Safety Tips & Information

Welcome! You have arrived at the University of Miami Police Department’s (UMPD) web Safety Tips, Information & FAQs page. The information and links we have provided below are intended to help you learn how to stay safe.  By taking steps to protect yourself and your property, your experience on the Coral Gables Campus, and University wide, should be crime free.  Property crimes make up 50-80% of all the crime occurring on campus. UMPD works very hard to prevent crimes on campus, but alone we will not succeed.  You must do your part.  Use common sense and don’t make yourself or your property easy prey for criminals.  Take advantage of the Safety Escort service, Blue Light phones, and the educational material found on the UMPD website to help us help you stay safe.

UMPD is a professional law enforcement agency that utilizes State of Florida Certified Police Officers and is supplemented by a contracted security guard service. The Miller School and Rosenstiel School campuses utilize professional security teams directly managed and supervised by the University. The City of Miami Police Department and Miami-Dade County Police Department, respectively, provide police services to these campuses.

UMPD Address:
UMPD is located at the University Ponce de Leon Parking Garage
5665 Ponce de Leon Boulevard
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Keep in mind, the Safety tips information and links provided are general guidelines for evaluating your safety and security in any given situation.  We encourage you to visit UMPD’s programs, services and crime prevention matters educational material for additional information.  If you choose a subject and the information is not available or if you don’t see the safety information pertaining to a topic you may simply contact our Crime Prevention Specialist .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by calling 305.284.1105. 

Safety Numbers

We encourage you to keep the following numbers handy at all times in case of any emergency.
Emergencies Dial 911

Coral Gables Campus

Miller School of Medicine

Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Campus

Reporting a Crime

If You Are the Victim of a Crime
Call the police and dial 911

For a non-emergency
Coral Gables campus police safety policy encourages accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes and emergencies. Criminal actions and other emergencies may be reported by anyone, via telephone or in person, to campus police by calling 305.284.6666 or by stopping by the UMPD located on the ground floor of the Flipse Building next to the Ponce Garage.

If you are assaulted
If you are assaulted and do not know your assailant, try to remember as much information about the person as possible (gender, race, hair color, mode of travel, tag number, etc.). If you see a suspicious person, do not approach the person yourself. Report the type of suspicious activity and a general description of the suspects. If your car is damaged, complete a police report to satisfy insurance company requirements. Miller School campus security officers will assist you in contacting the appropriate police agency so that you can obtain a police report. If you receive a bomb threat, call University Police (Coral Gables campus) or University Security (Miller School and Rosenstiel School campuses) immediately.

Sex Offenses & Rape Victims
Florida State Statutes defines Sexual Battery as non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or by any other object.  If you are a victim of sexual battery call 911 immediately. It is the students’ responsibility to notify proper law enforcement for investigation. Remember: do not shower or change your clothing as this may destroy valuable evidence. Counseling services are available and you may request to speak anonymously with a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) at 305.798.6666.

The University of Miami Police Department offers two women’s self-defense programs: RAD and SAFE.  For specific information on these programs, visit Rape Aggression Defense Training.

Student Daytime & Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol

What is a Blue Light Phone ?
University of Miami’s Blue Light Phone Program and Personal Safety Escort Service promotes safeguard and protection on the UM campuses University wide.  The Coral Gables campus has over 100 Blue Light Phones on campus that provide a direct connection to UM Police.  To use the Blue Light Phone, lift the receiver or press the button and a UM Police dispatcher will answer. Use the phones when you are lost, having car problems, want to report a suspicious incident, threat or medical emergency, or for any other kind of assistance or information we encourage the University community to use the Blue Light phones.  As soon as the phone is activated, the location of the phone is displayed on the UMPD’s switchboard. If a caller doesn’t speak or can’t, an officer is immediately dispatched to the phone site.

For more information on Blue Light Telephone locations
Blue Light Map

What exactly is a “Safety Escort”?
The University of Miami Police Department provides Safety Escort Service. The service is free and a safe means of travel for students and employees on the Coral Gables campus 24 hours a day.

Who will escort me safely?
Only UM Police employees and security affiliates provide safe escorts.  The escort providers have a police radio and are in constant contact with University Police. For your safety on and around the Coral Gables campus, consider utilizing this service.

Safety Information I Should Know about my Cane Card

What exactly is a “Cane Card”?
Your Cane Card is an on-campus student identification card. All University of Miami students, faculty, and staff are required to carry their Cane Card for identification purposes.

How do I acquire a Cane Card?
For more information on Cane Card, visit the Cane Card department.

