West Hartford, CT Campus Safety and Security Policies
Emergency Response and Evacuation Procedures
In the event of an emergency that requires the evacuation of the premises, an alarm will sound in the school. This is the signal for everyone to evacuate the building. All individuals without emergency assignments shall remain outside the building until authorized to re-enter the building by ERT personnel.
Each room shall have a floor plan of the school posted near the entrance to the room. The evacuation route and the nearest emergency exit shall be highlighted on the floor plan, as well as locations of stairwells. The floor plan shall also designate a meeting place outside of the building for all occupants of that room. All employees should familiarize themselves with the evacuation routes, emergency exits, locations of stairwells and designated meeting place – at the far end of the parking lot. Students shall be advised about the existence of the floor plan and shall be asked to familiarize themselves with the information in the event of an emergency.
Instructors shall be responsible for the safe evacuation of their classrooms. Supervisors shall be responsible for the safe evacuation of their work area(s). No employees or students shall use elevators; all employees and students will be directed to the nearest stairwell for safe exit from the school and the building. Instructors and supervisors, with back up from members of the ERT, before leaving the school and the building, shall ensure that:
- the room is evacuated in a calm and orderly manner;
- all windows are shut;
- all electrical equipment is turned off;
- all students/employees are evacuated through the nearest emergency exit; and
- all classroom/office doors are closed but unlocked
Once outside, the instructors/supervisors shall ensure that all students/employees are safely outside the building and that all are located in an organized manner in a staging area a safe distance from the emergency situation and clear of the route and access ways for emergency vehicles.
Instructors should bring class rosters/attendance sheets in order to perform roll call outside the building. Report missing students / employees to a member of the ERT.
Instructors and supervisors, along with ERT personnel, shall maintain calm and order, and shall not allow anyone to leave the school grounds except to receive medical attention.
Each section of the school and building shall have a designated individual who will serve as a warden in the event of an emergency. The ERT will maintain a list of those acting as wardens (Program Directors or Lead Instructors). The wardens shall be responsible for sweeping through their section of the school and the building to make sure that all students/employees have been evacuated.
The wardens will then report to a designated member of the ERT to advise that their section of the school and the building is clear. The Campus President or designee at the emergency location will maintain authority of the ERT and announce to emergency personnel when the school and the building is all clear.
If an employee or student is unable to safely exit the school and/or building under his/her own power, then the warden shall assist if safe to do so, or instruct the person to defend in place. The warden shall immediately find a member of the ERT or emergency personnel (such as police, EMT or fireman) and report the exact location of the person in need of evacuation assistance.
To defend in place, the person should call 911 from the room or a cell phone to report his/her exact location. If smoke is present, seal doors/transoms with towels, preferably wet; open a window for fresh air, and breathe through a wet towel, if available. Hang a brightly colored or contrasting object from the window to alert emergency personnel of the location, and stay low until help arrives.
No one else should enter the school or building until it has been determined that the school and/or building is safe for re-entry. A member of the ERT shall be responsible for communicating that the school and/or building are safe for re-entry.
The American Institute on-site emergency response staff is listed at in the School Catalog.
Immediate Area Threat (Fire, Random Acts of Violence, Hazardous Materials Incident, Facility Issues, etc.)
Leave the school and building and gather in the predetermined location at the far end of the Campus parking lot.
More Widespread Threat (emergency circumstances that require evacuation away from the school: Fire, Post Natural Disasters, Hazardous Materials Incident, Random Acts of Violence, Acts of Terrorism, etc.)
Leave the school and building and proceed to your home location. The method of transportation should be addressed in anticipation of a situation. Car-pooling may be necessary to implement this type of evacuation. Instructors should identify students in need of this assistance in order to expedite evacuation.
Purpose: Used when there is a threat of violence or serious incident that could jeopardize the safety of students/staff (I.E. Intruder, shooting, hostage incident, gang fights, civil disturbance, etc.)
The School’s Campus President or designee will make the following announcement using a megaphone:
“YOUR ATTENTION, PLEASE. WE ARE EXPERIENCING AN EMERGENCY SITUATION AND NEED TO LOCKDOWN THE SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY. TEACHERS LOCK YOUR DOORS AND KEEP STUDENTS INSIDE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: STUDENTS OR STAFF ARE TO RETURN TO THE NEAREST CLASSROOM OR OFFICE. IGNORE ALL ALARMS AND BELLS UNLESS ADVISED OTHERWISE.”
