Safety & Security

Safety and Security at UCSB

UCSB Campus Housing is committed to students' safety and security. This web page serves as a space to provide you with information about safety tips, security measures at UC Santa Barbara, and contact information for our campus partners. We are excited to work with students to create a safe, secure, and supportive environment.

Campus Safety

In accordance with the federal Clery Act, UCSB publishes an Annual Security Report (ASR) and an Annual Fire Safety Report (AFSR).

  • The ASR provides information regarding UCSB safety and security policies, campus crime statistics, and resources for students and employees.
  • The AFSR provides information regarding campus fire safety standards and fire-related statistics for on-campus student housing facilities.
  • To access the Annual Security Report or Annual Fire Safety Report, visit the UC Santa Barbara Police Department’s Clery Act web page. A printed copy of the ASR may requested by contacting the UCSB Police Department at (805) 893-3446 or 574 Public Safety Bldg., Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (during business hours). A printed copy of the AFSR may be requested by contacting the Campus Fire Marshal’s office at (805) 893-3785.
  • UCSB students must get their bikes registered by the Community Service Organization (CSOs are available to register bikes during Registration Week at Storke Plaza and in areas around the halls).
  • To protect your bike from theft purchase a good lock and attach it securely to a bike rack.
  • Travel at a reasonable speed on campus and use a bike light at night.
  • Use hand signals when making turns.
  • Riding in the residence halls is prohibited.
  • Bicycles not parked in designated areas will be impounded

The Community Service Organization (CSO) consists of a group of 80 students who work with the Police Department in serving the campus community. Officers can be identified by their shirts and the radios that keep them in direct contact with the police. The CSO provides an escort service both on campus and in Isla Vista. To request an escort, pick up any red emergency phone on campus or call 893-2000.

As part of the campus Emergency Preparedness Program, we encourage members of the campus community with access and functional needs to evaluate their individual situation and determine the level of assistance they may require during an emergency. A person with one or more of the following concerns is encouraged to follow the recommendations of the Emergency Assistance Program:

  • Limitations that interfere with walking or using stairs
  • Reduced stamina, fatigue, or tire easily
  • Emotional, cognitive, thinking, or learning difficulties
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Temporary limitations (surgery, accidents, pregnancy)
  • Use of technology or medications that could interfere with response times.

The Emergency Response Program for Access and Functional Needs provides an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to create an emergency response action plan, identify a support team for special evacuation situations, download an Emergency Assistance Response ID Card and enroll in an automated emergency notification and response system.

If you have access and functional needs which could impact your ability to promptly respond and evacuate a building or facility during an emergency, please review the Emergency Assistance planning and resource information and contact University & Community Housing Services for advice and assistance.

Environmental Health & Safety has developed Emergency Response Procedures to assist you in minimizing the effects of specific campus emergencies. The purpose of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is to establish policies, procedures and an organizational structure for the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery of emergency events impacting UCSB.

All students' email addresses are automatically signed up for UCSB Alert, a system that sends messages during an emergency to phones, emails, and the digital signage located throughout Campus Housing. If students would like to receive alerts on their mobile device, they can sign up via the UCSB Alert page.

Campus Housing Safety

Residence Halls have self-locking doors, peepholes, smoke detectors, front desk attendants, and layers of student and UCSB professional on-call staff who are available for after-hours assistance. In addition, Santa Catalina Residence Hall as a UCPD/CSO satellite office. Our communities are patrolled by the Community Service Organization (CSO) in cooperation with the UCSB Police Department. We are committed to maintaining high standards for safety and security in and around the residence halls. Individuals who jeopardize the safety and security of others by violating any of the safety regulations, by not following security procedures, or by creating a safety, security, or sanitation hazard within the halls will be subject to disciplinary action from both University and civil authorities.


  • Before an earthquake prepare an emergency disaster kit:
    • portable radio
    • canned food/water
    • first aid kit
    • flashlight/batteries
    • extra clothes/jacket
    • blanket


  • If you are inside a building during an earthquake, stay inside
  • Sit or crouch against an interior hallway wall or take cover under a desk or table.
  • Stay away from all glass areas such as windows and mirrors.
  • Do not attempt to restrain falling objects unless your life is endangered by them.
  • Leave the building when the shaking stops and remain outside.
  • Do not stand under overhangs on the outside of buildings.
  • Move into the designated open evacuation site, away from all structures, and stay away from power lines.
  • Follow the instructions given by staff.
  • If you are outdoors, remain there.


  • Provide first aid where necessary
  • Seek help by sending an able-bodied person to the nearest emergency station
  • Avoid using the telephone to keep the lines open for emergency use


  • The fire alarm system consists of smoke detectors, heat detectors, pull stations and a fire sprinkler system. Activation of the above will:
    • Sound all fire alarm bells in the building
    • Notify the campus dispatcher (911 or 893-3446)
    • Alert the fire department, a paramedic unit, and police department

Fire in the Building

  • Upon discovery of a fire, make sure that everyone is out of the room.
  • Leave the room and close the door behind you.
  • Break the nearest fire alarm box or dial 911 and report the fire.
  • Contact a Resident Director or Resident Assistant and evacuate the building.
  • All fires must be reported, even those that were self-contained and were put out.
  • The fire department will investigate every fire.

