Active threat


Procedure title: Active Threat
Effective date: May 2014
Revision date: May 2016


This procedure provides direction to the campus community when responding to an incident or emergency that may threaten the institution’s processes, the safety of its employees and students, or the facility itself.


Active threat refers to any individual who poses a violent threat to the safety and security of the campus community.

There are four (4) situations that may involve an active threat:

  • Off campus;
  • On campus (not in a building, classroom, or office);
  • In a building; and
  • In a classroom or office.


Campus Safety and the Emergency Management Response Team will use either a lockdown or secure and hold to deal with these situations.

Active threat within a building:

In the event that an attacker is in the same building as you:

  • Determine if the door of the classroom or office you are in can be locked or barricaded and if so, secure the door;
  • If the door cannot be secured, determine if you can safely move to a classroom or office that can be secure;
  • If you are near an exit, and it is safe, exit the building.  Once outside, do not re-enter the building. Gather at a safe distance off campus.
  • If you have successfully secured yourself, if possible, cover all windows that may allow sight into the classroom or office;
  • Account for everyone in the room. Turn the lights off and lie on the floor;
  • Do your best to familiarize yourself with your surroundings – try to find out where the nearest campus phone or cellphone is, where the safest exit is, and any other avenues you may use  to seek help; and
  • If possible, contact Campus Security at ext. 2400 from a campus phone or at 905.721.3211 from an external line, to relay any pertinent information.

Active threat within a classroom:

Please take the following steps in the event that an active threat enters a classroom or office.

  • Immediately notify Campus Security at ext. 2400 from a campus phone, or call 905.721.3211 from an external line;
  • If you are confronted and unable to speak, do not hang up the phone unless ordered to do so by the attacker; and
  • If you are unable to safely escape or hide, you may be able to negotiate with the attacker – Consider the following techniques:
    • Remain calm, sound confident, and do not raise the tone of your voice;
    • Do not respond defensively;
    • Do not touch the person;
    • Do not invade their personal space (three to six feet);
    • Do not challenge the attacker; and
    • Do not accept a weapon if offered, instead ask that it be laid down.

Note: Engaging in physical confrontation is always a last resort and should only be considered after all options have failed.

In the event of an injury:

Once the event has passed, and it is safe to exit the building, it is important that you report any injuries to your immediate supervisor. Once you’ve done this, you or your supervisor must fill out an Accident/Incident Report Form.

For Durham College employees, the form can be located on the employee intranet, ICE, under Forms, then Human Resources, and Accident, Injury. For more information, please refer to the Durham College Accident Reporting Procedure (EMPL-301.1), also located on ICE.

UOIT employees can access the form through the website. On the homepage, click Faculty and Staff, then Campus Services, and Health and Safety. For more information, please refer to the Accident Reporting Procedure, which is located on the website.

Authority and responsibilities

The Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT) and the Office of Campus Safety will be responsible for enforcing and communicating these procedures to staff and students.

Faculty, staff, and students will be responsible for taking direction from the appropriate authorities and contributing to a safe and secure environment.


Durham College and UOIT Emergency Preparedness Plan & Policy

Durham College Emergency Preparedness Policy ADMIN-211

Durham College Accident Reporting Procedure EMPL-301.1

UOIT Accident Reporting Procedure