Personal Safety Info

General Safety Awareness Around Campus

Safety awareness on campus is EVERYONE’S responsibility.

Personal Safety

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • If you feel unsafe walking after dark, call Ext. 6005 for an escort or walk with friends.
  • When walking, walk deliberately and have your keys in hand.
  • If someone appears to be following you, yell for them to stop following you. Contact the Department of Safety immediately.
  • Make a roommate or friend aware where you are going.
  • Take a self-defense course.
  • Carry pepper spray and be familiar with how to use it.
  • If you are being harassed or feel that your personal safety is being compromised, call Safety immediately.

Residence Hall/Apartment Safety

  • Do not prop residence hall/apartment doors.
  • Never let someone into a residence if you do not know them, even if they say they are visiting.
  • Lock your doors, even if you are just going down the hallway.
  • Never lend your access card to anyone. Do not place your keys on the same key ring as your ID.
  • Never leave money or other valuables unsecured. If you need to have large amounts of money, do not make others aware of the amount or the location where it is kept. Buy a personal safe.
  • Report lost or stolen keys/ID's immediately to your Resident Director.
  • All Messiah University employees are required to carry their identification. It is your right to identify who may be requesting access to your room, and for what reason. If they refuse to show their ID., get their name and immediately call the Department of Safety. Do not give them access into your room until their identity is confirmed.

Vehicle/Parking Area Safety

  • Park in a well lighted area, hide or cover valuables.
  • Always lock your vehicle windows and doors, both as you are in the vehicle, and when you exit the vehicle.
  • As you approach your vehicle, check the surrounding area around the vehicle.
  • Check the back seat as you approach the vehicle, and ensure that the vehicle's locks are still engaged before entering the vehicle.
  • If a person is loitering at, or in the immediate area of your vehicle, do not approach and call the Department of Safety to check the area.
  • If you believe that you are being followed by another vehicle call 911 if off campus; if on campus call the Department of Safety at (717)-691-6005.  Do not stop or exit the vehicle.
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled on campus, contact the Department of Safety.  If it becomes disabled off campus, exercise good judgement in how to proceed.  If you are comfortable exiting the vehicle and attempting to correct the problem, do so.  If you are not comfortable with your surroundings, remain in your vehicle and call 911 or a trusted friend.  If someone stops to assist you, the best course of action is to say, “I have already called the police/someone to assist me and they will be here momentarily.

Fire Safety

  • Be aware of all exits out of each building, and the safest route to escape a burning building.
  • Become familiar with where the fire pull stations are located in your residence. In the traditional residence halls they are located at the center and side stairwells, and within the lobbies. In the apartment complexes, in the hallway of each floor and in the basements.
  • Only use the pull stations where you see or smell legitimate smoke. It is an offense punishable of up to $500 for each offense to trigger a false alarm.
  • Do not obstruct, tamper with, hang on, or damage pull stations, fire extinguishers, sprinkler pipes or sprinkler heads, smoke detectors, strobe lights or the audible alarms. If you are found to have done any of the above, there will be a $500 fine per offense.
  • Fire drills are conducted periodically for each building on campus. Please cooperate with the fire drills. It could save your life!
  • Be vigilant when cooking. Keep the drip pans and the over clean, never walk away from the stove when using the top burners, and always turn burners/oven off immediately after you are finished using them.  Beware of setting hot pots/pans on counters/tables.  If the fire alarm sounds while you are cooking, immediately contact the Department of Safety.
  • Candles and other items that cause flames or smoke are prohibited.  Campfires are also prohibited
  • Don't forget to unplug irons, curling irons or any other heat producing item.
  • There is a fire response pamphlet posted in each room and apartment on campus.

Railroad Safety

  • The railroad tracks may only be crossed at the two campus entrances.  Crossing or being on the tracks at any other location is Criminal Trespass, which is subject to prosecution.
  • Obey crossing signals at all railroad crossings. The lights, bells, and gates are there for your protection.
  • Do not try to race to cross the tracks if there is an oncoming train.
  • Weight ratio of train versus passenger vehicle--- 4,000 to 1. It would be like a car running over a soda can.
  • Stopping Distance for a 150 car train: 1.5 miles.