Student swiping card

Safety and Security

Penn State Housing and Food Services is committed to offering safe and secure buildings for resident students.



Fire Drills
Each semester, fire drills are executed in the residence areas. Everyone in the building during an emergency drill must vacate the building immediately. Rooms may be checked during the drill to ensure compliance. Failure to vacate the building during any fire drill will result in disciplinary action.

Fire Precautions
All students are responsible to take necessary precautions to prevent fires. Candles, incense, potpourri, and other flame-emitting articles are prohibited. Papering walls and/or ceilings with posters, flammable decorations, and putting paper in light fixtures are fire safety hazards and are prohibited. The following hazardous situations are prohibited under State Labor and Industry regulations:

  • Wood paneling and/or tiles
  • Papering ceilings, doors, or walls
  • Disguising doors or exits
  • Posting papers, signs, and other combustible materials in hallways or on doors (except bulletin boards)

Multiple outlet adapters present a fire hazard and should only be used with low-watt devices. A grounded device wattage adapter should be limited to 400 watts total. A grounded 15-amp surge-protective plug-in with built-in breaker is required, and total amperage should not exceed five amps. Residence rooms have limited circuit capacity (one 20-amp circuit for up to four rooms). Electric cords should not be hung around the room or be placed under furniture or carpeting. Repositioning outlets with extension cords or splicing is prohibited.

Fire Equipment
Fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and exit signs are located on every floor in each building. All of our apartments and suites are equipped with sprinkler systems. Students should familiarize themselves with the location of the fire equipment in their living space. Smoke detectors are located in each apartment and suite. Tampering with this equipment is a serious matter that could jeopardize the safety of others. Such tampering can result in severe disciplinary and/or criminal action. Federal and state laws apply.

In compliance with University policy, smoking is prohibited inside the apartments and suites. Students may only smoke in the designated areas on campus.


Card Access System
Access to suites is controlled by an electronic card access security system that is maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students need to carry their Penn State id+ Cards at all times to gain access. Students will be given a unique four-digit pin number for bedroom access. Student access to the suites is valid during the normal academic year only. To ensure the security of the building and student rooms, including students’ personal possessions, access is suspended during all breaks and over the summer. Access to the suites is limited to students who reside there or require access for other reasons.

Access Problems
If your card does not work in your building's card reader, contact a roommate, Residence Life, or University Police. Contact Housing and Food Services during normal business hours to identify and remedy the problem.

Lost Cards
Report lost cards immediately online or at the Housing and Food Services office during normal business hours. Your card access will be suspended to prevent someone from using the card and getting into your building. You'll be issued a new card will be issued at the current replacement value.

For the safety of all residents, residence hall entrance doors are to remain closed at all times. If a door is propped open, an alarm will sound. To shut off the alarm, remove any props and close the door. The alarm will shut off automatically.

Student Responsibility for Security
To ensure their own security, students should take the following measures:

  • Never let strangers into buildings or rooms.
  • Do not let people piggyback into the building.
  • Keep windows locked at all times.
  • Never tamper with exit alarms.
  • Report unauthorized persons to proper authorities.
  • Never lend id+ cards to others.
  • Never write pin numbers on id+ cards.
  • Never prop open a door.
  • Meet guests at the entrance door.
  • Always know where your id+ card is.
  • Report stolen id+ cards immediately.
  • Keep room doors shut when you're not in the room—including when you're in the bathroom, across the hall visiting a friend, or in the laundry room. It only takes a few seconds for someone to realize that no one is in the room.
  • Walk in groups when traveling outside of the apartments, especially at night. Students can call Police Services at 717-948-6232 to request an escort at any time.
  • Travel in well-lit, heavy traffic areas.
  • Report suspicious behavior by calling Police Services.
  • Know where the emergency phones are located on campus.