Our commitment to safety and security

The safety of Mount students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community is our primary concern. In fulfilling our commitment to Occupational Health & Safety, we provide a safe working and learning environment, and the training opportunities to support this environment. Members of the Mount community are expected to comply with laws, regulations, rules and policies while on the University campus. Acts of violence or threats of violence at the Mount are not tolerated and may result in disciplinary action. The Mount commits to the prevention of workplace violence through education, as well as the appropriate response to these incidents when they occur.

The Mount has a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in the event of a serious incident such as fire, severe weather or threats to personal safety.

Below are procedures as well as links to the appropriate documents.

Crosswalk Safety

Cross at marked crosswalks only and active any crosswalk safety device such as the walk light button. Always look both directions before crossing. Do not cross until the vehicle has stopped and you are sure they see you by making eye contact with the driver.

On the Street

  • walk in groups
  • avoid dark or deserted areas
  • be aware of alternate routes and safe places
  • plan your route and avoid taking shortcuts through untraveled areas
  • be alert and walk with confidence
  • familiarize yourself with emergency phone locations
  • walk near the curb and away from shrubs
  • never carry large amounts of money or show it in public
  • if being followed, go to nearest public place
  • let people know where you will be and at what time you’ll be returning
  • have your cell/technology charged and ready to make a call

Building/Office Safety

  • ensure exterior building is secure, do not prop doors open
  • immediately remove props from doors if one is being used
  • if a door is unable to be secured notify Security
  • keep office and personal property secure at all times
  • report lost or missing access cards or keys to Security
  • do not lend keys or access cards to anyone
  • keep your door locked but open during working hours
  • when working after hours, notify Security at 902.457.6412 to inform them where you are and approximate time you will be leaving

Most incidents that occur on campus require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation and therefore need to be reported immediately to Safety or Security. These incidents can be related to facilities management, personal security, safety issues, fire, accidents, suspicious activity or property related occurrences. Our Security Department is available to support the Campus Community and respond to reported incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 902 457 6412 for non-urgent matters and 902 457 6111 for Emergencies. It takes a Community to ensure incidents are reported in a timely matter and we depend on you to assist with loss prevention. Learn more about reporting an incident»

Lock Down

  • (def.) A state of isolation or restricted access instituted as a security measure in response to an emergency or threat.
  • Resulting from an incident in which individuals are required to secure themselves in an area to keep an outside force from getting in and causing harm.
  • The “Hide” part of Run – Hide – Fight
  • Individuals must stay where they are until they receive a confirmation of safety in the form of an “all clear”

Hold and Secure

  • (def.) A response to a threat and/or incident in the general vicinity of a school, but not on or very near to school property. School life continues as normal inside the school; however, as a precautionary measure, outer doors are locked and no one enters or leaves the building.
  • Individuals must stay inside until they receive a confirmation of safety in the form of an “ all clear “
  • All Clear is a message that will be sent to everyone we can via the self-registry of Mount Alert, and through email as well as the other campus multi media. The all clear signals the lock downs are no longer in place and it is safe to resume a normal campus.
  • If you lock yourself in a room, do not huddle together, instead spread out in the room.
  • When police arrive do not rush up to them, wait for instructions and keep your hands empty and visible at all times.

Code Adam

Code Adam is a program activated for lost or abducted children, designed to protect youth on campus. When activated, every employee with a portable radio on campus is involved in the search for the child.


  • Threats, including a threatening statement or threatening behaviour that gives an individual reasonable cause to believe that they are at risk of physical injury
  • Conduct or attempted conduct of a person that endangers the physical health or physical safety of an individual, including sexual assault and assaults.

If you are in a developing violent situation or crisis, the following is a list of actions that are recommended. It should be noted that these types of incidents are unpredictable. The general rules in an emergency or violent situation are to Run (if safe to do so), Hide (when not safe to get out), and Fight (if you have no other options). The guidelines below are recommendations that are based on best practices. You may have to alter some of these suggestions, depending on the situation.

  1. Exit the building immediately if it is safe to do so
  2. Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately
  3. Call 911 then Security (902.457.6111) from a safe location, and provide the following information: Your name and location; describe the incident (including location – be specific as possible); number and description (or identity) of people involved (if known).