Designate someone to Call 9-1-1, identify the name and address of the school, describe the emergency, state the school is locking down, provide intruder description and weapon(s) if known, and identify the location of the school command post.
- Direct staff to stay on the phone to provide updates and additional information.
- Notify staff and classes outside to immediately move to the off-campus assembly area
- Account for the students and be prepared to evacuate off-campus to a relocation site.
- Stay by phones to wait for additional procedures from Campus President or designee or police.
- Remotely check status of classrooms telephone, computer or other methods
- Close and lock all delivery doors.
- Clear the hallway and bathrooms by your room moving everyone into the classroom.
- Lock your doors, turn off your lights, and shut your blinds and windows
- Move students and staff away from the doors and windows.
- Have all persons sit down against an interior wall.
- If a life threatening situation exists, exit immediately to a place of safety.
- Take attendance and be prepared to notify Campus President or designee of missing students or additional students, staff or guests sheltered in your classroom.
- Allow no one outside of the classroom until the Campus President or designee gives the “All Clear” signal – three blasts of a Klaxon air horn.
Emergency Response Kit
The campus will maintain an emergency response kit in the main administration area. During an emergency the kit will be taken outside to have on-hand as needed. The kit contains:
- A copy of the ERP, along with a current employee roster.
- First aid kit.
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- Small emergency water supply
It is also recommended that all staff and faculty members keep a personal emergency kit in their work area and car.
The American Red Cross website located at http://www.redcross.org/services/prepare provides additional information on emergency kits for work and home.
Fire Response Procedures
If you discover smoke or a fire:
- Get everyone out of harm’s way.
- Confine the fire by closing doors as you leave the area.
- Call 9-1-1
- Notify the Campus President or Director of Education and/or Front Desk
- Provide the following information:
- Location of fire
- Size or type of fire
- Your location
- Attempt to put the fire out with a portable fire extinguisher ONLY when:
- You have been properly trained
- The fire is small
- You are not alone
- A safe escape route is present
- Go to the pre-determined Evacuation Assembly area, located at the far end of parking lot.
- Help account for occupants and report to the emergency staff if anyone is unaccounted for and possibly still in the building.
If you hear or see a fire alarm:
- Do not assume the fire alarm is a false alarm.
- Move to the safest exit
- Close doors as you leave the area.
- Exit the building.
- Proceed to the designated meeting area.
- Wait for further instructions from Emergency Response Staff or the Fire Department.
- If you are working with hazardous equipment, attempt to shut it down unless doing so puts you at risk.
If you are trapped in an office or other area:
- Wedge a cloth material along the bottom of the door to keep out smoke.
- Close as many doors as possible.
- Call 9-1-1
- Notify the Campus President or Director of Education and/or Front Desk at and notify your location and situation.
- If windows are operable, open the window and if safe, exit through the window. Break windows as a last resort.
Medical Emergency Procedures
In case of a medical emergency: Call 9-1-1
Be prepared to provide the following information:
- Building name
- Room number or office name
- Nature of injury
- Location of injured person
- Approximate age and sex of injured person
- Current condition
- Any known medical history
Notify the Campus President or Director of Education and/or Front Desk at. Remain with the person with the medical emergency. Do not move them unless they are in immediate danger or further injury.
In some instances when an employee is injured, the school may be required to complete an OSHA report for the incident. Whenever an employee is injured, please contact a member of the ERT to determine whether an OSHA report must be completed for the employee’s injury. In either event, the School must complete an incident report and report the incident to EA’s Workers’ Compensation insurer.
Persons with Disabilities Evacuation Procedures
If persons with disabilities cannot be transported from the building without using an elevator, assist them to the exit the building.
If immediate evacuation is necessary, be aware of the following considerations:
A. Non-Ambulatory Persons:
- Wheelchairs have many moving parts; some are not designed to withstand stress or lifting.
- You may need to remove the chair batteries. Life support equipment may be attached.
