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Emergency Preparedness Program

Lockdown Lockdown

In the event of an emergency, such as a violent incident on campus, persons in the threatened area may be instructed to lockdown. A lockdown is used to protect students, faculty, staff and guests in the event of a violent incident and to remove them from a violent or potentially violent situation.

A violent incident is defined as a situation involving an armed individual posing an immediate threat to the safety and well being of the York community. (This may include the presence or possession of a gun, knife, explosives, etc.)

Should you discover that there is a violent or potentially violent person in your building or area, take the following steps:

  • Call Toronto Police Services via 911 first and as soon as possible and provide as much information as possible to 911 including:
    • The location of the suspect
    • Description of suspect, including name (if known), gender, race, height, hair colour, clothing description, weapons seen or indicated, what they said, did they indicate a specific target, direction of travel if they have left, and other information the operator requests
    • Building name, location and floor
    • Nature of business of the building (i.e. science labs, research labs, fine arts, registrar’s office, etc)
    • Any hazardous materials that may be present in the building – if known
    • Request an ambulance for anyone who is injured
    • Notify your co-workers and others in the area of the situation using any means possible. (i.e. tell them directly, telephone, runners, etc.)

REMEMBER: If you are in a life threatening situation – always call 911 first. Call York University Security Services afterwards, if possible at extension 33333, or by calling 416-736-5333 or by using the Safety Phone if present.

If you are advised by another person in your area, or by York University Security Services, that there is violent or potentially violent person in your area or building take shelter in the nearest secured place, i.e. classroom or office:

  • Close doors. Lock doors if possible. Barricade the doors
  • If the lights in the room can be turned off - turn them off; turn off computers, cell phones, radios, or any device that may indicate the room is occupied. Do not use cell phones.
  • Close any blinds or curtains on windows. Stay away from doors and try to keep out of the line of sight of windows.
  • Sit or lie on the floor or crouch behind or under desks. Be as invisible as possible.
  • Do not respond to anyone at the door until you are given the “all clear” by Toronto Police or York University Security Services.
  • If you are directed to leave your secured area by police, do so as quickly and quietly as possible and follow their specific directions. Assist those who may require help moving.
  • DO NOT USE CELL PHONES DURING A LOCKDOWN. They may interfere with emergency communications. Police, fire and ambulance radio systems can be negatively impacted by high cell phone volume. The only exception to the above is in the event of a medical emergency in your immediate area, or if you have information specific to the current threat.
If you are outside the building when a lockdown is initiated:
  • Move as far away as possible from the building under lockdown.
  • Await further direction from Toronto Police or York University Security Services.
  • Otherwise, go to a safe area of campus away from the scene. Check the University’s website for updates and further information as it becomes available.
  • Do not call anyone inside the building that is in lockdown. Information updates will be provided by police and University officials as soon as possible and safe to do so.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR SAFE AREA until you have been advised by Toronto Police or York University Security Services that the situation has ended.