The University of Houston is an open campus filled with people who care about each other. Because of its open accessibility, all students, faculty and staff are encouraged to exercise a sense of personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being, and the safety and well-being of others. While crime can happen anywhere, when we act as a community that knows and cares about the safety of others, ourselves and our property, we lessen the likelihood of being victimized, and we showcase our Cougar Pride.
Be Prepared for Hurricane Season
The University of Houston Office of Emergency Management wants everyone to remember these three easy steps: have a plan, build an emergency kit, and stay informed.
Have a Plan
Know whether you live in an evacuation zone. If so, make plans to evacuate. Know where you will go and how to get there. If you do not live in an evacuation zone, plan to shelter from the storm.
Build an Emergency Kit
Prepare enough supplies for three to seven days. Include non-perishable food, drinking water, a first aid kit and essential toiletries. Don’t forget medications, cash, flashlight with extra batteries and a weather radio.
Employees should update their contact information through PASS and students through myUH Self Service to ensure that you receive emergency information from UH. For information on how to update your contact information or to view UH emergency information, visit the UH Emergency website. Also view the UH’s Office of Emergency Management website for resources. For additional details on hurricane preparedness, visit the UH Office of Emergency Management website.
UH Works to Prevent Sexual Misconduct
Computer Virus Prevention
Faculty, staff and students should follow the tips listed below to help prevent a virus from attacking your computer.
- Use an internet firewall. Most operating systems come with built-in firewalls. Enable them at all times
- Never open an email attachment that arrives from someone you don’t know
- Install anti-virus software on your system and keep it up-to-date
- Scan all email attachments or files that you download from the internet before you open them
- Scan flash drives, CD/ DVD disks and other storage media if they originate from other sources
For additional information, visit the University Information Technology website.
If You See Something, Say Something
The Department of Homeland Security’s “If You see Something, Say Something” national campaign strives to raise public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, as well as the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement.
We can all keep our communities safe by paying attention to our surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to local law enforcement, including the UH Police Department when on campus. To contact UHPD, call 713-743-3333. To report suspicious activity, describe specifically what you observed including:
- Who or what you saw;
- When you saw it;
- Where it occurred; and
- Why it's suspicious.
If there is an emergency, call 911. For more information, visit the campaign’s website.
UH Complies with State Law, Implements Campus Carry Policy
UH’s campus carry policy complies with state law, protects the rights of citizens and addresses the safety and security of the entire campus. The law allows concealed handgun license holders to carry concealed handguns at public universities. Here are a few essential facts about UH’s policy and state law.
- Open carrying of handguns is still prohibited at ALL institutions of higher education.
- UH’s policy prohibits guns in all residence halls except Calhoun Lofts.
- UH’s policy also prohibits guns in sporting venues, areas where disciplinary hearings are held, laboratories, polling places, places of worship, and health and mental health facilities.
- Exclusion Zones, areas where carrying handguns is prohibited, are designated by “notices” or “30.06 signs.”
- When not carried on or about a person, handguns must be in a secure storage area, locked compartment of a locked vehicle, or a gun safe.
- Currently, the police station is the sole secure storage area. The address of the police station is 4051 Wheeler Ave.
- If a police officer reasonably believes a safety risk exists, or has other probable cause to do so, he or she may disarm you. Be courteous and non-confrontational. Follow the police officer's directions.
- If you see someone with a gun and it is a non-threatening situation, be a good witness and avoid escalating the situation by confronting the individual. Call the University’s police department immediately at 713-743-3333.
Your Role in Preventing Crime
To achieve a true partnership in the prevention of crime, UH Department of Public Safety (UHDPS) asks that community members actively assist us in maintaining a safe and secure campus for all students, faculty, and staff. To do this, we suggest the following:
Voice concerns about crime and disorder problems
Don’t wait until crimes occur or problems get out of control. Raise your concerns with the officers you encounter around campus, or contact UHDPS directly.
Report crimes and suspicious activities
We need you to serve as our eyes and ears. You are in a better position to identify behavior and activities that are out of the ordinary in your residence or workplace. A quick and effective response by UHDPS officers is greatly enhanced by accurate and timely reports of emergency or suspicious incidents. Crime prevention includes calling UHDPS when you observe suspicious activity, calling if you are the victim of or become aware of a criminal incident, and informing the department of potential public safety issues. If we are not made aware of an incident we cannot provide assistance to those in need or work to prevent it from occurring again.