- In a life-threatening emergency it may be necessary to remove an individual from their wheelchair. Lifting a person with minimal ability to move may be dangerous.
- If necessary, two or three individuals may carry non-ambulatory persons from the building.
- Wheelchairs should NOT be used to descend stairwells, if at all possible.
- Non-ambulatory persons may have respiratory complications. Remove them from smoke or fumes immediately and determine their needs and preferences.
- Ways of being removed from the wheelchair.
- Whether to extend or move extremities when lifting because of pain, catheter leg bags, spasticity, braces, etc.
- Whether to carry forward or backward on a flight of stairs.
- Whether a seat cushion or pad should be brought along if the wheelchair is being left behind.
- In lieu of a wheelchair, does the person prefer a stretcher, chair with cushion/aid, or car seat?
- Is paramedic assistance necessary?
- Always consult with the person in the chair regarding how best to assist them.
B. Visually Impaired Persons:
Most visually impaired persons will be familiar with their immediate surroundings. In an emergency situation:
- Describe the nature of the emergency and offer to act as a “sighted guide” – offer your elbow and escort him/her to a safe place.
- As you walk, describe where you are and advise of any obstacles.
- When you have reached safety, orient the person as to where you are and ask if further assistance is needed.
C. Hearing Impaired Persons:
Because persons with impaired hearing may not perceive emergency alarms, an alternative warning technique is required. Two methods of warning:
- Write a note describing the emergency and the nearest evacuation route (“Fire. Go out rear door to the right and down, NOW!”).
- Turn the light switch off and on to gain attention then, indicate through gestures what is happening and what to do.
Bomb Threat Procedures
If an employee receives a bomb threat over the telephone, the employee shall attempt to memorize everything heard on the phone, such as exact wording, gender of the caller, caller’s accent and speech patterns, background noises, reported bomb location and any details about the timing for the bomb explosion.
A report checklist for recording such information is located in the campus ERP
The employee shall inform a member of the ERT of the call.
Notify the Campus President, or Director of Education and Front Desk.
The employee SHALL NOT inform any student or other employee of the threat.
The ERT shall assess the situation, inform the authorities and activate the evacuation procedures, if necessary.
Wildfire Warning Procedures
Once the local fire department issues a wildfire evacuation alert for the area, it is imperative that the school begin procedures for securing the property from fire damage.
A designated member of the ERT shall contact the landlord to receive instructions concerning the landlord’s actions in securing the building. These actions shall be considered as the school prepares for the wildfire.
Members of the ERT will meet regularly to continually update an action timeline assuming that a wildfire will impact the school. The action timeline should be adjusted based on the projected path of the firestorm.
Activate the emergency back-up procedures for the computers and telephones. Remove all papers and objects from surfaces near windows and place them inside drawers or containers. Secure all student and employee files in their fireproof cabinets or in the fire safe file room.
Store any outdoor equipment or furniture indoors. Secure windows shutters or board up windows, if approved by landlord. Shut off natural gas, if possible.
If the school will be closing, follow the evacuation procedures set forth in this ERP. The school shall activate the communications protocol delineated in the School Closing section of this ERP for disseminating information to students and employees concerning the condition of the school.
After the firestorm passes and it is safe to re-enter the school, use care in powering up electrical equipment.
Do not plug in electrical appliances, particularly computers, without a surge protector.
A designated member of the ERT shall assess the damage to the building and report any damage to the landlord and to staff at the American Institute, Corporate Office, in order to include the damage in the claim the company may include in any resultant insurance claims.
Use the following procedures for a major earthquake.
If indoors, drop, cover and hold. Protect yourself from falling objects including bookcases, shelves and light fixtures. Stay away from windows. If possible, get under a desk or table. If no shelter is available, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
- Do not stand in a doorway.
- If outside, move away from structures, power poles, and other hazards. Stay in an open area.
- When the shaking stops, check for injuries to those around your area. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger. Render first aid assistance if needed.
- Check the area for safety hazards such as building damage, fires, flammable material spills. If the area appears to be unsafe, evacuate the building immediately.
- Turning off ignition, heat and gas when evacuating will be the responsibility of the maintenance staff.
- Exit the building and go to the far end of the parking lot. Report any injuries, persons trapped in the building, damage and hazardous conditions.