Stay Informed for Safety- Know Your Evacuation Route

The UMPD and UM Security Departments actively work to keep the university community informed about safety and security on campuses.

The UM Emergency Notification Network (ENN) is a comprehensive communications solution that allows the University to quickly disseminate an urgent message through multiple communication mediums including: voice messages to cell, home, and office phones, text messages to cell phones, email messages, emergency notification sirens, public address and loudspeaker messages in some dormitories and other buildings.

Specifically, when ENN is activated UMPD can send recorded voice messages to your cell, home, and office phones; text messages to cell phones; e-mail messages; messages on the University’s Web site; outdoor warning sirens (Coral Gables campus only); the University’s Emergency Information Hotline (1-800-227-0354); and loudspeaker voice messages in equipped buildings. The situation will dictate the response based on a practical application of the all hazard planning concepts. The ENN system may be used in whole or in part based on the type of emergency. Incidents requiring ENN activation are broken into two categories.

A Condition Red encompasses any incident where there is imminent or ongoing loss of life or great bodily harm. In a Condition Red incident, the University Police/Security Departments will activate all components of the ENN system.

A Condition Orange encompasses any incident where there is no loss of life or great bodily harm but the potential exists based on known factors such as the presence of weapons, reports of a gas leak, etc. Condition Orange incidents are likely to be mitigated by police response before any harm is done. Any incident is dynamic and may immediately escalate from Orange to Red. In a Condition Red incident, the University Police/Security Departments will activate all components of the ENN system. In a Condition Orange incident, the University Police/Security shift commander will immediately brief the Chief of Police/Security Director. The Chief of Police/Security Director will confer with the President, a Senior Vice President, or a Vice President who will immediately convene a Crisis Decision Team to determine the need for an ENN activation, and if needed, what the content of the message will be.

It is absolutely necessary that every student and employee keep the University updated with his or her current contact information through the University’s myUM Web portal. The Emergency Notification Network contact databases are populated with the information each community member has entered in this system. To review and update your personal contact information, students need to visit CaneLink at and employees need to visit myUM at

What is UM’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and why should I familiarize myself with this plan?
The CEMP applies modern planning principles in addition to best practices and lessons learned to ensure the University of Miami is prepared to respond to, and recover from, any hazard threatening the lives and property of students, residents, staff, and visitors to UM campuses and facilities.

2013 University of Miami Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (PDF)

Campus Fire Safety Tips

What do I need to know in case of a Fire on campus?
If a fire is detected or the fire alarm sounds, evacuate the area. Isolate the fire by closing doors as you leave. Do not attempt to extinguish fires unless you have been trained on the proper use of portable fire extinguishers. Activate the nearest fire alarm if it has not already been activated. Report the fire to the Coral Gables Fire Department by using a telephone in a safe area to call 911.

• Should you see a fire, sound the fire alarm immediately and call 911.
• Advise the police of the size and location of the fire.
• Police will notify the appropriate fire department and will respond to assist.
• Do not enter a building that is on fire and advise the police if you know that someone is in the building.
• Always report any fire, even if it has been extinguished.
• Report vandalized or discharged fire extinguishers to University police.
• Make sure you know what your building’s fire alarm sounds like.
• Know your evacuation route (at least two exits).
• Close doors to help prevent the fire from spreading.
• Do not open doors if you suspect fire may be on the other side.
• Stay low to the floor and cover your mouth with a wet cloth to make breathing easier in smoky conditions.
• Never prop open or lock a fire exit.
• University policy dictates that when a fire alarm sounds in a residential college, the building will be evacuated for occupant safety.

What should I do if I hear a Fire Alarm on campus?
Upon hearing a fire alarm, evacuate the building by stairs and exits. Do not use elevators. Once outside the building, stay out and move away from the building to clear access for the fire department and other emergency responders. Do not re-enter the building until expressly advised that it is safe to do so by a Fire Department incident commander or University police officer. Any fires that were quickly extinguished or any evidence of recent fires must be reported immediately to a Housing and Residential Life staff member or University of Miami Police at 305-284-6666, who will document the incident as required. Environmental Health and Safety will coordinate with the University of Miami Police Department, the Municipal Police Department, and the Municipal Fire Department in the investigation of each fire incident.

