Just in case, be ready for emergencies by knowing the procedures:

Medical emergency

If you need an ambulance:

  1. Call 911

  2. Call Security at

  • 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or

  • 514 398 7777 (Macdonald)

so that they can provide the necessary escort.

If you need First aid, CPR or an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

Call Security at 514 398 3000 (Downtown) or 514 398 7777 (Macdonald. They will send a trained patroller.

First Aid Tips


Call for ambulance.

Press directly on wound with sterile gauze, sanitary napkin, clean handkerchief or bare hand. Maintain steady pressure until the bleeding stops. If an arm or leg is bleeding, keep it elevated until emergency personnel arrive.


Call for ambulance.

Do nothing if the victim is coughing or gasping.

If no air movement, apply abdominal thrusts. Hold the victim from behind with your hands over the “belly button” area; quickly squeeze in and up until the object is expelled.


Call for ambulance.

Protect victim from self-injury. After the seizure, place the victim in recovery position. Watch for vomiting to prevent the victim from choking. Keep victim comfortable in recovery position until emergency personnel arrive.



Call for ambulance.

Keep victim warm and calm, with legs slightly elevated, until emergency personnel arrive.

Unconscious/ Unresponsive

Call for ambulance.

Check for breathing: If the victim is not breathing, initiate CPR. Gently tilt the head back and lift the chin to open the airway; watch chest and listen for air from mouth. If not breathing, pinch the nose and give two slow, full breaths. Watch the chest rise and fall during each breath.

If an AED is available, follow instructions and apply. Administer CPR as required. To administer CPR: press down with the palm of your hand on the middle of chest 30 times and give two breaths. Repeat until help arrives.

Fire and Smoke

If you detect fire or smoke:

  1. Pull the fire alarm.

  2. If safe to do so, use a fire extinguisher on the fire.

  3. Exit the building calmly using the fire exit staircases only. Do not use elevators or escalators.

  4. Once outside call 911 and Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

  5. Inform the authorities of:

  • the location and nature of the fire,

  • the unsafe exits,

  • persons requiring assistance and their location,

  • other pertinent details.

  • Wait for authorization from emergency personnel before re-entering the building.

Follow the instructions of the evacuation team.


Evacuation Planning:

Prepare for an evacuation as part of your department emergency plan:

  1. Know your primary evacuation route and alternate route in case the primary is not available.

  2. Know the location of the two exits nearest to you.

  3. Know your evacuation meeting location and Evacuation Monitor.

Emergency situations may require evacuation of your building

Each building on campus has a volunteer evacuation team whose role is to help evacuate in a quick and orderly manner to ensure everyone’s safety. Follow the evacuation team’s instructions.

If evacuation is required:

  • Secure hazardous materials or equipment before leaving. Identify specific procedures in your department emergency plan.

  • Calmly proceed to the nearest, safe exit. Walk, do not run, push or crowd.

  • Check doors for heat before opening. Do not open if hot, move to the next exit.

  • Close doors behind you. Do not lock them.

  • Use the stairs only; do not use elevators or escalators. Stay to the right and use handrails.

  • Assist persons with disabilities or special needs.

  • Move 100m from the building or to the meeting site as directed by the evacuation team.

  • Call 911 and Security when you are away from any danger.

  • If you have pertinent information about the evacuation (injuries, persons requiring assistance) or incident (location, nature of fire), identify yourself and remain available to Security and the authorities.

  • Wait for authorization from emergency personnel before re-entering the building.

Emergency evacuations for people with disabilities

What to do when an alarm sounds in the building:

  1. Make sure the evacuation team can easily locate you.

  2. If needed, ask for assistance. Make sure to make yourself visible.

Also, for each of the following disabilities

  • If you have a hearing impairment

The evacuation team will communicate the emergency to you and ensure someone accompanies you out of the building.

  • If you have a visual impairment

The evacuation team will explain the situation and ensure someone leads you safely out to a location familiar to you.

  • If you are mobility impaired, but ambulatory (walking with great difficulty)

The evacuation team will ensure someone escorts you safely out after the main flow of traffic has passed, to avoid accidents. For extreme emergency (fire or heavy smoke in proximity): If people ask if you wish to be picked up, you must realize that they are not trained to lift and carry a person.