- Call 9-1-1. If the phone lines are down, notify the ERT.
- Use the telephone system for only emergencies.
- Do not re-enter the building until it has been inspected and cleared for occupancy.
Severe Weather Preparedness
- In case of a severe thunderstorm with lightning, do not leave the building.
- Bring anyone who is outside to safety inside.
- Keep away from windows, outside doors, metal fixtures and plug-in electrical appliances.
- Refrain from using telephones.
- If in a vehicle in the parking lot, remain in the vehicle. When leaving the building or a vehicle, avoid walking in puddles.
- In the event that a tornado is spotted in the area, all employees and students should move to an interior room with no windows or to a hallway as far away from windows as possible.
- Assume the “duck and cover” position by kneeling on the floor with your head tucked in front of your knees and your arms over your head.
- Interior rooms can be but are not limited to areas such as: bathrooms, classrooms, stairwells that provide better protection than exterior rooms.
Police Emergency Procedures
Contact Immediately. In case of a police emergency, students and employees should not expose themselves to any unnecessary risks. In the event of an emergency:
- Call 9-1-1 first and then report the emergency the ERT.
- Campus President, or the Director of Education and/or the Front Desk
Police emergencies include:
- intruders and/or trespassers
- assaults or threatened assaults
- weapons possession
- illegal drugs
- disruptive, illegal or suspicious behavior
- bombs warnings
Chemical Spill or Release Procedures
Spills that do not endanger occupants in the immediate area may be cleaned up by staff that have been trained and are properly equipped to handle the type of spill. Consideration should be given to the following:
- The chemical involved.
- The amount of chemical spilled.
- The location of the spill.
- Availability of clean up materials.
When a flash flood watch has been issued for the campus area:
- Make sure your gas tank is full.
- Tune your radio to one of the County Emergency Alert radio station.
- School personnel will assist in providing information on local conditions.
- Be alert for signs of flash flooding and be prepared to evacuate immediately.
When a flash flood warning has been issued for the campus area:
- Campus occupants will be notified of the evacuation by building emergency staff.
- All occupants must leave the campus immediately and move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains.
- Do not drive around barricades. They have been put up for your safety.
- If your car stalls in rapidly rising water, get out immediately can climb to higher ground.
- Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines.
Power Outage Procedures
Campus response to a power outage will depend on the circumstances. Information should be obtained from the ERT as to the extent and likely duration of the outage. In many cases, the duration is indeterminable.
Reporting a Campus Crime or Criminal Incident
- Assess the extent of the outage in your area. Report status to the Campus President, and the Front Desk.
- Stay calm.
- Help persons in darkened areas to move to safety.
- Gather personnel belongings (if possible).
- Exit the school and travel to the prearranged ‘assembly’ location at the far end of the car park.
- Shutdown any equipment that could be hazardous if the power suddenly comes back on.
Cultivating and maintaining a safe campus environment is primarily dependent on the cooperation of students, faculty and staff. As a member of the American Institute campus community, it is your responsibility to report a crime, suspicious activity or other emergencies on campus to the appropriate campus official.
Should you become a witness to or victim of a crime, immediately report the incident to the Campus President, Director of Education, Program Director(s) and/or Instructional Staff as well as the local Police Department.
The institution does not have the policies and procedures that allow victims or witnesses to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics.
When making your report of the incident you should provide the following information:
- 1. Description of the incident
2. Date, time and location of the incident
3. Description of the persons or vehicles involved in the incident
4. Who else was notified about this incident
Upon receipt of the report, the School will determine the appropriate response that may include disciplinary action against the offender(s), notification to local law enforcement, notification to the campus community or other public safety alternatives deemed appropriate given the circumstances.
Timely Notification Warnings
The institution is responsible for alerting the campus community of a particular crime or trend of crimes in order to help safeguard the individuals within these areas and/or their property from further harm or damage.
Safety & Crime Prevention
- • The Campus Security Authority will release Timely Warning Notifications as necessary to warn the campus of crimes or events considered to be a potential threat to students, faculty and staff.
- • Posting Timely Warning Notifications is necessary if there has been a serious crime or systematic pattern of crimes and/or series of threats that may put any member of the campus community at risk. This decision should be made after consultation with local law enforcement.