What do I need to know about Fire Safety Training and Drills on campus?
At the University of Miami, all six Residential Colleges (Mahoney, Pearson, Eaton/Apartments, Hecht, Stanford, and University Village) are completely covered by an integrated automatic sprinkler and fire alarm system, which is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The buildings are also equipped with emergency generators that are designed to automatically activate whenever there is a power loss. These generators will operate life safety systems, including all fire safety equipment, sprinkler systems, hallway lighting, emergency exit doors, and lighting in all emergency exit stairwells. Basic fire safety instruction is provided to all students living in residence halls who attend the orientation program at the beginning of each academic year. All housing and residential life staff receive additional intensive and comprehensive fire safety training at the beginning of each semester. In addition, a quality control program that covers emergency and evacuation procedures is reviewed regularly with the occupants and staff of each respective residential college. Each resident is given a copy of the Housing and Residential Life Safety and Security Brochure, which includes information on fire safety and what appropriate action to take during a fire alarm or fire emergency.

Every student room has an emergency evacuation map affixed to the inside of the front door as well, to direct occupants to primary and secondary exits. Fire exit drills are conducted as follows:  (1) Health Care Facilities: once per quarter for each shift; (2) Day Care Facilities: once a month; and (3) Residential Colleges (Dormitories): once a semester. The two Residential College fire drills conducted each year are done in coordination with the City of Coral Gables Fire Department and the University’s Physical Plant Department. In an attempt to assist the privately independently owned fraternities to maintain acceptable living conditions, health requirements, and safety standards for students residing in fraternity houses, the fraternities must comply with the following inspection policies (2009-2010 Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook). Each House Corporation is required to have an annual fire safety inspection conducted by a licensed and certified fire safety inspector. The inspection is to be completed during the summer months, and a copy of the inspection report must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students no later than September 15.

Each organization is responsible for the costs of the inspections. It is the responsibility of each fraternity to ensure that its members maintain acceptable living conditions. As part of this responsibility, each fraternity should take all necessary steps to maintain its property in a safe, clean, and sanitary condition. Failure to comply with this policy could result in various penalties and sanctions, including closure by the University. The University of Miami continues to be proactive with respect to fire safety and currently has a fire safety score of 83 out of 99 from the Princeton Review, the benchmark organization

New Employee
Basic fire safety instruction is also offered to all new employees during the New Employee Orientation program. All existing employees are provided periodic training, coordinated by the Professional Development and Training Office (U-Learn computer-based learning program), and by request from individual departments and groups of employees.

For more information on Campus Fire Safety, we encourage you to read UM’s Annual Fire Safety Report.

Crime Prevention & Personal Property

50-80% of all crime on campus each month involves the theft of unattended or unsecured property. The simple solution: your property must be securely locked or kept under your watchful eye at all times. Most victims of theft cite that they just left their property for “one minute” inside a vehicle. This makes for an easy opportunity for thieves to break a window and steal property. Put everything in your trunk or out of sight. UMPD has a Crime Prevention Office that conducts over 55 different Crime Prevention, Community Policing and Personal Safety Programs for students and employees.

Please visit UMPD PROGRAMS for a full list and details descriptions of all crime prevention programs and training.

Security 101-The Short Course

While police and security departments are responsible for ensuring that our campuses are as safe as possible, the primary responsibility for crime prevention and personal safety rests with each individual.

Anti-Theft Tips
• Keep your dorm room locked at all times.
• Lock your office when it is unoccupied.
• Do not prop doors open.
• Anchor valuable office equipment.
• Maintain on file serial numbers of all equipment.
• Copy all important papers and cards that are in your purse or wallet.

Personal Safety in your Car
• Always keep your car doors locked.
• Never give strangers a ride.
• Check the back seat before entering a car.
• Keep your vehicle properly maintained.
• Have at least a quarter-tank of gas.
• Put valuables in the trunk, not on the seats.
• Always have a good spare tire and a jack.
• If you break down, wait with your vehicle and call AAA or the police. Don’t accept a ride with a stranger.
• If you feel that you’re being followed, drive toward a well-lit public area, preferably a police station.
• Keep a copy of your vehicle registration at home; keep the original in your vehicle.

Personal Safety in your Dorm or at Home
• Keep shades down and windows and doors locked.
• Use your peephole before opening the door.
• Take a self-defense course and maintain proficiency.
• Don’t leave a spare key outside.
• If you receive an obscene phone call, hang up immediately.
• Use only initials on mailboxes and in telephone directories.
• Make sure the exterior of your home is well lit.

Personal Safety Away from Home
• Walk, exercise, and park in well-lit areas.
• Carry your keys in hand so that you’re ready to enter your car or building.
• Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
• Don’t wear excessive amounts of jewelry.
• Use a waist pack rather than a purse.
• Avoid ATMs in secluded or dark locations.
• Avoid working or studying after hours in public areas.

