Shelter in place

Shelter in place procedures may be used when officials deem that it is unsafe to be outdoors due to an environmental hazard in the vicinity of a SFU campus. This may include:

  • neighbouring industrial incidents;
  • significant impact to air quality inclusive of hazardous material release (chemical, biological, or other hazardous substances in solid, liquid or gaseous form);
  • storms: snow, severe wind, or lightning storms resulting in downed power lines, high levels of disaster debris, or impacted access and egress routes;
  • earthquakes; 
  • other hazards which constitute a health or safety risk should individuals not take shelter including: wildlife hazards (e.g. bears, cougars, coyotes, and deer), and radiation levels which fall outside of Health Canada’s guidelines for human exposure

Note: Shelter in place procedures are not used during acts of violence. Instead follow active threat procedures


Instructions to either shelter-in-place or evacuate may come from SFU Alerts, or emergency/safety personnel.

1) Seek and Share Shelter

  • Increase your distance from the hazard and enter the closest building possible if outdoors
  • Avoid rooms with windows that cannot be sealed

2) Seal exterior doors and windows

  • Seal exterior doors and windows
  • In some cases, the ventilation system may be shut off

3) Keep calm and alert

  • Keep phones on and monitor updates ( and @SFU on Twitter)
  • Minimize noise and do not make unnecessary calls
  • Listen and be aware of potential hazards including unusual sounds and smells

4) Stay

  • Remain in the secure location until additional info is provided by emergency personnel