Alarm Evacuation

  • The procedure for responding to a fire alarm is:
    1. Test your door for heat or smoke before exiting.
    2. Should the door be warm or the hallway impassable,
      • Place towels or a blanket at the base of the door.
      • Telephone the fire dispatcher at 911, giving name, hall, and room number.
      • Go to the window and make your presence known.
    3. If the door is cool and the hallway clear, exit the building immediately by the route taught during fire drills.
      • Grab your shoes, jacket, and keys before evacuating.
      • If you are in your room, lock your door and take your key when leaving.
      • Use stairways, but do not use elevators (elevators will automatically shut off).
    4. Once outside in the designated area, maintain 100 feet of clearance from the building.
    5. Re-enter the building only after receiving instructions from staff to do so.

Every alarm must be treated as a genuine emergency! It is each resident’s responsibility to leave the building whenever a fire alarm sounds. Failure to immediately leave for the evacuation site will result in disciplinary and/or police action

  • The University of California strongly recommends renters insurance for all students. Renters insurance provides valuable protection if your personal belongings are stolen or damaged, including laptop computers, smartphones, bicycles, game consoles, textbooks, clothing and other personal items. If your laptop or other valuables are stolen or damaged, you are responsible for replacing them, not the school.
  • Renter’s insurance may also protect you financially for unintentional damage to the residence hall or bodily injury for which you are liable. This GradGuard insurance policy was designed for University of California students. Or, you can check with your family's homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to see if you are covered.
  • If you don't have your housing assignment when you sign up, please use the following address: University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93107.
  • For more information, please visit: GradGuard Insurance
  • An engraver may be available to you at the front desk or through the Public Safety office to mark your valuables with an identification number.
  • Every student must take responsibility for keeping the halls securely locked, protecting keys from loss, and reporting strangers in the halls to a Residence Director, Assistant Resident Director, or Resident Assistant immediately.
  • Keep the door and windows of your room secure at night and when you’re not there.
  • Screens must remain on windows at all times.
  • Building doors:
    • must not be propped open
    • are checked by the Community Service Organization
    • are locked by 11pm (each resident has an exterior door key)
  • Report any safety-related problems and maintenance concerns immediately to a hall staff member. A message can be left for the staff at the Front Desk during desk operation hours, or after hours by calling your Front Desk.
  • Students are responsible for ordering a change of the lock in order to maintain security for yourself, for your room’s possessions, and for your community’s security.
  • We encourage all residents to take safety precautions when traveling across campus at night.
  • Whether out jogging, walking to and from the library, or going to Isla Vista for a late night snack, students should travel in groups of two or more. (See CSO section above for escort program).

Online Safety

While sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogs are a great way to stay in touch with close friends and build your online presence, please keep the following in mind:

  • If you wouldn’t post it on a bulletin board, don’t post it online. Web transmissions aren’t foolproof unless they use secure forms of authentication and encryption. Posting something online is just as open and available to others as posting something on your door.
  • Use privacy setting to help control who can access your information. Many sites, including Facebook, allow you to restrict the availability of your profile to certain individuals. While these settings provide no guarantees, they can be a useful tool in gaining some control of your details and photos.
  • Your online profile may be the only impression someone has of you. While close friends may know you’re joking about something you’ve posted, another student, staff member, faculty member, or even a future employer who stumbles across your profile may only have that information to gauge who you are. Make sure the image you’re projecting online is one that accurately represents you.
  • The internet is public space. It is not called the World Wide Web for nothing!

When you cross the street, you look both ways to make sure it’s safe. Staying safe on the Internet is similar. It takes some common sense steps.

Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
Think: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s. 
Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone and practice good online safety habits with these tips and advice. 

Keep a Clean Machine

Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web‐enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
Plug & scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information

Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.
Own your online presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

Connect with Care

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

Be Web Wise

Stay current: Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.
Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen

Safer for me more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
Post only about others as you have them post about you.
Help the authorities fight cybercrime: Report stolen finances, identities and cybercrime to Internet Crime Complaint Center and The FTC.

For more information, please visit:


Important Numbers

Agency Phone Number Purpose
Natural Disaster 1-900-200-UCSB Available for relatives living outside of Santa Barbara providing information 24-hours a day on the status of the campus.
University Police Department 9-1-1 or 805-893-3446 UCPD is a state police agency responsible for law enforcement duties in and about the campus. Special services include a crime prevention program and community relations programs.
Rescue Squad 9-1-1 or 805-893-3446 A 24-hour emergency paramedic service that responds to medical emergencies, assesses medical needs, and/or provides patient transportation to the Student Health Service or local hospital. Paramedics deliver advanced life support in the field before transport to a medical facility.