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Personal safety guide

Tips for personal safety and security on campus

These tips are designed to assist members of the University of Waterloo community in avoiding and preventing potentially dangerous situations. The most important tip that can be given is to use common sense and to trust your instincts. If a situation feels wrong, it probably is.

  • Appear confident and purposeful when you walk and be alert to your surroundings at all times
  • When walking, choose busy, well-lighted streets and avoid isolated areas, alleys, vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and construction sites
  • Plan and use the safest and most direct route to your destination
  • Walk with a friend whenever possible
  • Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • When walking, carry a loud whistle or personal alarm device.  Use them to attract attention if you feel you are in danger.  Have these easily accessible just in case you need them quickly
  • If followed or threatened by someone who is walking, use your personal alarm device or scream loudly, cross the street safely and/or run in the opposite direction
  • Use sidewalks where available. Otherwise, stay as far off the street as possible and walk facing oncoming traffic
  • If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front. Carry no more money, credit cards or valuables than you absolutely need
  • If you carry a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if it’s grabbed.  Otherwise, you could be knocked down and hurt
  • When walking, try not to overload yourself with packages or other items.  Keep your hands as free as possible
  • When walking during hours of darkness, wear light colored clothing and carry a flashlight
  • Wearing headphones connected to electronic devices while walking can distract you and make you less aware of potential risks from individuals or approaching traffic 
  • Try not to wear expensive jewelry or carry large amounts of cash when walking.
  • Never hitchhike

WHEN SHOULD I CALL 9-1-1?

911 is for Emergencies Only
An emergency is any situation where:

  • There is a crime in progress
  • There is a serious medical condition or injury where you feel immediate response is necessary
  • There is a fire
  • There is a major environmental concern (ie. Gas leak)

Non-Emergency:
In a non-emergency situation where IMMEDIATE police response is NOT required  (eg. Crimes not in progress, lost or found articles, advice, noise or parking complaints, suspicious persons, etc.)

  • 519-888-4911 or 519-888-4567 ext. 22222
  • 519-653-7700 in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge

BE SAFE – STAY SAFE