Active Attacker

Responding to an Active Attacker

If an active attacker situation occurs, consider three options: Get Out, Hide, or Defend. 

GET OUT: Leave the area and exit the building. Call 911 and campus safety once you are safe.

HIDE: If you can’t leave, go where you can lock the doors and windows. Block doors with heavy furniture. Turn off all lights, silence your mobile devices, and remain quiet until the police clear the area. Stay out of sight – under a desk, in a closet, in a corner, or on the floor.

DEFEND: As a last resort, commit yourself to delay, block or overcome the attacker. Consider using nearby objects to help you so you can get away.

When Police Arrive

Do not move from your hiding space unless you are directed to do so by emergency response personnel, or if the area becomes unsafe.

A note about police:

When police arrive, their first priority is to find the assailant and stop them. Do not run towards police. They must consider you, and everyone else, a possible threat.

Stay calm and follow their instructions at all times. Keep your hands visible and empty.

Important Contacts

Emergency: 911

Campus Safety (Emergency)
St. George/UTSC: 416-978-2222
UTM: 905-569-4333

Campus Safety (Non-Emergency)
St. George: 416-978-2323
UTSC: 416-287-7398
UTM: 905-828-5200


  • Identify all potential exits to the room and building you are in.
  • Identify items that can be used as a door-stopper, such as a chair wedged under a doorknob, or a heavy piece of furniture that can block a door from opening.
  • Look for any items that could be used as makeshift weapons in the event that you need to defend yourself, such as scissors or a fire extinguisher.

Other Incident Response Guides

Medical Emergencies
Suspicious Packages
Cyber Incidents
Gas Leak
Power Outages
Civil Disturbances
Extreme Weather