  • If you are mobility impaired with no capability of walking down stairs

(e. g. severe heart problem, use of wheel chair)

When the alarm rings, if possible, phone Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald) to inform them of your location, circumstance and intention.

The evacuation team will help you find a location where you will wait for evacuation. They are not trained to lift and carry you out of the building. Ask someone to stay with you until the fire department arrives. Make sure someone notifies the authorities of your need for assistance.

Persons with a disability should make sure that Security Services know that they work in the building.

Elevator Emergency

If you are trapped in an elevator

  1. Remain calm.

  2. Press the emergency button. You will be connected directly to Security.

  3. Inform Security of your location.

  4. A security officer and elevator service staff will be dispatched to help.

  5. The security officer will remain on site and in communication with you until the elevator technician is able to release the elevator. The security officer may contact emergency services if need.

If you hear an elevator alarm or unusual sounds coming from an elevator:

Call Security at:

If your call to Security gets interrupted

Please call again.

Some emergency phones disconnect automatically to avoid tying up emergency lines.


514 398 3000 (Downtown)

514 398 7777 (Macdonald)

Hazardous Materials Spills

In case of Hazardous Material Spills

Call Security .

Hazmat response team will be dispatched.

514-398-3000 (Downtown) or

514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

HazMat spill tips

For spills involving an immediate hazard or requiring medical assistance:

  • Call 911.

  • In case of personal injury, remove clothing; flush the affected area with warm tap water for 20 minutes.

For spills involving an immediate hazard or requiring medical assistance:

  • Call 911.

  • In case of personal injury, remove clothing; flush the affected area with warm tap water for 20 minutes.

For small spills not involving danger to life or property:

  • Confine the spill.

  • Evacuate and secure the immediate area; limit access to authorized personnel.

  • Notify your supervisor. Report all spills that can cause injury to a person or property to Security.

You will be asked to provide

  1. Your name

  2. Your location

  3. Type of spill (e.g. a solvent spill, liquid radioactive spill, bio-hazardous material, etc.)

  4. Damage (building, floor, room number, etc.)

In case of a radioactive spill / leak.

  1. Limit the spread of the spill.

  2. Warn others in the area that a spill has occurred. Evacuation is not necessary.

  3. Call Security.

  4. If skin contamination has occurred, wash the affected area with warm water for 20 minutes.

In case of a biological release / spill

  1. Don personal protection.

  2. Decontaminate the spill with appropriate disinfectant.

  3. For a large spill or release of highly infectious materials, notify everyone in the area, secure the area, then call Security immediately.

In case of exposure to blood-borne pathogen or needle-stick injury

  1. Wash affected area with warm water and soap.

  2. Call Security and seek medical attention immediately.

Odour Reports

If you notice unusual odours in your area.

  1. If you are feeling ill, advise others to leave and then leave the immediate area.

  2. Call the Facilities Call Centre at 514-398-4555.

  3. Clearly identify the location of the odour.

The Facilities Call Centre is staffed Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 10:00 pm. If the FCC operator is not on duty, the calls are directed to Security.

