Boston University Safety Website

This website, found here, is an excellent resource for information, protocols for reporting and responding, and more.

BU Alert (Emergency Notification System)

Boston University uses “Send Word Now,” an on-demand alert and response system. In the event of a campus emergency, Send Word Now’s technology contacts the entire campus community immediately through a variety of electronic means, including text messaging, e-mail, and voice mail. The system transmits information describing the situation and providing instructions on what to do. Learn more about this system here.

To ensure the effectiveness of this system, faculty should provide an updated emergency contact telephone number on Link.

Emergency Closing, Delayed Opening, and Early Closing

In the event that weather or other emergency conditions warrant the all-day closing, delayed opening or early closing of the university, closing information will be provided using the BU Alert Notification system and posted on the BU Homepage. Early release decisions are usually made by 3 pm.
For snow emergencies, you may call 617-353-SNOW (617-353-7669) to hear a recorded message regarding the closing or delayed opening of Boston University.

24-Hour Facilities Emergency Services Line


The Physical Plant Department has a 24-hour emergency service line to address snow, ice, flood, or electrical emergencies, In the case of flooding, electrical power disruptions, hazardous snow, or ice accumulation, call the above number.

Boston University Police (BUPD)


Boston University encourages the prompt and accurate reporting of all criminal incidents and safety-related emergencies on university property to the Boston University Police Department.

Wheelock’s Charles River campus building (WED) is a public building located in a busy city and is open to everyone during business hours. Unfortunately, we have had items stolen. Please lock all valuables at all times. Office/lab doors should be locked any time the area is empty. If you should work late/weekends in an office, please lock the door and use extra precautions.

Situations that require police services include any criminal incident, suspicious activity on campus, medical emergencies, fire emergencies, and possible bomb or weapon on campus.

In situations that require police services:

  • Call the Boston University Police: (617) 353-2121.
  • Tell the dispatcher the location and the nature of the emergency.
  • If off-campus, call the local police (911).

Learn more about BUPD here.

Medical Emergency

In the event of a medical emergency, call the Boston University Police: 617-353-2121

  • Give the location and a brief description of the medical emergency.
  • Follow any instructions given by the BUPD operator.

Fire Safety

If the fire alarm sounds, faculty should end class immediately and escort students outside to safety. Do not jeopardize the safety of others by being hesitant to leave.

To report a fire, call the Boston University Police: 617-353-2121

  • Give the location and the extent of the fire.
  • Sound the nearest fire alarm.
  • Leave the building calmly, following EXIT signs to fire exits. Do not use elevators. If off-campus, call the local fire department.

Bomb Threats and/or Suspicious Packages in a BU building

To report a bomb threat and/or a suspicious package on campus, call the Boston University Police: (617) 353-2121.

  • Do not touch or move any suspicious packages or objects.
  • State information as accurately as possible and, particularly, provide the specific location of the object.
  • If you are told to leave the building, do so calmly.


The possession of weapons of any kind, including replicas, is strictly prohibited on campus. If you see an individual with a weapon, call the Boston University Police: (617) 353-2105.

  1. State the location and description of the weapons as clearly as possible.
  2. Leave the area calmly.