PSU Card Access

Safety and Security

Penn State Housing and Food Services is committed to offering safe and secure buildings for resident students.


Fire Drills

In accordance with state and local fire regulations, fire drills are conducted monthly in all residence areas. Everyone in the building during an emergency drill must vacate the building according to instruction. Failure to vacate the building will result in disciplinary action.

Fire Precautions

Students are responsible for taking precautions to prevent fires. Candles, incense, potpourri, and other flame-emitting articles are prohibited. The following are also prohibited under State Labor and Industry regulations: wood paneling and/or tiles; papering of ceilings, doors, or walls; disguising of doors or exits; and posting of papers, signs, and other combustible materials in hallways or on doors (except bulletin boards).

Multiple outlet adapters present a fire hazard and should only be used with low-wattage devices. A grounded device wattage adapter should be limited to 400 watts total. A grounded 15-amp surge-protective plug-in with built-in breaker is required, and total amperage should not exceed five amps. Residence rooms have limited circuit capacity (one 20-amp circuit for up to four rooms). Electric cords should not be hung around the room or placed under furniture or carpeting. The use of extension cords or splicing is prohibited.

Fire Equipment

Fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and exit signs are located on every floor in each building. All residence halls are equipped with sprinkler systems. Students should familiarize themselves with the location of the fire equipment on their floors. In some areas, smoke detectors are provided. Tampering with this equipment will result in severe disciplinary and/or criminal action under federal and state laws.


In compliance with University policy, the use of all tobacco products, including smoking, are prohibited in all parts of the residence areas and dining facilities. This includes individual student bedrooms.


Card Access System

Access to each residence hall is controlled by an electronic card access security system that is maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students need to carry their Penn State id+ Card at all times to gain access to their respective residence hall. Student access to the residence hall is valid during the normal academic year only. To ensure the security of the building and student rooms, including students' personal possessions, access is suspended during all breaks and over summer. Access to each residence hall is limited to the students who reside in that building, or require access for other reasons.

Access Problems

If your id+ card doesn't work in the card reader of your residence hall, contact a roommate, Residence Life, or Police Services. Then call or email Housing and Food Services so they can identify and fix the problem.

Lost Cards

Report a lost id+ card to Housing and Food Services, and a new card will be issued at the current replacement value. Card access will be suspended to prevent someone from using your card and getting into your building.


For the safety of all residents, outside entrance doors are to remain closed at all times. If a door is propped open, an alarm will sound. To shut off the alarm, remove any props and close the door. The alarm will shut off automatically once the door is closed.

Student Responsibility for Security

Follow these steps to stay safe on campus:

  • Never let strangers into buildings or rooms.
  • Do not let people piggyback into the building.
  • Keep windows locked at all times.
  • Never tamper with exit alarms.
  • Report unauthorized persons to proper authorities.
  • Never lend id+ cards or keys to others.
  • Never prop open a door.
  • Meet guests/visitors at the entrance door.
  • Always know where your id+ card and keys are.
  • Report stolen keys and id+ cards immediately.
  • Keep room doors locked at all times--including when you're in the bathroom, across the hall visiting a friend, in the laundry room, or sleeping.
  • Walk in groups when traveling outside, especially at night. Students may call Police Services at 814-898-6101 to request an escort at any time.
  • Travel in well-lit, heavy traffic areas.
  • Report suspicious behavior to Police Services at 814-898-6101.
  • Know where the emergency phones are located on campus.