Active Threat Emergency

To receive a copy of the Departmental Lockdown Plan Template, please contact the Occupational Health and Safety office at ext.2225 or via email at george.georgopoulos [at]

Quick Reference Card Cover Evacuation

 An “Active Threat” refers to a current dynamic incident which may involve an imminent danger to the community.  

“Lockdown" and "Hold and Secure" are emergency measures that can be used in response to an Active Threat, to protect people inside a building from a dangerous situation taking place either inside or outside the building.

Lockdown: A situation where there is a direct threat to the safety and well-being of the College community such as a shooter, a hostage situation or a terrorist attack. The goal is to remove yourself from the area of immediate threat, exit the building if it is safe to do so or go to a secure area to hide and remain out of site. You may need to FIGHT as a last resort to protect yourself. Lockdown announcements will only be initiated by Security and will include the following:

Hold and Secure: A protective measure that could arise from threats outside the building where safety is at risk, such as from some sort of police action, environmental hazard or weather related activity outside the College. These do not pose a direct threat to people inside the building. In this case, the College would conduct business as usual but all entrances to the College would be locked. This action would deny access to the building from the outside.

These procedures will be ordered upon identification or notification of a threatening situation and will be communicated by announcements over the college speakers, and will be visible on computer screens, TV monitors in corridors.  Messages will also be sent via social media and text messaging (you must register your phone to receive emergency text messages).

Review the Active Threat Education video

Review the Active Threat Education described video


LOCKDOWN Procedure

This action would occur where there is a direct threat to the safety and well-being of the college community such as a situation involving an individual armed with knife, gun or explosives, a hostage situation or a terrorist attack.

Upon receiving a message advising LOCKDOWN

  • Option 1: GET OUT
    • Evacuate the building if you feel it is safe to do so.
  • Option 2: HIDE
    • Hide or barricade if escape is not possible
    • Enter or stay in a room or area where you feel safe
    • Close and secure doors if possible
    • Turn out lights
    • Cover windows and/or stay away from windows
    • Silence cell phones/use text messaging only
    • Stay alert, quiet and out of sight
    • Disregard fire alarms unless you are certain there is immediate danger from smoke or fire
  • Option 3: FIGHT
    • As a last resort, and only to protect yourself from serious bodily harm or death.

End of Lockdown

A recorded announcement of an "All Clear" signal will be given to indicate the end of lockdown. Emergency officials or College Security will conduct a door-to-door confirmation of this announcement.

Hold and Secure Procedure

Upon hearing the announcement for hold and secure, remain in the building until further notice is given. 
  • Remain in the building until emergency officials advise that it is "All Clear" to leave.
  • Security staff is responsible for locking and securing all exits/entrances.
  • Security staff is responsible for monitoring the main entrance and admitting only authorized personnel into the building for the duration of the Hold and Secure

End of Hold and Secure

An "all clear" announcement will be given by Security advising the emergency situation outside the college has ended.


  1. If any threat is viewed or perceived, call College Security immediately at extension 55, extension 88 at IAHS or call 911.
  2. Lockdown announcements will be initiated by Security and will be communicated by a pre-recorded message played over the building speaker system at Fennell and Stoney Creek Campuses.
  3. The specific lockdown procedures and notification methods at IAHS is different than Mohawk College owned buildings. But, the general procedure is the same: Exit the building if safe to do so. Otherwise, find a safe place to hide and keep out of the line of sight.
  4. Be sure to review and familiarize yourself with the campus specific procedures if you visit, work or study at IAHS or other locations. Links to McMaster’s Procedures are provided below: McMaster University Emergency Notification Systems

    McMaster University Lockdown Procedure

    McMaster University Emergency Guidebook