Staying safe at CU-Boulder

August 19, 2014

Although CU-Boulder is a very safe place, unfortunate things can happen. Campus leaders encourage students to make smart choices regarding their personal safety and to educate themselves so they can safely enjoy the natural environment of Boulder and the surrounding foothills and mountains.

Personal Safety Tips:

  • Remember to use the buddy system. Don't walk alone and don't leave friends alone while out at night.
  • While stranger assaults are rare in Boulder, people are advised if confronted by a robbery suspect to take the assailant seriously: cooperate and do not challenge an assailant. Be the best witness you can be, and do not prolong the situation - comply and end the encounter as soon as possible, then notify police immediately.
  • People who want to exploit others often take advantage of the party environment and hope to go unnoticed. So if you doubt someone's motives or are concerned about your or someone else's safety, keep an eye on the situation and know when to make the hard call for help.
  • Remember that alcohol impairs judgment and the ability to recognize dangerous situations.
  • If you think somebody is following you, switch directions or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant or lighted house.If you are afraid, yell for help to attract the attention of others.
  • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door. Don't be searching for keys while you are walking. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1. If the crime is over and a victim needs help, provide aid until professionals arrive.
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals and restaurants and stores that are open late.
  • Call CU NightRide for free, nighttime escorts around campus and anywhere within the Boulder city limits. To request a ride call 303-492-7233.
  • Sign up for Campus Alerts to receive breaking news about campus emergencies.

Outdoor Safety Tips:

  • Boulder Creek presents a high risk of flash flooding. If you are outdoors in a flash flood, climb to higher ground immediately. Never walk or drive into water because there is no way of knowing how deep it is. Pay attention to creek closures. Campus flood information.
  • If your building is in a flood plain, and it is possible, move on foot to a safe location. If you do not have adequate warning, seek refuge in the highest secure area of your building.
  • Major winter storms are a frequent occurrence in Boulder. Campus closures will be announced on the university website at http://www.colorado.edu and via the Campus Alerts system. 
  • Colorado ranks third in the United States for the number of lightning deaths. Take this risk seriously and get indoors if possible during a lightening storm.
  • Before hiking into any of the numerous wilderness areas near Boulder, let somebody know where you are going and when you will be back. And always bring a friend with you.
  • Boulder is home to a large number of wildlife species, including mountain lions, bears and coyotes. To lessen the chance of conflicts, store pet food indoors, make sure trash is not left outdoors and supervise pets when they are outside. Remember all wildlife should be left alone. Beginning Oct. 1, the city of Boulder will begin enforcing a new bear protection ordinance, where all trash and compost containers will need to be bear resistant.

Home Safety Tips:

  • All residence hall residents should be conscientious about any strangers trying to enter buildings without an escort or "tailgating," entering residence halls with a group of students. Doors leading to living areas in residence halls remain locked 24 hours a day and visitors must be escorted by a hall resident.
  • Lock your room or home whenever you leave and carry your key/access card at all times.
  • Have your access card, car or house key in hand before you reach the door. Don't be searching for keys while you are walking. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • City ordinances and university regulations require you to evacuate the building every time fire alarms are activated.
  • If you live in a basement apartment, remember to remove items from the floor before you leave.
  • Trees, bushes and shrubbery should be trimmed aroud your house so doors and windows are visible to neighbors.
  • Never leave lit candles, incense, barbecue grills or fireplaces unattended. Follow your lease and residence hall guidelines around these items.
  • Remember to close and lock doors to prevent unwanted people from entering your home. Deadbolt locks on doors provide good protection for an entry door.
  • If you plan to have a party, be safe and follow the university's guidelines for hosting a smart party, and remember to register your party.

Campus Resources:

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