Natural Gas

If you note a heavy gas or rotten egg odour

  1. Do not activate the fire alarm or turn on or off any lights, electrical appliances or cell phones.

  2. Evacuate the building immediately, alerting co-workers via word-of-mouth.

  3. Once outside, move away from the building.

  4. From a safe location, contact Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

  5. Do not re-enter the building until instructed to do so by Security.

Power Outage

During a power outage

  1. Remain calm.

  2. If emergency lighting does not come on, wait a few minutes: power interruptions are frequently of short duration.

  3. Do not use candles, matches, lighters or other open flames as light.

  4. If you work with hazardous chemicals, keep a flashlight available to allow you to safely shut down operations.

  5. If lighting is interrupted for more than 10 minutes, notify Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

  6. Do not move around in the dark. Security will evaluate the need to evacuate the building.

If you are instructed to evacuate in total darkness

  1. Advise Security that you are evacuating.

  2. Crawl on your hands and knees, do not stand.

  3. With the back of your right hand, feel and follow the wall to your right.

  4. Sweep your right hand in an up and down movement, feeling for door knobs.

  5. Feel any door for heat before you open it.

  6. With your left hand sweep your hand on the floor in front of you for obstacles or stairs.

  7. Crawl down stairs backwards, feeling the steps with your feet. (Left hand on the right-hand wall).

  8. Never lose contact with the right-hand wall, you will eventually find the exit.

Water Damage

If you notice a flood or water leak

  1. If there are electrical outlets or appliances near the leak, do not approach the water.

  2. Call Facilities Call Centre at 514-398-4555.

  3. Indicate the exact location and severity of the leak.

  4. If there is any possible danger, evacuate the area.

  5. If you know the source of the water and are confident in your ability to stop it (i.e. by unclogging the drain, turning off the water, etc.), do so cautiously.

Suspicious Package

If you receive a suspicious letter:

  1. If you have opened the letter, set it down gently where you first read it. Leave it alone, remain calm and avoid sudden movements.

  2. Inform a co-worker in the immediate area about what has happened and ask them to call Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

  3. Move to an area where you can avoid contact with others and stay there.

  4. Remain calm. Exposure does not mean that you will become sick. Security Services will make sure you receive specific information about symptoms and effective treatment.

  5. If you are in an area or job where packages are received and opened routinely, have a specific plan for identifying and responding to a suspicious package and exercise that plan on a routine basis.

If a co-worker receives a suspicious letter

  1. Turn off any fans in the area; Security will arrange to have the building’s ventilation system shut down.

  2. Instruct personnel involved to move slowly to the perimeter of the room, but do not permit anyone to leave. Do not allow others into the area. If anyone enters, they will have to stay until emergency responders instruct them to leave.

  3. Do not disturb any contents in the letter or note. Handling the letter may increase the chances of exposure.

  4. Do not give the letter or note to others to look at.

If you notice a suspicious package:

  1. Do not handle the package.

  2. Call Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

  3. Wait for instructions.

Although threats using biological agents must be taken seriously, more likely than not, they are hoaxes. If a biological agent is anthrax, it is not contagious and can be readily treated before the onset of symptoms.

Common features of suspicious letters:

  • No return address; postmark or name of sender is unusual. Excessive or inadequate postage.

  • Handwritten or poorly typed addresses.

  • Misspelling of common words. Restrictive markings such as “Confidential”, “Personal”, etc. 

  • Excessive weight and/or a feeling of a powdery substance.

  • The letter is lopsided or unusually thick.

  • Rub-on block lettering.

  • Threat of any type of contamination.

Bomb Threat

We have created a checklist on what to do if you receive a bomb threat by phone:

Consult the checklist

Severe Weather

During a severe storm:

  • Stay safe, warm, dry and calm.
  • Avoid driving.
  • Go out only if you have to. If you must, dress warmly to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Call “McGill Today” at 514-398-1234 to find out whether the University is closed.

If stranded at work:

  • Choose a comfortable location with co-workers.
  • Gather any emergency supplies that may be available.
  • Advise Security of your location and the number of people you are with.
  • Make yourself comfortable and look after each other.

Be prepared

  • Check weather information regularly.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Have adequate emergency supplies at your office, in your car and at home.
  • Have a family emergency plan in case you can’t get home on time.


During an earthquake

If Indoors

  • Remain indoors.
  • DUCK, COVER and HOLD. Take cover under a table, bench or desk and hold on, or go to an interior wall, supported doorway, or hallway.
  • Keep clear of windows that could break and large objects that could fall over.
  • Expect fi re alarm and sprinkler systems to activate.
  • Do not evacuate until the shaking has stopped.
  • When evacuating, be careful and watch for falling debris.

If outdoors:

  1. Stay outdoors.
  2. Move to an open area away from trees, buildings, windows, utility poles and signs.

If in a vehicle:

  1. Pull over, keeping away from overhead objects such as trees, buildings, utility poles, signs, tunnels and overpasses.
  2. Get down as low as you can in the vehicle until the shaking stops.

