What to do in an emergency

Within the University of Newcastle's Emergency Management Plan, security are required to respond to all emergencies on campus and act as the organisation's Chief Warden until the arrival of emergency services. Emergencies can occur at any time and may include: chemical spills, gas leaks, fire alarms, medical events etc. In the event of an emergency call the emergency services on '000' and also call campus security on the number relevant to the campus the emergency is occurring.

Also be familiar with the university's emergency procedures and processes.

If there is an emergency, please follow the instructions of staff including Safety and Security Services and Emergency Wardens. You will know who these people are by red or yellow hard hats and warden vests. Depending on the emergency there are three different responses. You may receive an emergency alert message via SMS or email advising you:

  • that an incident has occurred or
  • an incident may occur on campus and has the potential to escalate into an emergency.

The alert warns people (either whole campus or targeted area) that they may have to take action to ensure their personal health and safety.

What you should do:

  • look for danger or an emergency
  • stay where you are – you may be moving into danger or get in the way of an emergency response
  • prepare to evacuate – you are not yet required to leave
  • await further instructions from Safety and Security Services and/or Emergency Wardens

An alarm will ring to signify the building or section of a building needs to be evacuated. You may also be instructed to evacuate by Safety and Security Services staff or Emergency Wardens if there is a threat. When you hear the alarm, get the instruction to evacuate or a dangerous situation occurs you should:

  • stay calm
  • follow the directions of the Safety and Security Services staff, Emergency Wardens, senior manager in charge or emergency services (Police, Fire or Ambulance)
  • collect personal items such as your keys, handbag, wallet but only if it's safe to do so
  • move calmly towards the emergency exit (green illuminated Exit signs)
  • do not use the lifts
  • when using stairs to exit, move in single file down the stairs, keeping to the left (this will allow emergency services access while people are evacuating)
  • move to the designated assembly area. If the threat is violent, leave the area immediately if it is safe. Do not gather at assembly areas, maintain cover (behind solid walls, vehicles, large live trees, earth banks etc) and contact the Police or Security Services to advise what is happening
  • remain in the assembly area until given further instructions

You may need to stay where you are and lockdown:

  • if there is a threat outside the building and it is safest to remain inside or
  • when there is a violent threat and you have no safe opportunity to escape.

What to do in a lockdown:

If you are inside:

  • follow instructions from the Emergency Warden or senior manager in charge
  • enter the closest office or classroom – stay out of public areas such as corridors or foyers
  • secure all doors and windows, shut window coverings if practicable and turn off lights. If you can't lock the doors, block them with desks and chairs if there is a threat outside.
  • put phones on silent mode
  • move away from doors and windows
  • sit on the floor – out of sight and remain quiet
  • do not leave the room or building for any reason
  • do not open doors or windows for any reason
  • only leave the building/room once Security Services or the Police have instructed you to

If you are outside:

  • try to determine the location of the threat and move in the opposite direction
  • crouch down low and look for cover from the threat like something solid to hide behind (solid walls, vehicles, large live trees, earth banks, rocks etc)
  • put phones on silent mode
  • contact Security Services and the Police if you are able
  • wait for advice from Security Services or Police for when it is safe

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.