Safety in Residence Halls

Access to residential buildings is restricted to residents of the building or area only. Guests are to use the phone located near the main entrance of the building to call the resident they wish to visit. It is the responsibility of the resident to come to the front door and to escort the guest the entire time they are visiting the building. No one should allow an unknown person to enter through a controlled door. If someone attempts to simply walk through a door that has been opened by someone leaving the building, or by a student who had swiped his/her card to gain access, it is expected that students take the initiative to question the unknown person. Unless that individual can produce a 49er ID card which he/she can in turn swipe for access, it is to be assumed that the person does NOT have the necessary permission to enter, and should be denied access.

In the event that a resident moves out of a building, either leaving the University or moving to another residence hall, one of the steps connected with that move is to re-code building access. Either the student's coded access is modified to permit the student to enter the new residence hall, or (in the case of someone moving off campus for whatever reason) the access is modified to expire at the scheduled limitation on the cancellation papers.

In the event a student becomes locked out of his/her room, it will be necessary for that person to go to the correct one of three 24-hour loan key desks to get a loan key. Following the proper procedures, the student will check out a loan key, return to the residence hall, enter his/her room and get the permanent key and return the loan key within a 3-hour time period. It is HRL policy that if the loan key is not properly returned, the locks on the resident's room are changed and the charges to change those locks are billed to the student. This policy exists for the safety of all of the residents of that room; an unaccounted-for key becomes a danger to all of the room's residents, and could mean harm might come to them if the key has been lost and falls into the wrong hands.

Security starts with you. Keeping track of your keys/cards and ID card are important security precautions that take little time but maximize the security of your residence.

Building/Room Access

Other Residence Hall Safety Topics

Building Evacuation Procedures
If you discover any situation that requires evacuation, leave the building and call University Police at x72200 or x911 from a safe location.

  • Speak slowly and clearly so you can be understood
  • Give your name
  • Give the exact location of the emergency
  • Give any other relevant information (is anyone hurt, etc)
  • University Police will contact the necessary emergency personnel. If there is no public phone available, remember that the phones at the various gates and Blue light poles on campus connect directly to the University Police.

Bomb Threats
As in any emergency situation, the University Police should be notified immediately at 72200 or x911. In this particular situation, try to get as much information from the caller as you can and be prepared to give your name and the exact information you received to the police. After contacting the police, contact your RC. Do not investigate. Wait for further instruction from University Police, Housing and Residence Life staff, or other campus officials.

Fire protection equipment (alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers/hoses,etc.) is located in each residential area. If abused this equipment will not be functional in the event of a fire, thereby endangering the lives of many people. Because of the dangers and risks to residents and firefighters associated with false fire alarms and intentional fires, there are criminal and civil penalties for intentionally setting any fire; for intentionally causing any false fire alarm; and for vandalizing or tampering with any fire alarm or fire protection equipment (including covering smoke/heat detectors). Probable sanctions for these violations are removal from campus housing and/or criminal prosecution. Causing a false fire alarm will result in removal from the residence halls and/or a $500 chard and/or six months in jail. Additionally, a $500 reward has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals tampering with the system and causing false fire alarms.

Evacuation Procedures
When a fire alarm is sounded (by smoke, another person, or otherwise), always take the fire alarm seriously and assume there is a fire. All persons are required to immediately evacuate the building. Failure to evacuate will result in a $50 charge. Some evacuation suggestions are as follows:

  • If there is smoke in your room, keep low to the floor. Crawl to your window and open it a few inches to allow in fresh air.
  • If your room is clear of smoke, touch your door before opening. If it is hot, do not open! Stay in your room and wait for emergency personnel to reach you. Hang a sheet from your window to identify your location. If smoke is entering the room, stuff all openings with towels, etc.
  • If your door is not hot, exit the room toward the nearest fire exit. If the situation allows, take a coat, war shoes, and carry a towel for smoke. Close your windows, turn out the lights, and shut your door. Do not stop for personal belongings. Activate the fire alarm system if it is not already sounding.
  • Once in the corridor, close your door and head quickly, but without panic, to the outside stairwell exit. Do not use the elevators.
  • Exit down the stairway, making room for the people on the lower floors as they enter the stairway.
  • After you have exited, move away form the building to the designated evacuation area and wait for further instructions. if University Police are not already on site, call x72200 or x911 from a safe location.
    • Speak slowly and clearly so you can be understood
    • Give your name
    • Give the exact location of the fire or emergency
    • Give any other relevant information (is anyone hurt, etc)
    • University Police will call the Charlotte Fire Department. If there is no public phone available, remember that the phones at the various gates and Blue light poles on campus connect directly to the University Police.
    • Keep out of the way of emergency personnel. if you believe someone is trapped on your floor, report this immediately to firefighters or University Police.
    • ​Do not re-enter the building for any reason. If you have any information regarding a fire, your are encouraged to tell the nearest University Police Officer or a Housing staff member.

Keeping Hallways Clear
To help ensure safe evacuation should it become necessary, storing of personal belongings in hallways is a safety hazard and will result in a minimum of $25 charge of removal of the item(s). The University is not responsible for such items that have been removed from common areas.

Maximum Occupancy Limits
To help ensure safe evacuation, maximum occupancy levels have been established for the following locations:



All Tower/Greek Village Bedrooms


All Suites and Apartments


“P” Building Community Room


“G” Building Community Room


C.F. Lynch Main Lounge


Greek Village Common Room


Holshouser Community Room


Holshouser Computer Room


Maple Community Room


Martin Hall


Moore Computer Room


Sanford Community Room


Scott Community Room


Witherspoon Computer Room


Witherspoon First Floor Lounge


Witherspoon Second Floor Lounge


              (75/75 when divided)


Witherspoon Third Floor Lounge


             (75/75 when divided)



Fire Escapes
Stairways designated as "Fire Escapes" are for emergency use only. No smoking or loitering is permitted. Inappropriate use of these stairwells can result in disciplinary action.