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Emergencies and personal safety

 Procedures to follow in the case of an emergency
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We're committed to keeping our students, staff and visitors safe.

Emergencies can occur at any time for a variety of reasons. Be prepared to respond independently, particularly if working after hours. Watch our video on emergency procedures and read our tips for staying safe on campus.

In an emergency

1. Dial triple zero (000)

If your life is being threatened, or if someone is seriously ill or injured, or if you just witnessed a serious incident dial triple zero (000) for emergency services (fire/ambulance/police).

1. Warn anyone in immediate danger
2. Contain or manage the situation, if safe to do so
3. Raise the alarm by activating a 'Break Glass' alarm
4. Evacuate via your closest safe exit
5. Call emergency services on triple zero (000) and Campus Security on 9351-3333

2. Call Campus Security on 9351 3333

Campus Security is available 24 hours a day to assist with handling an emergency or if you're feeling unsafe on campus. Our security officers are certified to perform first aid and their vehicles are equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED).

Our security officers wear distinctive uniforms that are easy to identify and we encourage you to approach them if you need assistance.

A number of emergency help points are located across the Camperdown/Darlington Campus and can be found on our maps under 'Amenities'. These help points provide a direct link to Campus Security.

Counselling and support services

If you have witnessed or been involved in a critical incident, whether on or off campus, and would like to talk to a counsellor:

Students should contact the University’s Counselling and Psychological Services on 8627 8433 or 8627 8437 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday). 

Staff should contact the Employee Assistance Program on 1800 81 87 28 (24 hours a day).

University of Sydney emergency procedures

A short video message for students with basic emergency instructions.

Other emergency procedures

Emergency evacuation

In some situations you may be required to evacuate. All University staff, students and visitors are required to respond to emergency alarms and follow instructions.

  1. Check for any sign of immediate danger
  2. Shut down equipment/processes that cannot be left unattended
  3. Locate your closest exit
  4. Follow exit signs to find your way out of the building (do not use lifts)
  5. Go to the assembly area 

Emergency lockdown

You will be notified of an emergency lockdown by emergency services, security or University emergency responders via building announcements or other mechanisms. These procedures are implemented to ensure building occupants are protected from external threats, e.g. severe storms or civil disturbance.

  1. Remain calm
  2. Stay inside the building
  3. Follow instructions from staff, Campus Security and emergency services 

Medical emergencies

If a person is seriously ill or injured don't hesitate to call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

  1. Call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance
  2. Contact the closest first aider
  3. If the person is unconscious, send for the closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
  4. Call Campus Security (9351-3333)
  5. Send people to flag and direct the ambulance on arrival

Hazardous material incidents

Hazardous materials include chemicals, biological materials and radioactive substances in all forms. Staff and students working with hazardous materials are required to plan for emergencies including the need to stop work quickly and respond to spills or an uncontrolled release. Refer to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for specific hazard information.

General spill procedures

  1. If safe to do so, control the source of release or contain the spill
  2. Evacuate and secure the immediate area
  3. Determine if local and/or emergency services assistance is required

If the incident can be managed locally

  1. Ensure that two trained staff are allocated to clean-up the spill
  2. Use appropriate personal protective equipment
  3. Absorb any free liquids, collect any solids and/or ventilate the area
  4. Collect, label and dispose of spill residue as hazardous waste
  5. Decontaminate the affected area and equipment

If emergency services assistance is required

  1. Call triple zero (000) and security (9351-3333)
  2. Ensure staff/students involved in the incident are available to assist the Emergency Services
  3. Contact Safety Health and Wellbeing (9351-5555).

Gas leaks

Many of the University's buildings are serviced by natural gas. This natural gas can be detected by odour.

Natural gas will quickly dissipate in naturally ventilated areas and poses a limited risk of fire or explosion. Despite this, avoid the use of mobile phones (which can be a potential ignition source) in the immediate area.