Training Module

The Mount has developed a training module that focuses on violence prevention. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to go through the 20-30 minute demonstration.

In the event that the campus must close, the Mount has a plan to ensure that an evacuation is conducted as quickly and as safely as possible. The Mount community will be informed of the evacuation through different means, including staff personally coming to buildings, Mount Alert notifications, website, email, or social media updates.

The Mount’s Emergency Management Team (EMT) has the authority to implement a controlled evacuation of the campus for any emergency that warrants this action.

In the event that an evacuation is initiated by the EMT, routes for vehicle traffic will be designated. Following these routes will ensure that roadways will remain clear for emergency responders and emergency transportation vehicles. Staff may be posted to direct vehicle traffic flow (if safe to do so). If necessary, buses will be arranged to evacuate personnel to an alternate location or for residence students’ alternate home until it is safe to return to campus.

If a physical impairment restricts mobility and prevents evacuation of an individual, that individual must self-identify and make arrangements with staff, faculty and students to assist with evacuation prior to an event occurring. This ensures the people near the individual will have a plan and know how to assist in their evacuation.

Weather changes quickly and can highly influence the university. The following is a list of guidelines to deal with weather emergencies.

Shelter in Place

  • (def.) The use of a structure and its indoor atmosphere to temporarily separate individuals from a hazardous outdoor atmosphere.
  • Due to an event where we want to keep people in buildings or on the campus to keep them from moving into harm. An example could be a weather event such as a hurricane. In this case the Mount would function normally with the exception of people leaving the buildings/campus until the “all clear.”

Snow or ice storms

  • Access the Mount website for school closure updates at msvu.ca
  • Sign up for Mount Alert notifications
  • Visit the weather centre for current updates and class cancellations
  • Listen to local weather advisories on the radio
  • Watch for local news updates on television

Hurricanes and windstorms:

  • Move toward the centre of the building or toward any office areas that do not have glass windows
  • Remain in a designated safe area until the threat has passed
  • Try to find something heavy to hide under (such as a large desk)
  • Protect yourself physically, especially your head and neck
  • Do not run outside as falling debris may cause injury

Power blackout:

  • Remain calm and stay where you are.
  • Emergency lighting for evacuation purposes on campus will operate for a minimum of 20 minutes
  • Turn off all electrical equipment with manual switches
  • Unplug your computer to protect equipment from possible power surges when the power returns
  • Contact Security if you require assistance

Stranded on Campus:

As soon as an emergency situation has been declared, individuals should assess their personal safety when deciding whether to stay or leave the University. Should you decide to stay in your location, you are asked to call Security to inform them of your location. The Mount’s Security will also check all buildings for stranded people and will advise them to communicate with Residence Life and Conference Services for assistance. Please refer to the University Storm Policy for more details.

Know your Evacuation Route / Know an Alternative Route / Remain Calm

In case of fire:

  • Leave fire area immediately and close doors
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm station
  • Calmly leave the building via the nearest safe exit closing doors behind you
  • Call 9-1-1 (from a safe location)
  • Contact campus Security 902.457.6111
  • Proceed to the nearest muster station
  • Do not re-enter the building until the ‘all clear’ signal is given

When the Alarm System is activated:

  • Building occupants are alerted of possible fire emergency by bells
  • Always leave the building immediately by the nearest safe exit
  • The location of the fire is automatically identified and the fire department is notified
  • Smoke and fire separation doors close automatically
  • Magnetic locking devices on doors release

If you encounter smoke:

  • If smoke is heavy in the corridor or you are trapped by a fire, it may be safer to stay in your area
  • Crouch low to the floor and take shallow breaths
  • If possible, place a wet cloth at the base of the door or over your mouth for protection from smoke
  • Let someone know that you are there
  • Call Security at 902.457.6111
  • If you encounter smoke in the stairwell, use an alternate exit or find refuge in nearest room
  • If necessary, a closed door can provide good protection against fire and smoke
  • Remember:
    • Do not use elevators
    • Do not re-enter until the ‘all clear’ is given
    • Fire extinguishers are intended only for aiding escape from an area or small fires
    • Know the fire alarm pull stations in your area