Report other problems and incidents.
While UHDPS is not responsible for dealing with all problems brought to its attention, we do make every effort to address the problem with the appropriate University department or government agency.
Security Escort Program
The Security Escort Program is a service available for UH faculty, staff and students.
- You can use this service if you ever have safety concerns or feel uncomfortable walking alone across campus at night.
- Based on availability, either a UHDPS police officer or security officer will walk you to your desired location, which includes campus parking lots.
- Locations must begin and end on campus.
- Call UHDPS at 713-743-3333 or locate a call box and ask for a security escort. If you have special needs that prevent you from walking, please let the dispatcher know so that special arrangements can be made.
- A security escort will be available to accompany you to your desired location.
Active Shooter Event
Helpful tips to follow in the event of an active shooter on campus
- If possible, exit the building immediately and call 713-743-3333 to reach UH Police, or dial 911. Do not assume that someone else has called police or emergency personnel.
- If you cannot exit the building, clear the hallway quickly and remain behind closed doors in a locked or barricaded room, if possible.
- Do not leave or unlock the door to see what is going on outside.
- Stay away from windows and remain calm.
- Evacuate the room only when authorities have arrived and instructed you to do so.
- Do not attempt to confront or apprehend the shooter, unless as a last resort.
Characteristics of an active shooter situation
- Victims are selected at random.
- The event is unpredictable and evolves at random.
- Law enforcement is usually required to end an active shooter situation.
When law enforcement arrives
- Remain calm and follow instructions.
- Put down any items in your hand (i.e. bags, jackets etc.).
- Raise your hands and spread your fingers. Keep them visible at all times.
- Avoid quick movements and pointing, yelling or screaming.
- Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating.
Cell Phone Safety
Did you know that cell phone theft accounts for a third of the robberies in the U.S.? Keep these tips in mind!
- Keep your phone in your pocket, purse or backpack when you’re not using it.
- Don’t leave your phone unattended.
- Don’t lend your phone to someone you don’t know.
- Add apps that will remotely track, lock and/or erase personal information on your smartphone if it’s ever lost or stolen.
- If you have photos, emails, contacts, videos or anything else that you want to make sure is available if your smartphone is ever lost or stolen, save it somewhere else, such as a computer, USB drive or cloud service.
Staying Safe on Campus
Walk on well-lit paths. Take the most-traveled route to and from classes. Walk with others if possible, especially at night, or take advantage of the University’s Security Escort Program.
Know the emergency exits out of your residential hall.
Go easy on the alcohol. Approximately 1,700 students die from alcohol-related injuries each year. Alcohol often plays a role in acquaintance and date rape. Drinking too much may impair your judgment and make you less aware of your surroundings.
Don’t display your cash or any other items such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
UHDPS recommends that all students, faculty and staff members take a moment and enter emergency contact information in their cell phone address book/contacts under the acronym ICE (In Case of Emergency). This would assist public safety officials in contacting the person to be called in the event of an emergency if you are ever discovered unconscious or incapacitated and unable to communicate.
Staying Safe Near Light Rail
Whether you are riding METRORail, or just walking or driving near the trains and tracks, it is important to stay alert and follow the safety rules of METRORail. Here are some safety tips from the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County.
- Do not walk in front of, between or behind the trains.
- Trains can start quickly regardless of traffic flow.
- Do not drive, stop or park your vehicle on the tracks. It’s dangerous and against the law.
- Always cross the tracks at designated pedestrian crossings, and only when it is safe to do so.
- Always look both ways before crossing the tracks. Trains travel in both directions.
- Always look for and obey all warning devices: flashing lights, signals and crossing gates. Police will ticket violators.
- Always stay alert. METRORail is quieter than a bus. You may not hear it coming.
- Always listen for train horns, whistles and signal bells.
- Always follow instructions from workers and police officers.
And Never …
- Never race a train or run in front of a train.
- Never try to beat the train to a crossing. Even with a tie you lose.
- Never drive around crossing gate arms.
- Never stand on or near the tracks.
- Never put anything on or near the tracks.