- • The institution must post Timely Warning Notifications in visible, accessible areas at the campus at which the serious crime or systematic pattern of crimes and/or series of threats have occurred.
- • The institution may use one or all of the following forms of communication media to inform their campus community about security matters if available to them: email, bulletin boards, local news, and social media. All information related to security matters is distributed through these forms of communication media in a timely manner. These forms of media communication are utilized any time a situation warrants its use.
Reporting an Offensive Campus Incident
- • Trust your instincts!
If you think there is something wrong, there is probably something wrong.
- • Do not prop doors open!
This compromises the security of the entire building.
- • Avoid risky behavior!
Remember that alcohol impairs your judgment. Think before you drink, and consider the risks before you act. The decisions you make now can have a significant impact on your safety and on your future.
- • Be alert to what is going on around you!
Be aware of your surroundings, and walk confidently and with determination. Avoid shortcuts in isolated areas, and walk in groups at night.
- • Be aware of your rights in social and sexual situations!
Be willing to say No! If a situation becomes uncomfortable. No means no! Unwanted physical contact is a crime. Report it immediately to a faculty member, Program Director, Director of Education, and/or Campus President.
- • Protect your property:
Put an identifying number near the binding of the same page in all of your books.
Keep wallets, purses, checkbooks, jewelry out of sight and locked away, if possible.
Do not keep large sums of cash on-campus.
Keep track of credit cards and report their loss immediately.
American Institute strives to promote citizenship and mutual respect between students and other members of the campus community. In the case that a student feels threatened or is offensively confronted either verbally or physically by another member of the student body or campus community the student should:
- • Report the incident to their supervisory faculty member, Program Director, Director of Education and/or Campus President.
• Submit a written description of the offense (including names of witnesses) that will be submitted with an Incident Report generated by the staff member to whom the incident was first reported.
• All incident reports will be logged and archived in a binder in the Director of Education’s office. All incidents will be reviewed by the Director of Education and Campus President, and the appropriate disciplinary action or advisement will be exercised.
- Access to Facilities:
Normal Campus business hours are:
8:00am – 10:00pm Monday – Thursday
8:00am – 4:00pm Friday
9:00am – 1:00pm Saturday
Only students, prospective students, employees and individuals with official school business are allowed on the premises of the institution.
- Law Enforcement Authority:
The staff officials with security authority are the Campus President, Director of Education, Program Directors and Instructional Staff. When needed, the local police are called to respond to crimes within the immediate vicinity of the institution.
The institution has an excellent working relationship with the local and county police and the local police will be contacted should there be an emergency or a criminal offense that warrants notification to the police.
- Distribution of Security and Crime Reports:
The campus security report and the statistics are updated and distributed to every student and employee by October 1 of each year.
- Statement with Regard to the Illegal Use of Drugs and Alcohol:
The institution prohibits the manufacture, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs by students and employees on its property, at an externship site, or at any school activity. Any violation will result in appropriate disciplinary action and may result in legal action.
- Procedures Students should follow if a sex offense occurs.
- a. Go to a safe place following the attack.
b. Do not take a shower or bath or destroy any of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the attack. In other words, do not destroy any evidence.
c. Go to the hospital emergency room for a medical examination.
d. Call someone so you will not be alone.
e. Report the sexual offense to the police. If you would like, someone at the institution (instructor, Program Director, Director of Education, or Campus President) will assist you.
f. At the victim’s request, the victim will have the academic situation changed.
g. A disciplinary hearing will be held. The accuser and the accused are entitled to have others present. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding.
h. Depending on the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding, the accused may be suspended by the institution.
- The institution will provide an annual safety education event to their campus community. This awareness pro-gram may cover any topic relevant to campus safety, to possibly include the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses. However, the institution is at liberty to select their indi-vidual campus safety topic based on the needs of their campus community and activity within their surrounding areas.
- Information about registered sex offenders in Connecticut may be obtained at the following website: http://www.communitynotification.com/cap_office_disclaimer.php?office=54567
- Off Campus counseling, mental health, or other student services for victims of sex offenses.
Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resources(pdf)
Mental Health Services(pdf)