Personal Safety Tips

Presented by Stanford University Department of Public Safety

  • Carry a loud whistle on your keychain or wrist band and use if you are accosted or threatened

  • Keep your cell phone turned on and in hand when out alone at night. Most cell phones are programmed to call your local law enforcement agency when you dial 911

  • Always walk or run on well-lighted pedestrian paths or walkways and be aware of your location

  • Do not cover both of your ears with earplugs or headset (ie, iPod) while on foot. Always be able to “hear”’ as well as see your surroundings for any potential hazards or dangers

  • Familiarize yourself with the locations of the Emergency Telephone Towers (aka Blue Towers) as you move through your daily routines around campus.

  • Check your surroundings when you approach your vehicle at night. If you observe a suspicious person or activity:

    • Remove yourself to a well-lighted and safe location (ie, inside a building, open business, or where there are others present)
    • Immediately call 911 or activate the nearest Emergency Telephone Tower
  • Use the “buddy” system (pair up) when walking to your vehicle at night

  • For a free escort by cart to most locations on campus at night, call 5-SURE (Stanford United for Rape Elimination) at (650)725-SURE. The days and hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 8pm to 2am, and Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 3am. The service closes during the summer but resumes in the Fall Quarter.

  • If you observe a suspicious person loitering outside your building at night, we recommend you:

    • do not exit the building
    • lock the door, if possible
    • immediately call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone)
  • If you observe a suspicious or unfamiliar person in the act of any of the following:

    • roaming your building
    • turning door knobs to offices
    • loitering in or outside of a restroom
    • entering or exiting a private office
    • in a restricted or unauthorized area

    we recommend you politely inquire as to the purpose of his/her presence and if you can be of any assistance. If you are not satisfied with the response and remain suspicious, you should immediately notify a supervisor or call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone). If the Deputies are summoned, maintain a visual of the individual from a safe distance until they arrive, if at all possible.

  • For the Porter Drive campus, private patrol service will be performed by Securitas. Securitas security officers are unarmed but do wear uniforms and operate marked vehicles. The officers have no police powers or authority but will contact the police dispatch center for any suspicious persons or activities they observe or are directly reported to them on site. The service is limited to three patrol checks each night, seven days a week.

  • If any questions, please contact Bill Larson, Crime Prevention and Risk Management Coordinator, at

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