Definition of an Emergency: An incident that threatens human life, health, or safety, or University property, including: 

  1. Natural disaster such as weather (tornado, flooding or snow) and biological (epidemic or pandemic)
  2. Manmade disaster including fire, explosion, building collapse, hazardous material spill, shooting, terrorist act, riot or protest

Emergency Responses

Seek Shelter/Stay in Place

Seek Shelter/Stay in Place is the first phase of building security. It will be initiated very early on in an emergency, once it has been determined that an emergency exists or there is a reasonable probability that a life-threatening emergency exists. Members of the Duquesne community that may be affected by the emergency will be notified.

Generally, a notification will be initiated by the Outside Warning System immediately, followed by a DU Alert. At this early phase, the Campus Police will alert individuals of potential danger. The individuals must rely upon their own common sense to evaluate their surroundings and circumstances and remove themselves from any danger they can immediately recognize by moving to an area of safety. When it is determined by the Campus Police that the building is safe, an "All Clear" DU Alert message will be sent.

Card Access Only

When it has been determined that building security would require limiting access (usually to prevent entry by a non-affiliated person) into a building that is open at the time of the emergency, the building will be secured and restricted to card access only by previously authorized card access holders that may seek shelter inside. When it is determined by the Campus Police that the building and the area is safe, the building will be reopened based on normal hours.


When an emergency exists, it may be determined that for the safety and security of individuals in an area, a building be secured (including card access doors) to deter entry by everyone, including those who have been previously authorized for card access.

The Duquesne University community will be notified by the DU Alert System of any closing of a building during an emergency (other than for a fire/fire alarm where audible and visual alarms are universally recognized as an order to leave and stay out of a building).  When it is determined by the Campus Police that the building and the area is safe, an “All Clear” DU Alert message will be sent and the building will be reopened based on normal hours.


Evacuation is the phase of building security which involves the mandatory exiting and removal of all persons that are non-essential to rectifying or mitigating an emergency, from a building. A DU Alert message will be issued when a building has been evacuated for any emergency, other than a fire or fire alarm. When it is determined by the Campus Police that the building and the area is safe, an "All Clear" DU Alert message will be sent and the building will be reopened based on normal hours.

Emergency Situations

Preparing for an Active Shooter Incident

Reporting A Concern

Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677 or off campus 911 for an emergency or your department head or supervisor for any other concern.

Active Shooter

CPR and AED Instruction

An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses potentially life threatening irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias) and is able to treat them through defibrillation (electrical therapy which stops the arrhythmia, allowing the heart to reestablish an normal rhythm). An AED is used in conjunction with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

The Department of Public Safety has five American Heart Association instructors who teach First Aid, AED and CPR.  

CPR/AED Basic Life Support certification courses being held at Public Safety for the Spring 2024 Semester are scheduled as follows:

Monday, February 5, 2024 – 6:30pm

Thursday, February 15, 2024 – 7:00pm

Thursday, March 14, 2024 – 7:00pm

Thursday, April 4, 2024 – 6:30pm

Monday, April 22, 2024 – 4:00pm

There is a $25 cash fee for all students (we have no way of accepting other forms of payment).

All classes will be held at the Public Safety Building, which is located at the corner of Stevenson Street and Gibbon.  We are located directly behind the City of Pittsburgh Firehouse located at Forbes Avenue and Stevenson Street.

There is no need to pre-register for these courses.

All dates and times are subject to change without notice.  We will reschedule any cancellations.

 Any questions related to CPR/AED instruction or if interested in attending or scheduling a group class, contact Lieutenant Michael Kiryk via%20email or at (412) 396-4935. 

AED: Automatic External Defibrillator program and locations on campus.


Bomb Threat

Bomb threats should always be treated as though there actually is a bomb until all facts are evaluated and authorities can thoroughly search the area.

If You Receive a Bomb-threat Telephone Call

  1. 1. Ask the caller key questions:
    • Where is the bomb?
    • When will it explode?
    • What does it look like?
    • What will cause it to explode?
    • Did you place the bomb?
    • Why did you place the bomb?
    • What is your name?
    • Are you an employee?
    • Where are you calling from?
  2. Note any pertinent information such as background noises, gender of caller, voice pitches and patterns.
  3. Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677
  4. Evacuate the building, doing a Two-Minute Scan.

Suspicious Objects and Packages

A suspicious object is defined as any object of unknown origin. It may be a backpack, briefcase, radio, shopping bag or book. A suspicious package or object may be suspected for any of several reasons:

  • The package is labeled “bomb,” “danger,” “do not open,” etc.
  • The package resembles a bomb.
  • The package does not belong to the particular premises or is out of place.
  • The origin of the package is questionable or cannot readily be determined.
  • The physical characteristics of the package are suspicious in size, shape, weight or sound.

