Safety & Security

Housing more than 7,000 undergraduate students on an urban campus is a challenge. Nevertheless, we are committed to making on-campus living as safe, comfortable, and convenient as possible.

Security Desk

All residence hall and apartment-style accommodations, except Bouquet Gardens (A-H)*, have a welcome desk that is staffed around the clock. When entering your residence hall or apartment-style building, the welcome attendant swipes your Panther Card through a card reader. This mandatory safety measure verifies that you live in that building. Your Panther Card is programmed to provide access only to your own residence hall or apartment-style building. Your visitors must also present a photo ID.

(*—Bouquet Gardens (Buildings A - H) do not have welcome desks. Instead, the main door of these facilities is equipped with an electronic locking system. The door unlocks when assigned resident(s) swipe their Panther Card, ensuring that only students who live there can enter.)

Keys

With the exception of Centre Plaza* and House 5**, each residence hall room and apartment-style door has an electronic lock. The lock can be unlocked only when the assigned resident(s) swipes their card key (Panther Card) through the lock. Also required for entry is the unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) that has been encoded on the Panther Card. 

* Residents of Centre Plaza are issued a hard key that opens the apartment door as well as individual bedroom doors.

** Residents of House 5 are issued a hard key that opens the individual bedroom doors.

All card keys (Panther Cards) and hard keys are the property of the University. Keys cannot be exchanged or given to another person or duplicated outside standard University procedures.

Lost or Stolen Keys 

All University Housing 

All residents, except those in Centre Plaza* and House 5** should deactivate their card key (Panther Card) online through my.pitt.edu.  Login to my.pitt.edu and search for "Lost Card Inactivation". After you deactivate your Panther Card, you will need to go to Panther Central to obtain a new card. There is a $20 fee for a new card. If you deactivate your card and find it before purchasing another, you still need to visit Panther Central for reactivation. There is no reactivation fee.

*Residents of  Centre Plaza and House 5 should call Panther Central at 412-648-1100 for a replacement hard key. There is a $50 fee for a replacement hard key. 

Lockouts—Residence Halls and Fraternity Complex 

Residence Hall students should visit their respective welcome desks if locked out of their room. The welcome attendant will call Panther Central, at which time the student will be given an emergency lockout code. Emergency lockout codes provide temporary access to residents' accommodations. 

Residents of the Fraternity Complex should go to the Irvis Hall welcome desk.

Each student is allotted three free lockouts per academic year. There is a $10 fee for the subsequent three lockouts and a $20 charge for the next three. After the ninth lockout, there is a $50 charge for any subsequent lockouts.

Lockouts–Apartment-style Accommodations 

Residents of Bouquet J, Centre Plaza, Forbes Craig, and Ruskin Hall should visit their welcome desks during room lockouts. The welcome attendant will call Panther Central, at which time the student will be given an emergency lockout code. Emergency lockout codes provide temporary access to residents' accommodations.

Residents of Bouquet Gardens (A-H) should call Panther Central at 412-648-1100 to obtain an emergency access code. The code will allow temporary entrance to their individual accommodations. 

Each student is allotted three free lockouts per academic year. There is a $10 fee for the subsequent three lockouts and a $20 charge for the next three. After the ninth lockout, there is a $50 charge for any subsequent lockouts.

Safety Tips

These simple rules will help keep your residence secure and your belongings safe.

  • Always carry your key and Panther Card with you, but do not attach your Panther Card to your key.
  • Always lock your door when you leave your accommodation unattended.
  • Don't prop open security doors.
  • Report suspicious persons to the University police at 412-624-2121.
  • Avoid leaving valuables out in the open.
  • Register the serial number of computers, stereos, televisions, etc. with the University of Pittsburgh Police Department. Call 412-624-4040 for more information about this free service. Pitt is not liable for damage to or loss of personal property.
  • Visit the University of Pittsburgh Police Department's Public Safety Home Page for more information on maintaining a safe campus.

Fire Safety

Emergency Fire Number

Call 412-624-2121 (Emergency Fire Number—University police)

Fire Protection Features

Pitt is one of the country's most well-protected campuses in terms of fire safety. All residence halls, University-owned apartments, and the fraternity complex are equipped with comprehensive fire suppression systems. Systems consist of fire detection devices, automatic sprinklers, and alarms directly linked to response personnel. We have combined our systems with protection from a first-rate professional fire company to uphold fire safety measures on campus.

Fire Drills

Fire drills are held once per term in each residence hall. For your safety and that of others, please follow these fire safety procedures:

  • Familiarize yourself with the emergency exit routes.
  • Find out where the fire alarm pull stations and fire extinguishers are located on your floor. 
  • Memorize your room layout and your floor exit route in case you need to find your way in the dark.

If you see a fire:

  • Pull the fire alarm nearest to you—this automatically notifies the University police and City of Pittsburgh Fire Department.
  • Call 412-624-2121 (Emergency Fire Number—University police).
  • Lock your room door when you leave and take your key.
  • Follow the evacuation route, alerting other residents as you leave if time permits.
  • Use the stair, not the elevators.
  • Exit the building and do not re-enter until staff members or emergency personnel tell you it is safe to return.
  • Move to the assembly place for your building:
    • Amos and McCormick residents—David Lawrence Hall or William Pitt Union (WPU) Patio 
    • Brackenridge and Bruce residents—David Lawrence Hall or Towers Patio 
    • Forbes residents—Rear of building or loading dock 
    • Holland and Towers residents—David Lawrence Hall 
    • Lothrop residents—Scaife Hall, Victoria Hall, or Falk Lot 
    • Panther and Irvis residents—Petersen Events Center 
    • Sutherland and Fraternity residents—Trees Hall or Petersen Events Center 
    • Bouquet Gardens residents—Posvar Hall or Patio
    • Centre Plaza residents—Amberson Garden Apartments
    • Forbes Craig residents—FB lot rear

If your building's fire alarm sounds:

  • Immediately prepare to evacuate—get dressed, put on shoes.
  • Feel your room door. If it is hot, stay in your room and call the University police at 412-624-2121.
  • Put wet towels or sheets in the space below the door to keep smoke out. Stay low if smoke enters your room.
  • Open your window for ventilation unless there is smoke or flames outside your window. Signal from your window. Do not jump!
  • If your door is cool, leave the room.
  • Lock your door when you leave and take your key.
  • Follow the evacuation route. If you encounter smoke or fire, use another route or return to your room if necessary.
  • Use the stairs, not the elevators.
  • Exit the building and do not re-enter until staff members or emergency personnel tell you it is safe to return.
  • Move to the designated assembly point:
    • Amos and McCormick residents—David Lawrence Hall or William Pitt Union (WPU) Patio
    • Brackenridge and Bruce residents—David Lawrence Hall or Towers Patio 
    • Forbes residents—Rear of building or loading dock 
    • Holland and Towers residents—David Lawrence Hall 
    • Lothrop residents—Scaife Hall, Victoria Hall, or Falk Lot 
    • Panther and Irvis residents—Petersen Events Center 
    • Sutherland and Fraternity residents—Trees Hall or Petersen Events Center 
    • Bouquet Gardens residents—Posvar Hall or Patio
    • Centre Plaza residents—Amberson Garden Apartments
    • Forbes Craig residents—FB lot rear

False Alarms

False alarms will result in disciplinary action and a $1,000 fine. If a building fire alarm sounds, students must evacuate the building. Students who choose not to evacuate may face costly fines imposed by the City of Pittsburgh Fire Department.