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In All Emergencies, Dial Ext. 2020 or 416-439-4357 (HELP)

General Service: 416-289-5000, Ext. 5240


Active Attacker: Evacuate, Lockdown and Defend

The Active Attacker procedures below may only be authorized by Centennial College’s Incident Manager, and their designate, by Emergency Services or by Campus Security. A Lockdown is only initiated when there is an imminent threat to the life and safety of our Campus Community. This means your life is in danger by a person or persons on campus who are using or possess a weapon. In this situation, you must quickly assess the danger to you and determine the most reasonable way to protect your life. You will generally have three options: Evacuate, Lockdown or Defend.

These options are explained in our Active Attacker procedures outlined below. You can also view these procedures in ChineseKoreanSpanish or Vietnamese.

Active Attacker

If someone appears to be armed or has begun actively attacking (i.e. shooting or attacking someone with a weapon), take one of the following actions, depending on the circumstances:


  • If safe, exit the building immediately
  • Notify anyone you encounter to exit the building immediately
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave belongings behind
  • Help others evacuate, if possible.
  • Warn anyone you encounter to exit the building immediately.
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any emergency personnel
  • If you have information about the attacker or an injured person, call the Police – 911- and be ready to provide as much information as possible.
  • If safe, call Campus Security at Emergency Ext. 2020, Emergency HELP Line 416-439-4357 or use a yellow Emergency Phone.

If it is not safe to exit the building, follow the Lockdown Procedures:


  • Go to the nearest room or office.
  • Close the door and lock it if possible or barricade the door with tables and chairs.
  • Turn off lights and, if possible, cover the door window and side panels.
  • Silence communications devices (mobile phones).
  • Stay out of sight and keep quiet, as if no one is in the room.
  • Do not answer the door.
  • Do not use mobile devices during a lockdown: They may interfere with emergency communications used by emergency responders. The only exception is if you have information about the attacker or an injured person.
  • If you have information about the attacker or an injured person, call 911 – be ready to provide as much information as possible.
  • Listen for announcements from the emergency voice communications system and follow instructions.
  • Wait until emergency personnel arrive to escort you out of the building.
  • If the Fire Alarm sounds, assess the situation and respond accordingly:
  • If signs of smoke or fire, Evacuate;
  • If no signs of smoke or fire, Stay In Lockdown.
  • If you are outside of the building during a Lockdown:
  • Do not enter the building
  • Move as far away from the building under lockdown as possible.
  • Do not attempt to call anyone in the building that is in Lockdown.

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the threat by doing the following:


  • Act as aggressively as possible against the attacker.
  • Where possible, work with others against the attacker.
  • Use improvised weapons (i.e. Fire extinguisher) and use/throw items at the attacker to defend yourself.
  • Yelling
  • Commit to your actions, and continue defending yourself until the threat has been incapacitated or until help arrives.

Shelter In Place

A Shelter in Place response is initiated when there is an environmental threat or hazard outside near a campus.

This means there are noxious or harmful airborne particles in the air in the neighbourhood around the Campus and it is safer for people to stay inside than to be exposed to the particles outside.

In this situation, the procedures are for:

  • People to enter and remain indoors
  • Doors and windows to be closed due to the environment threat
  • Outside activities to be cancelled and moved indoors
  • Normal operation to continue inside the building, however, all ventilation fans and heating/air conditioning system are turned off to prevent contaminated outside air from entering the building and endangering occupants.
  • This procedure would continue until the external threat is resolved and Emergency Services gives the All Clear.

Hold and Secure

Hold and Secure responses are initiated when there is a criminal threat outside in the neighbourhood near a Campus.

This means it is safer for people to be inside the building than outside because Police are looking for someone threatening people in the neighbourhood.

In this situation, the procedures are:

  • All movement in and out of the Campus is restricted because of police action in the area.
  • People near the building should be inside and all outside doors are locked and monitored to ensure our community is not locked out
  • Movement within the Campus may continue but movement near windows and doors should be limited because of the outside threat
  • There is no immediate danger to occupants unless they leave the building
  • This procedure would continue until the threat is resolved and Emergency Services gives the All Clear.