If a suspicious package or bomb is found, evacuate the area (See Evacuation Procedures). Do not handle it, move it, immerse it or cover it. You do not know how the device is fused. Do not take the time to try to barricade or “sandbag” a suspicious object.

If a suspicious object is found in a room in the building, leave the door open when you leave it to summon aid. (You want to create an escape route for expanding gases. You close doors in a fire evacuation; you open doors to ventilate in a bomb threat evacuation.)

Campus Notification

If a credible bomb threat exists, the University community will be notified by the DU Alert System and a mass e-mail.

Chemical Spill

Toxic chemical exposure with your skin

Chemical spill

For spills, releases or incidents requiring special training, procedures or equipment take these actions:

  • Immediately evacuate the spill area.
  • If building evacuation is required, pull the fire alarm.
  • Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677.
  • Seal the area to prevent further contamination of others.
  • Anyone who is contaminated by the spill should avoid contact with others as much as possible and remain in a safe area nearby for emergency treatment.
  • Wash off contamination and begin any required first aid.
  • Do not attempt to contain or clean up spills unless you are qualified to perform such work.
  • Do not re-enter the area unless directed to by Campus Police.

Campus Notification

If there is a chemical spill, the University community will be notified by the DU Alert System and a mass e-mail.


If you discover smoke or fire

  • If it is safe to do so, get everyone from immediate danger and close the door to the area to confine the smoke and fire.
  • Pull the building fire alarm along your evacuation route.
  • If the fire is small and you are properly trained, control the fire with available firefighting equipment.
  • Before you go through a door to leave a room, feel the door with your hand. Do not open any door that feels hot.
  • Do not return for personal belongings.
  • If there is smoke, stay low.
  • Use stairs to reach an exit floor. Do not use elevators.
  • After you are out of danger, Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677.
  • When you are outside, check in with your floor marshal, supervisor or instructor so everyone can be accounted for.

If you catch on fire

  • Do not run. Stop, drop and roll to put out the flames.
  • If you are trapped, wedge wet towels or cloth along the bottom of doors to keep out smoke.
  • Close as many doors as possible between you and the fire.
  • Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677 to report the fire and your location.
  • If you are trapped and need fresh air break the window only as a last resort.

Response to fire alarms

  • When an alarm sounds, leave the building immediately. Never assume it is a false alarm.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Do not return for personal belongings.
  • Help people who are unfamiliar with the building or people with disabilities escape the building.

Medical Emergencies

In the event someone has a medical emergency:

  • Remain calm
  • Notify the Campus Police one of three ways:
  1. Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677
  2. Use a Code Blue Telephone
  3. Use a Duress Alarm
  • Do not move the victim unless he or she is in danger.
  • If you are trained to provide first aid, use pressure to stop bleeding and provide basic life support (CPR).
  • Comfort the patient and assure him/her that medical assistance is on the way.
  • Do not jeopardize your health or the health of the patient. Wait for professional help if you are not able to provide proper first aid safely.
  • If you provide first aid, consider if immediate action is required to save a life and if you will put yourself in jeopardy if you do.
  • Be aware of hazards associated with blood-borne pathogens. If you come in contact with suspected infectious material, wash the exposed area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention.

The City of Pittsburgh has advanced life-support ambulances available 24 hours a day.

Patients are often taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital.

Severe Weather

Dangerous weather can include:

  • Thunderstorms
  • Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Winter storms

Stay alert to weather conditions and Seek Shelter/Stay in Place if threatening weather approaches.

Weather advisories

  • A watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather. Monitor the situation closely if the weather deteriorates.
  • A warning means severe weather has actually been observed and is imminent. Seek Shelter/Stay in Place immediately.

Weather warnings

The National Weather Service will issue weather warnings, for example, when a tornado is approaching the area. The campus community will be notified of the warning using the following methods:

  • The Outside Warning System will sound a tone and a voice warning severe weather or a tornado is approaching and people should take shelter immediately.
  • A DU Alert message will be sent to those who signed up for that service.

You should tune to local television or radio stations for the latest information about approaching severe weather.

Severe weather tips

  • Have a good flashlight on hand.
  • In a thunderstorm, a substantially constructed building offers the best protection.
  • Stay away from telephones, electrical appliances and plumbing.
  • If you hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Find safe shelter immediately.

Campus Delays or Closings

In the event of severe weather causing delays or closings, the University will communicate with you through DU Alert or by posting a message on the Duquesne University Weather/Emergency Hotline (412) 396-1700.

Stop the Bleed

Duquesne University’s Public Safety and Environmental Health and Safety departments have worked together to bring a Stop the Bleed Program onto campus, providing Stop the Bleed kits and training to the University community.  Stop the Bleed is a national campaign that encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help bleeding victims in an emergency before professionals arrive on scene. Knowing how to properly stop bleeding can save a life.  

