with the back of your hand before opening it. If you become trapped in your room and cannot reach the fire exit, keep the door closed and seal off any cracks. Call Temple Police at 215-204-1234 and give your specific location, including the floor and room number.

  4. Stay low if caught in smoke or heat. Take short breaths (through nose) until you reach an area of refuge.

  5. Keep moving for at least 200 feet and proceed to the designated rally point (the assembly point) after leaving the building. Do not re-enter until given permission by Temple Police or the Fire Department.

  6. After evacuating, building occupants should report to the appropriate rally point to receive further instruction. Rally point information can be found at route.temple.edu.

IMPORTANT: Keep all fire exits and corridor doors closed at all times. These doors are fire-rated to keep smoke and heat from entering stairways and adjoining corridors. If at any time you observe these doors propped or tied open, please close them and report the location to the university fire marshals, John Higgins: 215-204-8687 or John Maule: 215-204-7938, or call Temple Police: 215-204-1234.

People with functional and access needs: If your floor has to be evacuated, you should plan to relocate to an area of refuge. Once situated, call Temple Police at 215-204-1234. Identify your location and floor. Be sure to indicate if you require special equipment to descend the stairs. The fire department should arrive in minutes to assist. Plan in advance to have a responsible person assist you in the event of fire.

Fire towers are enclosed stairways that have fire-rated doors and walls that provide a refuge from smoke and heat in a fire emergency. Doors leading into fire towers are inspected periodically to ensure that they open and close properly and should never be tied or propped open. Fire towers cannot be used for storage or as smoking areas. Fire towers are to be clean, well-lit, and free of obstructions at all times. Fire towers are an area of refuge.

Personal preparedness: Plan in advance to have a responsible person assist you in the event of fire. Use a "buddy" system to help you get to a protected area. Anticipate situations where the "buddy" may not be available in an emergency.

Area of refuge: 
If your floor has to be evacuated, relocate to a protected area, such as oversized landings in fire-safe stairwells or stand-alone, barriered compartments on the floor.



A lockdown is a procedure used when there is an immediate threat to the building occupants and there is a need to stop access to all or a portion of the buildings on campus.

In the event of a lockdown, secure yourself in a room and do not leave until the situation has been resolved. This allows emergency responders to secure the students and staff, address the immediate threat, render first aid if needed, and remove any innocent bystanders from immediate danger to an area of safe refuge.

If the event is an active shooter scenario taking place inside the building where you are located, your best chance of survival may be to get out of the building as quickly as possible, so be aware of the situation. In an active shooter event, run, hide and fight. View our Active Assailant Preparedness page to learn about what actions to take.

If you are INSIDE the building,

  1. lock exterior doors only if the threat is outside the building and it is safe to reach the doors.

  2. call Temple Police at 215-204-1234 as soon as you are able. Provide as much information as possible to the police.

  3. notify other building occupants of lockdown status if possible.

  4. close, lock and barricade interior doors, if possible.

  5. hide in your room or office.

  6. remain quiet.

  7. wait until emergency personnel give you an “all clear.” When this directive is given, you may leave.

If you are OUTSIDE the building,

  1. do not enter the building.

  2. go far away from the building(s) under lockdown.

  3. find a safe location and stay there.

  4. do not leave your safe area until you receive an “all clear” directive from emergency personnel or by TUalert.

  5. await additional emergency notification in the form of a TUalert. Check the university’s website and social media sites for updates and further information as it becomes available.

  6. do not call the location on lockdown as you may endanger lives.

  7. call Temple Police at 215-204-1234 if you have relevant information. 

TUsiren: If you hear the outside warning siren (TUsiren), the message is to get indoors immediately. In the event that the TUsiren is activated, a TUalert will be sent and the Temple website will be updated with more information. If you are unsure, get inside, secure yourself, close all doors, remain quiet and still. 



Shelter-in-place indicates the following. 

  • Seek immediate shelter indoors.
  • Move away from exterior windows.
  • Remain there for the duration of the emergency.

Usually we seek shelter because environmental conditions outside are unsafe, typically a severe weather event or hazardous materials release.

Preparedness: In case of an unexpected shelter-in-place scenario, be sure you always have extra medication, water, some food and a phone charger with you at all times.

If you are INSIDE the building,

  1. stay inside your building, or immediately go into the nearest building.

  2. move to interior rooms with no windows. Rooms that have little or no outside ventilation are preferred.

  3. close any open windows and doors, as necessary

  4. await further instruction. Be prepared to quickly follow directions from responders or from TUalert.

  5. do not evacuate the building until an "all clear" directive is given by emergency personnel or by TUalert.

TUsiren: You will be told to shelter-in-place usually because hazardous materials have been accidentally or intentionally released into the environment. If you hear the outside warning siren (TUsiren), the message is to go indoors immediately. In the event that the TUsiren is activated, a TUalert will be sent and the Temple website will be updated with more information.

*If you cannot hear the TUsiren from indoors, do not worry! The siren acts as an outdoor fire alarm telling people to seek shelter. The walls of most buildings will block the sound, ensuring that building occupants do not confuse it with evacuation protocol.

More Procedures

More Procedures

Bomb Threat

Most bomb threats are received by phone, but threats also have been posted on social networking sites or delivered via other media. Bomb threats are serious until proven otherwise.

  • Get as much information as possible about the threatening caller.
  • Call Temple Police or 911.
  • Follow the instructions given by emergency personnel.

Suspicious Object

A suspicious object can be any container, including a box, backpack or briefcase, that is left unattended and is out of place.

  • Do not touch or disturb the object or package.
  • Evacuate immediately.
  • Call Temple Police at 215-204-1234 or 911.

Suspicious Behavior

  • Do not physically confront the person exhibiting the behavior.
  • Do not block a person’s access to the exit.
  • Call Temple Police or 911 immediately.
  • Run, hide or fight if necessary.

Always keep in mind that the focus is not on stereotypes but on specific behaviors.

Common Behavioral Indicators

  • Nervousness, tension and perspiration
  • Walking slowly while glancing right and left
  • Running or fast walking in a suspicious manner
  • Repeated attempts to steer clear of security
  • Hesitant, mumbling to self

Medical Emergency

Medical emergencies are the most common type of emergency you will encounter. These emergencies may involve illness or injury and may be life threatening or minor.

  • Call Temple Police or 911.
  • Treat all medical situations seriously.
  • Keep the patient as calm as possible. You should only administer first aid if you are trained to do so.

Facilities Emergency

Incidents such as leaks, floods and suspicious odor may fall under facilities emergency.

  • Call Temple Police or 911 of any facilities issues.
  • Follow the direction of responders, which may include building evacuation.