Safety On & Off Campus

Pedestrian Safety

When walking to any off-campus destination, please remember that the University campuses are located in a major urban area with heavy vehicular traffic.The Coral Gables campus, in particular, is located next to a major thoroughfare: US 1/South Dixie Highway, a six-lane highway. Pedestrian safety is critically important—each year in our country approximately 5,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes and about 80,000 more are injured. Most of the stores, restaurants, and other attractions within walking distance of the Coral Gables campus are located in the Coral Gables/South Miami neighborhood south of campus across US 1. If you are crossing the highway, always use the designated crosswalks located at the intersections of US 1 and Red Road/SW 57th Avenue, Mariposa Court (by the Metrorail University Station), and Stanford Drive.

Bicycle Laws & Safety

It is the policy of the University of Miami Police Department that each University student, faculty or staff member who personally owns a bicycle is entitled to one free bicycle lock. Alumni, temporary or casual workers, contracted workers or others who do not have an official student, faculty or staff status are not provided locks free of charge. Anyone affiliated with the University in any way may purchase a discounted lock for $20.00, payable by cash or check.

All student, faculty or staff members must complete a Bicycle Registration Form (BRF-003) when accepting a free bicycle lock and sign the affidavit affirming that he/ she has not received any other free bike locks under the terms of this program. If it is determined that the student, faculty or staff member has received more than one lock, he/ she may be ordered to reimburse the Police Department for any costs associated with the additional lock, in addition to being subject to official University of Miami disciplinary action.

In the state of Florida, bicycles are legally defined as vehicles. Cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as other drivers. Pedestrians must be given the right of way. Cyclists should follow these guidelines: Wear a helmet. More than 70 percent of bicycle-related fatalities are the result of head injuries.


The registration process is simple, just bring your bicycle and your Cane Card to the UMPD Dispatch Center located on the ground floor on the Flipse Building next to the Ponce Garage. To save time you can download, print, and complete the UMPD bicycle registration form; don’t forget to bring the form with you to the UMPD. Make sure you have also read the UM Bicycle Program and Procedures Flyer.

Bicycle Safety Tips
At night, always wear light-colored clothing and make sure you have an illuminated headlight and taillight—it’s state law. Ride with traffic. Don’t ride against the flow of traffic. All bicycles used, kept, or otherwise on the Coral Gables campus are required by University policy to be officially registered with UMPD and secured whenever not in use at a designated bicycle rack with a UMPD issued U-lock. Bicycles in violation of this policy are subject to being secured and/or impounded. UMPD bicycle registration and U-locks are free of charge. For full details on this policy as well as other campus bicycle policies, visit Bicycle Security & Safety.

Safety Matters

Annual Safety and Fire Safety Report
The Safety Matters guide is a comprehensive annual security and fire safety report published annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1092(f))—part of the Higher Education Act (34 CFR 668.46). All currently registered students as well as employees are directly mailed (via U.S. Postal Service or interoffice campus mail) a notice by October 1 of each year that includes a statement of the report’s availability, the exact electronic address at which the report is posted, a brief description of the report’s contents, and a statement that the institution will provide a paper copy of the report upon request to the University of Miami Police Department. Print a copy of the Safety Matters guide and keep a copy in a safe place for your reference.

Printed copies may be requested by calling UMPD at 305-284-1105. Prospective students and employees of the University are informed of the guide’s availability annually when the guide is updated.

Safety & Security Publications

- UMPD Quick Reference Safety & Security Flyer

- Crime Statistics as reported to the Florida State Department of Education

- Quick Reference Safety and Security Guide

- Unattended & Unsecured Property Theft Brochure

- Anti-Theft Flyer: Gone in 6 seconds

- Safety Escort Services

- Stepping Out: A Guide to Pedestrian Safety

- Miami Area Direction Guide

- Fake IDs

- A Guide to Bicycles on Campus

- Campus Bicycle Rack Master List

- Bicycle Lock Program Policies

- Personal Safety Tips

- Safety Tips Brochure

- Crime Stoppers TXT Tips

- Safety at Work

- Emergency Notification Network Guide

- Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Program

- Stop Hate Crimes

- Credit Card Security

- ATM Safety

- Auto Theft Prevention

- Dangers of Drinking

- Cell Phone Safety

- One-Way Traffic Safety

- Spring Break Safety Tips

- Holiday Safety Tips

- US Embassy and Consulate Contact Information: Caribbean Region

- US Embassy and Consulate Contact Information: Europe

- Operation Secure Site