Below is more information on the Stop the Bleed Kits and opportunities for training.  

Stop the Bleed Kits

Stop the Bleed kits are located in each AED cabinet across campus. Become familiar with the location of your nearest location(s) of these cabinets.  Most often they are in the lobby of the main entrance or highly traveled areas. Each kit contains a tourniquet, emergency bandage, two rolls of compressed gauze dressing, two pairs of latex-free gloves, trauma shears, and one permanent marker.


Stop the Bleed training provides information about vital initial steps bystanders can take to stop uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations.  Training is voluntary and can be completed in two steps: 

  • Online Training – the Stop the Bleed Interactive Course is a 25-minute online lecture presentation.  This video discusses three methods of bleeding control using video demonstrations, interactive learning, and spontaneous quizzes.  The course is free and can be taken multiple times. 
  • In-Person Training – hands-on Stop the Bleed techniques is offered through Public Safety.  Participants will learn proper bleeding control techniques using their hands, dressing, and tourniquets.  Online training should be completed prior to in-person training.  Contact Public Safety (412) 396-6002 to schedule a session.  

For additional information about Stop the Bleed kits and training, contact Public Safety (412) 396-6002 or Environmental Health and Safety (412)-396-4763. 

Additional resources:

Utility Outages

In the event of a power failure

  • If you are in a dark area, proceed cautiously to an area that has emergency lights.
  • Assist others who may be unfamiliar with the building or the area.
  • Turn off equipment such as computers and monitors to avoid potentially serious damage when the power is restored.
  • If you are in an elevator, use the emergency button or telephone to alert Campus Police. DO NOT attempt to open the elevator car door or shake the car to move.

Gas leak or significant water leak

Do not attempt to correct the problem. Evacuate the area and Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677.

Workplace Violence

If you are confronted by a threatening person

  • Leave the area, if possible.
  • Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677.
  • Try to stay a safe distance away.
  • Try to calm the person.
  • Try to get the attention of a co-worker who can call for help.
  • Listen to the person and let him/her do most of the talking.
  • Use delaying techniques to give the person time to calm down.
  • Acknowledge the person's feelings.
  • Be respectful and empowering.
  • Be reassuring and point out choices other than violence.
  • Don't belittle, criticize, agitate or argue with the person.
  • Don't reject all of the person's demands from the start.
  • Don't use body language or speech that challenges the person.
  • Don't make sudden movements.
  • Don't make false statements or promises.

If you are a victim or witness

  • If the violence is life threatening, Call Campus Police at (412) 396-2677 and report your location, weapons involved, injuries and a description of the person making threats.
  • If it is not life threatening, advise your supervisor or Human Resources.
  • Try to move to a safe area.

Types of workplace violence

  • Physical assault and/or threat.
  • Stalking or continuous harassment that causes fear, worry or intimidation.
  • Actions aimed at disrupting or sabotaging operations.
  • Indirect threats, such as "I know where you live."

For more information, refer to the Active Shooter Checklist and The Administrative Policy No. 48: Workplace and Campus Violence and Weapons Policy.

Seek Shelter/Stay in Place

Seek Shelter/Stay in Place means to stay where you are to avoid possible danger outside.            

Situations Which May Require Individuals to Seek Shelter/Stay in Place

  • Severe weather
  • Hazardous material release
  • Suspicious intruder
  • Hostage situation
  • Other dangerous situations as determined by Campus Police

Students should remain in class or in their Residence Hall until Campus Police give the all-clear signal.

Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.

Authorities may not be able to provide information about what is happening immediately.

Account for everyone who arrives in the shelter.

Stay in the shelter location until you receive an all-clear message from Campus Police.

In the Event of Severe Weather

Basements generally offer the best protection. Otherwise go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.

In the Event of an Intruder

Secure doors and seek concealment away from windows and doors. Turn off the lights and close the blinds if the room is so equipped.  Refer to Active Shooter Checklist for more information.

Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation of the University will generally fall into two categories:

  • Limited evacuation of a building or designated area.
  • General evacuation of the entire campus.

In general, you should plan ahead for possible evacuations. Know evacuation routes from your office or classroom and the campus.

  • If the fire alarm is activated, leave the building immediately. DO NOT assume it is a false alarm.
  • DO NOT return for personal items.
  • DO NOT go into the restrooms.
  • DO NOT use the elevators.
  • Direct visitors or anyone needing assistance to stairwells and exits.
  • When you are outside, check in with your floor marshal, supervisor or instructor so everyone can be accounted for.
  • Make sure you have your Duquesne University identification card with you.

General evacuation

If the entire campus is evacuated:

  • Faculty and staff should return to their homes or other safe destinations unless told otherwise.
  • Students who can provide their own transportation should leave the campus and return home or to another safe destination unless told to do otherwise.