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Safety Tips

The great majority of college students will enjoy their college experience without ever being impacted by a crime. However, good crime prevention information can be empowering and further reduce the chances of becoming a victim. Continually promoting safety awareness is one more way our Campus Security team works to provide our students, employees, and visitors with a safe environment.

We've provided the safety tips below to help keep you safe on campus, at home, and while traveling to and from campus. Please click each topic and review the information.

— Joe Ambrose, Eastern Florida State College Security Chief

“The video above regarding Active Shooters is provided on behalf of the Eastern Florida State College Department of Security. If you would like additional information or would like to schedule a Safety/Active Shooter Training for your class, club, or department, etc. — or would like your EFSC workplace evaluated for safety, please contact the Administrative Support Specialist for Collegewide Security at 321-433-5947.”
— Chief Joe Ambrose, EFSC Security

Surviving an Active Shooter Event:

Thankfully, active shooter situations on college campuses or in our workplaces are very rare. Today’s police officers and deputy sheriffs are specially trained to quickly respond to active shooter situations and address and stop the threat.

An additional comfort to our College is that many EFSC Security Officers are authorized to carry firearms while on duty. EFSC Security Officers also are specially trained in active shooter scenarios. If an active shooter situation were to unfold on any campus, EFSC Security Officers and local law enforcement agencies would be able to quickly respond.

The following tips are provided as a courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security should you ever encounter a situation.

The three things you may wish to consider are…

Run. Hide. Fight. 

RUN: First and foremost, if you can get out, do it.

  • If there is an escape route, attempt to evacuate
  • Evacuate whether others agree to or not
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape if possible
  • Prevent others from entering the area
  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe

HIDE: If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide. Act quickly and quietly. Try to secure your hiding place the best you can. 

  • Lock and/or blockade the door
  • Silence your cell phone
  • Hide behind large objects
  • Remain very quiet

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction
  • Not trap or restrict your options for movement

FIGHT: As a last resort, and only if your life is in danger . . . whether you’re alone or working together as a group, fight.  

  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter
  • Act with physical aggression
  • Improvise weapons
  • Commit to your actions
What to do when armed security or law enforcement arrives:

Remain calm and follow instructions. Keep your hands visible at all times. Avoid pointing or yelling. Know that help for the injured is on its way.

When on an EFSC Campus:
  • Know the location of your Campus Security Office, and program these numbers into your phone for quick and easy access:
    • Palm Bay Campus Security: 321-403-5911
    • Melbourne Campus Security: 321-403-5909
    • Cocoa Campus Security: 321-403-5907
    • Titusville Campus Security: 321-403-4200
  • Park near a light pole if you will be leaving campus during evening hours.
  • Keep valuables (laptops, GPS, cellphones, etc.) in your vehicle out of sight.
  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times and keep all doors locked when traveling.
  • When walking to the parking lot be aware of your surroundings and have your keys ready. Carry your purse close to your body and keep your wallet in your front pocket. Stay Alert!
  • Refrain from using your cell phone or listening to music while walking in parking lots. Look into your vehicle (including the backseat) before getting in. Use the “Buddy System” - there is strength in numbers, especially at night.
  • If you are alone, and need to walk to your car during evening hours, please feel free to contact a Security Officer for an escort to your vehicle.
  • If you think you are being followed, turn around, return to campus, and notify Security.
  • If your vehicle will not start, contact Security and turn on your emergency flashers. Secure yourself inside your vehicle until Security Officers arrive.
  • Never allow someone to force you into a vehicle and do everything in your power to escape the situation. Yelling HELP, hitting, or biting may stop the attack. Consider running away. Consider carrying and using protective “Pepper Spray” to defend against attackers. Please see EFSC Procedures Manual §804 for more information regarding the carrying of weapons on College property.
  • If you see a crime in progress or someone having a medical emergency (heart attack, etc.), call 911 immediately followed by a call to Security.
  • Never prop open doors which are meant to lock behind you.
  • If you observe an individual in the improperly designated restroom, leave immediately and contact Security.
  • Walk on designated walkways that are well lit. Avoid shortcuts through the parks, vacant lots and other deserted places.
  • Report all thefts, suspicious persons, and suspicious incidents to Security Officers immediately.
Staying safe at home and in the community:
  • Require photo identification and business licenses of persons you call for service before allowing them into your home.
  • Do not let strangers into your home, even if a stranger says it is an emergency. Offer to call police for them instead.
  • Don’t hesitate to call 911 if you are dealing with, or have been visited by, a suspicious person who causes you concern.
  • Set exterior lights on timers or light sensors so they illuminate your home at night.
  • Never leave outside lights on during the day as it signals burglars you may be away.
  • Obscure windows near front doors so persons cannot see into your home.
  • Secure garage doors fully. Do not leave door partially open for pets or ventilation as they get the attention of potential burglars.
  • Consider placing “Beware of Dog” signs near front door even if you do not have a dog to scare off would be burglars.
  • Consider installing an alarm system to serve as a deterrent to burglars.
  • Consider installing a home surveillance (camera) system to prevent burglaries and record suspicious events.
  • While driving, be sure to create a safety buffer zone when stopping of at least one car length so that you can drive away if needed.
  • Be sure to refuel before dropping below ¼ tank of gas to avoid the need to stop at an unsafe location for gas at an unsafe time.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Never enter a car with a stranger. If being forced into a vehicle, fight as though your life depends on it.
  • When having your car serviced, provide them only your car key (not your home key), and remove any portable garage door openers so your code to the garage door cannot be accessed.
  • Please keep your glove compartment and other storage compartments free of any unnecessary paperwork that may contain sensitive personal information.