Gas leak detected OUTSIDE a building

  1. Move away
  2. Call Security (9351-3333)

Gas leak detected INSIDE a building

  1. Warn anyone in immediate danger
  2. Notify local emergency responders
  3. Evacutate to a well ventilated external area
  4. Call Security (9351-3333)

Bomb threats

Bomb threats are usually received via a telephone call. If you receive a bomb threat:

  1. Remain calm
  2. Do not disconnect the call
  3. Use the Bomb Threat Checklist to record as much information as possible
  4. Call Campus Security (9351 3333)
  5. Notify your supervisor and head of area

Personal threats

The incidence of violence on the University's campuses is generally lower than that experienced in the general community.

Feel threatened or afraid

  1. Go to a busy place
  2. Attract the attention of other people in the area
  3. Call Campus Security (9351- 3333)

Abusive phone call

  1. Hang up
  2. Report the incident to your supervisor and Security (9351- 3333)

Aggressive or potentially violent person

  1. Try to remain calm
  2. Alert someone nearby
  3. Be assertive, but polite
  4. Attempt to de-escalate the situation
  5. Activate a duress device or call Security (9351-3333), only if safe to do so

Armed hold-up or intruder

  1. Try to remain calm
  2. Cooperate with the intruder/s
  3. Observe as much as possible, but don’t stare
  4. Call Campus Security (9351-3333), when safe to do so

If you witness an aggressive confrontation on campus, call Campus Security (9351- 3333) immediately.

Suspicious behaviour

  1. Politely challenge strangers by asking: "Can I help you?"
  2. Report suspicious behaviour to Security

Do not challenge anyone acting aggressively, and avoid situations where you may be isolated from assistance. If someone responds aggressively to the standard challenge, withdraw from the situation and call Campus Security (9351-3333).

Active shooter

In the unlikely event that someone is shooting a gun or threatening to shoot:

  1. RUN - evacuate the area, if safe to do so
  2. HIDE - if it is not safe to evacuate, hide in a secure area
  3. FIGHT - if you need to hide, prepare to take action to defend yourself

University staff: preparing your class to evacuate

University staff in charge of classes are required to help facilitate a safe and efficient response to emergency situations.

Familiarise yourself with the University’s standard emergency response procedures and the emergency exits, safe exit paths and assembly areas for various teaching spaces. In the event of an alarm activation:

  1. Encourage your students to remain calm
  2. Ask the students to pack up their personal belongings and prepare to evacuate
  3. Check that the available exits are clear and free of danger
  4. Direct students to evacuate and where to assemble
  5. Once the room has been cleared, proceed to the assembly area
  6. Report any problems to the chief warden, Campus Security or the attending emergency services

Staying safe on campus

  • Download the Sydney Uni app for access to maps, locations and amenities.
  • If you're feeling unsafe on campus or you're concerned for the safety of others, call Campus Security on 9351 3333 24 hours a day.
  • Avoid isolated areas, particularly after hours. Free shuttle buses operate to help you get around quickly and safely in the evenings.
  • When walking around the University watch out for traffic and use designated road crossings. Never cross a road while using headphones or a mobile phone.
  • Some areas of the University pose specific risks to health and safety, such as laboratories and workshops. Access to these areas is restricted. Find out more information about restricted areas
  • If you have a medical condition or disability that could impact on your health or safety on campus, please disclose this confidentially to relevant staff.
  • Emergency help points which conect directly to Campus Security are located across our main campus and can be found on our maps under 'amenities'.
  • Attend lecture streams only as timetabled to avoid overcrowding of lecture theatres.
  • Report incidents, hazards and other safety concerns to relevant local staff, Campus Security (9351 3333) or Safety Health & Wellbeing (9351 5555).

Lost something?

If you've lost an item, contact Campus Assist on 9351 7838. If you find an item, please hand it to the closest Campus Assist desk or Security officer or report lost property online.


If you notice a maintenance or work health and safety issue, contact Campus Assist on 1300 CAMPUS (1300 226 787) or visit your nearest Campus Assist precinct office:

Campus Assist Precinct Office
Room 129
Merewether Building

Campus Assist Head Office
Ground floor (main foyer)
Services Building, 22 Codrington Street