The McGill web site: www.mcgill.ca and radio stations will broadcast information regarding class cancellations and school closings.

After an earthquake

  • Evacuate cautiously, taking your key personal belongings and any emergency supplies. Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Do not use elevators or turn on lights.
  • Look for any signs of structural damage and for persons who may be injured or trapped. Watch for falling objects.
  • Go to your evacuation meeting location. Report injured or trapped persons and any signs of structural damage to emergency personnel.
  • Only use phone for emergencies; overloading the phone system may delay the arrival of emergency assistance.

Major Disaster/ Terrorism

In case of an incident involving major disaster or terrorism:

  1. Remain calm and be patient.
  2. Follow the advice of Security and/or local emergency officials.
  3. Listen to your radio or television or go to the McGill web site for news and instructions.
  4. If the act of terrorism or disaster occurs near you, check for injuries. Give first-aid and get help for seriously injured people.
  5. Do not use the telephone unless it is a life threatening emergency.

Personal Safety

Street Safety Tips

  • Study the campus and neighbourhood with respect to routes between your residence and class/activities. Know where emergency phones are located.
  • Be very careful using ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings. When walking, walk in the middle of the sidewalk and walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Try not to overload yourself with packages or other items. Keep your hands as free as possible.
  • Do not wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
  • Do not read while walking or standing on a sidewalk. Present a confident and aware attitude. Walk briskly.
  • If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front. Carry no more money or credit cards than you absolutely need.
  • If you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if snatched. Otherwise you could be knocked down and hurt.

  • Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Know your surroundings and do not hesitate to report suspicious activities and loitering.

  • Remain aware of your surroundings, whether alone or with a companion. Make use of your senses; listen for footsteps and voices and take note of other people in the area.

  • Be aware that your shoes and clothing may hinder an escape. Think of what to do in case of an attack (e.g. kick off high-heeled shoes).

  • Remember: avoid traveling alone. Avoid “shortcuts”. Use the student-operated service, Walksafe, after dark.


Request an escort by calling 514-398-2498 or by asking a Walksafe patrol team on the street. All patrol teams are easily identified by their red jackets with Walksafe on the back.

Walksafe is a student-run organization that provides a safe alternative to walking or taking public transportation alone at night. While not escort, Walksafe patrol teams maintain a visible presence in the McGill community. For more details you may visit Walksafe's website.

Security maintains a close working relationship with the McGill Walksafe executive. When Walksafe is not available, Security agents will provide the service; contact phone number: 514-398-3000

General Safety Awareness

Who to call in case of an accident or incident requiring ambulance, fire and police:

Call 911.

Then call Security Services so that they can direct emergency vehicles to the location:

514-398-3000 (Downtown) or

514-398-7777 (Macdonald)

Who to call in an Emergency

If external help is required (police, ambulance, fire department):

Call Emergency Services: 911.

Security monitors and records all 911 calls placed from McGill landlines on the Downtown campus.

If you are calling from a cell phone, public pay phone or from Macdonald campus: Call 911 AND Security 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

If internal help only is required:

Call Security at 514-398-3000 (Downtown) or at 514-398-7777 (Macdonald).

Accidents, hazardous spills, critical breakdowns, plumbing or electrical services and gas smells are examples of incidents that can be handled by Security.

Emergency Phones

Located throughout both campuses, inside the main entrance of most major McGill buildings and in every elevator on campus. Look for the blue night light. Simply press the red button to connect to Security. A mobile patrol will be dispatched to provide required assistance.

What you will be asked:

  1. Your name and phone number.

  2. Location of the incident.

  3. Nature of the incident.

  4. Number of injured people and nature of injuries.

  5. Nearest building entrance that emergency personnel can use.

  6. To have someone who will meet emergency personnel outside building.

  7. To stay on the line.

If your call to Security gets interrupted:

Please call again.

Some emergency phones disconnect automatically to avoid tying up emergency lines.

If an emergency phone is out of service:

  • Please report it immediately to Security.

Public telephones on campus

No-charge calls to 911 and Security.

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