Shelter in Place/Lock Down

  • Lockdown - Quickly secure all staff, students, and visitors in rooms away from immediate danger.
  • Lockout - Exterior doors are locked.  Used in a potentially dangerous situation outside of building.  "Lockout" is a term that may be used in combination with "lockdown."
  • Shelter in Place - Take immediate shelter where you are and isolate your inside environment from the outside environment.


Emergency: Fire / Medical - Call 9-1-1, all other emergencies:  Call OSU Department of Public Safety (737-7000 (emergency),  737-3010 (non-emergency)

When you receive the notice to seek shelter inside a building, or you decide to shelter due to a nearby outside danger (e.g. severe weather, outside environmental danger, or violent intruder):

  1. Seek shelter inside a building and remain there.
    • If possible, seek shelter in areas without hazards (e.g. chemicals, fume hoods, water tanks, loose material, etc.)
    • If possible, warn anyone outside the building to immediately enter
    • Determine if a threat of violence is present and the building/occupants should lock internal and access doors.
  1. If a weather incident, go to the lowest level of the building, stay in interior hallways, away from glass doors and windows.
  1. If an outside chemical or hazardous material causes the sheltering, move everyone to the 2nd or 3rd floors of the building.
    • Close exterior doors and windows
    • Shut down the building’s air handling system
  1. If a lock down situation:
    • If safe to do so, lock the exterior doors
    • Seek shelter inside a room that the door can be locked and barricaded
    • Lock the door and barricade it
    • Stay away from windows so no one can see you
    • Seek cover behind/under solid objects
    • Silence cell phones or other devices that make noise and could draw the intruder’s attention
  1. If safe to do so, contact the following and report your situation:
    • 9-1-1
    • [College/School/Department name]leadership
  1. Monitor TV or website news, if possible.
  1. Wait for official notice to resume normal activities.
    • By OSUAlert notification
    • By person in hallway announcing all clear (it is acceptable to ask for official identification prior to unlocking the door)
    • Telephonic notification from the University
    • University website
  1. Conduct accountability for personnel under your supervision.
  1. Be prepared to conduct immediate evacuation if told to do so.
  1. Report problems or concerns to [College/School/Department name] leadership.


  • Check in with [College/School/Department name] leadership to determine response status
  • Do not exit the building until allowed to do so


  • Install locks or devices on doors that allow the door to be locked from the inside
  • Obtain keys to lock exterior doors


  • Pre-identify interior locations that can be used for sheltering when stormy weather or violence strikes
  • Identify how to isolate or turn off the air handling system OR select shelter locations that are not part of the air system
  • Review with employees how to respond to acts of violence
    • Familiarize employees with any “safe” word that is used to communicate the situation to Public Safety
  • Identify who has the capability and responsibility to lock exterior building doors