Staying Safe

Use the tips and recommendations on this page as a basis for staying safe in various situations.

Residence Halls

  • Public Safety can be reached at 386-822-7300 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Keep your doors locked at all times.
  • Mark your property through the Operation Identification Program.
  • Engrave easily stolen item such as TV's, stereo's and VCR's. Use the Personal Property Inventory Sheet to create a list of these items.
  • Do not "hide" keys over doors, under mats or in other places. Burglars know all of the hiding places.
  • Report all suspicious incidents or persons to Public Safety immediately.
  • Know where the emergency lights are located throughout the campus.
  • Report lost or stolen keys or access cards immediately.
  • Report broken windows, doors or lights to Maintenance (or Public Safety after hours).
  • Do not store expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash in a room. Store checkbooks and passports in a secure place.
  • Do not leave coats, books or other valuable items in common areas where they may be easily stolen. Lock them in your room.
  • List only your initials on your mail box.
  • If possible, use your peephole before answering your door.
  • When away for an extended time, inform your R.A. and have a trusted neighbor watch your room.
  • Keep drapes drawn when undressing or going to sleep.
  • Do not prop open any exterior door. Although doing so may seem harmless and convenient, you are endangering your life and the lives of others in the building. Exterior doors are locked for your safety. Never admit uninvited non-residents into the building. If a suspicious person enters, call Public Safety immediately with a detailed description.
  • Interior fire doors should never be propped open.
  • When moving around the campus after hours, if you ever feel uncomfortable, call Public Safety for an escort.
  • Report all thefts, attempted thefts or suspicious behavior immediately.
  • Never store or leave valuables in plain view in your car.
  • Familiarize yourself with evacuation and emergency plans for your building immediately after your arrival.
  • When approaching entrances, have your key or access card in your hand and ready to use.
  • Never leave notes on your door saying you are out.

Fire Safety

All members of the campus community have a responsibility to prevent fires.

  • Be aware of any special fire hazards that exist on campus.
  • Cooperate with campus authorities in fire prevention efforts.
  • Know the proper emergency procedures for your area, as well as Public Safety's phone number: 386-822-7300.
  • Refer to the Emergency Response Procedures for Students with Disabilities.

Fire Hazards on Campus

  • Smoking Material - Carelessness with cigarettes, matches, etc., account for many campus fires. Smoking is not allowed at Stetson University.
  • Flames - Candles can be dangerous. Leaving them burning unattended or too close to combustible materials can lead to fires. There are no open flames allowed on campus, except in approved areas (labs, Chapel services, etc.)
  • Decorations - Some decorations ignite easily and allow fire to spread rapidly. These include holiday decorations, posters, sheer curtains and flammables tucked into drop ceilings.
  • Trash - Accumulation of trash and newspapers, especially in corridors and stairwells, is a fire hazard.
  • Flammable Liquids - Common materials like paint, hair spray and other fluids can be a fire hazard if they are handled or stored improperly.
  • Appliances - Hot plates, electric blankets, irons, toaster ovens, hair dryers and portable space heaters can all become fire hazards if not properly handled.

Fire Prevention

  • Ensure proper housekeeping. Store trash away from heat and don't allow it to pile up.
  • Use only approved appliances carefully.
  • Don't overload electrical circuits.
  • Use grills only where approved, never indoors or in stairwells.

Fire Safety Features

  • Fire Extinguishers - Find out where they are located in your building.
  • Fire Doors - Prevent fire and smoke from spreading and provide a safe escape route. Keep these doors closed at all times and ensure that access to them is not blocked.
  • Fire Alarms - Know where all pull stations in your area are located and how to activate them. If you hear a fire alarm, leave the building immediately and remain out of the building until a university or fire service official authorizes re-entry.
  • Fire Exits - These are designed to provide an exit from fire or other emergency situations. Know where they are in your area and keep them free from all debris.
  • Smoke Detectors - These will alert you of any smoke or fire danger. Check for their location in you area. Ensure that items are not hung from detectors and that they remain uncovered.
  • Tampering - Do not allow any tampering of fire safety equipment. Do not touch or activate any device unless there is an emergency.