Fire Extinguishers

Fire classifications that can affect us at the Mount:
  • Class A – Wood, paper, textiles
  • Class B – Flammable liquids & gases
  • Class C – Electrically energized fire

The majority of fire extinguishers on campus are ABC (dry chemical) and will work on the types of fires listed above. Extinguishers of a different kind are located in areas where the types of extinguishers are specific to the type of possible fire within that area

To operate a fire extinguisher:

  • P – pull the pin
  • A – aim at the base of the flame
  • S – squeeze the handle to release contents
  • S – sweep the fire slowly from side to side, covering it with the extinguishing agent.

Muster Stations

A muster station is a pre-determined place for groups to gather in an emergency. A campus map including the muster locations of all buildings is located in the Mount Emergency Response Plan, “Fire” section.

To ensure the safety of yourself and someone else:

1. Call 911 (9-911 from internal campus extensions) then Security 902.457.6111
2. Advise the dispatcher of the nature of the injury or illness and the location (building, street address and floor/room number)
3. Do not move the injured person unless there is a high risk of further injury or death (i.e. a fire)
4. Keep calm and do not leave the person unattended

First Responders and First Aid

Provide first aid only if qualified and wait for Emergency Health Services or campus security to arrive and assess whether the injury is considered critical (you may also be qualified to do so). On campus, Mount Security are first aid trained (2 day Standard First Aid) and will be dispatched to the situation to provide emergency assistance. There are high-level first aid kits and defibrillators at various locations on campus and security will bring them or have someone retrieve them as required.


All medical injuries, accidents, or near misses require the completion of a Mount Saint Vincent University accident/injury report. These reports are available through Security, located at the Assisi Information Desk or at 902.457.6111.

Upon receiving a threat by phone, remain on the line as long as you can. Listen closely to the caller and background sounds to help identify the person and where they are calling from.

• Call campus Security (902.457.6111) and 911 for investigation and response.

• If received by mail or e-mail, provide to Security.

For an example of the type of information required if a call is received, please check out the Bomb Threat Check Sheet located in the Mount Emergency Response Plan, “Bomb Threat” section.

If an evacuation is required, leave through nearest fire exit unless you have been directed by security, police or staff to take an alternate route. Once outside, move as far away from the building as possible and away from parked cars.

Early reporting is essential to successfully respond to an infectious disease outbreak. Everyone on campus is responsible for notifying their direct supervisor, faculty member, and the medical office when they are aware of an infectious disease incident. Supervisors and/or Department Heads are required to report any case of a notifiable infectious disease and must ensure all available information of an incident is provided to Mount Security and Health services.

Examples of infectious diseases include:

• Hepatitis
• Meningitis
• Tuberculosis
• Measles, mumps, rubella
• Influenza
There are hand wash stations all over campus and we encourage everyone to use them to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. If you find a hand wash station that is not working contact Facilities Management (902.457.6502) to have it re-filled.

If you detect a suspicious odour:

• Leave the area immediately and wait to assist responders with information
• Call Security at 902.457.6111
• Describe the location of the odour and the characteristics of the odour (e.g. what does it smell like?).
• Relay any other pertinent information that may be relevant to the situation.

When notification to the campus is required, you will receive updates via:

• The Mount’s website (msvu.ca)
• Mount Alert notifications
• Broadcast voicemail (to all campus phones)
• Social media (Facebook.com/MountSaintVincentUniversity and Twitter @MSVU_Halifax)
• E-mail (to your Mount account)
• Verbal and face-to-face communication

Emergency notifications will provide a short description of the emergency and what you are asked to do (i.e. an evacuation).

The Mount’s mass notification system, called Mount Alert, will quickly notify students, faculty and staff of emergencies that could present a threat to personal safety. The system will also notify the Mount community about unplanned campus closures, for example: due to severe weather. Students, faculty and staff are required to sign-up to receive these alerts and will be sent a link to log in to the system via e-mail to your @msvu.ca e-mail address. If you have any issues please contact the IT Help Desk at 902.457.6538.

Mass Notification FAQ