In Case of an Emergency

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Sound the alarm.
  3. Call 911 first and then Public Safety (386-822-7300 or use a nearby emergency blue phone).
  4. Give your full name and location of the problem and answer all questions before hanging up (safety permitting).
  5. Attempt to alert others in your area.
  6. Exit the building via stairwells/emergency exits. Do not use the elevator.
  7. Have an outside meeting place to take a head count.
  8. Once outside, stay outside until a campus or fire safety official authorizes re-entry.

Summer Safety Tips


Never swim alone!

Swimming alone is dangerous. Always swim at beaches with lifeguards.

Talk with the lifeguard before entering the ocean. The lifeguard is familiar with the beach and can tell you where the safest places are to swim.

Know how to swim!

Swimming in a pool is not the same as swimming at a beach with crashing waves, winds and currents that can change suddenly.

Swimming in currents and waves is much more difficult than swimming in a pool. The conditions of the currents and waves can change quickly, unlike in a pool where there is consistency. Swimming in currents and waves will also cause fatigue more quickly than swimming in a pool. Smooth water located between breaking waves could signal the presence of a rip current. Ask the lifeguard about the use of a United States Coast Guard-approved flotation device. Further, your body will cool quickly while in the water. Limit your time in the water and get out if you start to feel cold.

Know the meaning of, and obey warnings represented by, colored beach flags. Different beaches may use different colors but a commonly used series include:

  • Double Red: beach is closed to the public
  • Single Red: high hazard (e.g., strong surf or currents)
  • Yellow: medium hazard
  • Green: calm conditions, although caution is still necessary
  • Purple: flown with either red or yellow: Dangerous marine life, but not sharks.

Take your cell phone to the beach. In case of an emergency where the lifeguard is not present, call 911.

» Learn more about water safety


There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, you are likely within striking distance of the storm. In an effort to protect the campus community from the risk of lightening, Stetson University has installed the Thor Gard lightening prediction and warning system.  When the system detects lightening withing a 3 mile radius the system will sound one long blast letting the campus know to seek shelter.  The Thor Gard system will continue to monitor the atmosphere and when the lightening has moved off past the 3 mile radius it will sound 3 short blasts letting the campus know it is now safe to resume normal activities.

Too many people wait far too long to get to a safe place when thunderstorms approach. Unfortunately, these delayed actions lead to many of the lightning deaths and injuries in the U.S.

The best way to protect yourself from lightning is to avoid the threat. Have a lightning safety plan, and cancel or postpone activities early if thunderstorms are expected. Monitor weather conditions and get to a safe place before the weather becomes threatening. Substantial buildings and hard-topped vehicles are safe options. Rain shelters, small sheds and open vehicles are not safe.

A safe shelter from lightning is either a substantial building or vehicle. A safe building is one that is fully enclosed with a roof, walls and floor, and has plumbing or wiring. Examples include a home, school, church, hotel, office building or shopping center. Once inside, stay away from showers, sinks, bath tubs and electronic equipment such as stoves, radios, corded telephones and computers.

Unsafe buildings include car ports, open garages, covered patios, picnic shelters, beach pavilions, golf shelters, tents of any kinds, baseball dugouts, sheds and greenhouses.

A safe vehicle is any fully enclosed metal-topped vehicle such as a hard-topped car, minivan, bus, truck, etc. While inside a safe vehicle, do not use electronic devices such as radio communications during a thunderstorm. If you drive into a thunderstorm, slow down and use extra caution. If possible, pull off the road into a safe area. Do not leave the vehicle during a thunderstorm. Unsafe vehicles include golf carts, convertibles, motorcycles or any open cab vehicle.

Drugs and Safety

Stetson University has a long-standing policy which prohibits unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs by students and employees. The university strives to educate students to the potentially harmful effects of alcohol and substance abuse and to counsel students who seek assistance or treatment for alcohol and substance abuse impairment. Prevention programs are produced throughout the school year by university offices and student organizations. The Student Counseling Services provides counseling for students seeking treatment for abuse and referral to appropriate off-campus resources when necessary. Employees may seek help through the university's Employee Assistance Program.

Student judicial proceedings against a student who violates university policies including alcohol and illicit drugs will be initiated in accordance with published procedures. Violators may also be subject to legal action by civil authorities.

Weapons and Explosives

Weapons of any kind including handguns, rifles, shotguns, firearms, knives with blades longer than 4 inches, BB guns, fireworks or anything that could be mistaken for these are not permitted on Stetson University property. Any violation of this policy may result in university judicial action as well as criminal charges.