School Action for Emergencies (SAFE) Plan

Tragic events such as the shootings that took place at Columbine, École Polytechnique, Dawson College, Sandy Hook Elementary and La Loche change lives and communities forever.

Effective planning and support tools are crucial to help respond to serious incidents at or near schools. Since 2007, to help prepare for such incidents, the RCMP has been using SAFE.

What is SAFE?

SAFE (School Action for Emergencies) is an RCMP computer application. It contains site-specific information about schools across the country.

Through SAFE, front-line members have timely access to the information. Members then respond to critical incidents more effectively, often collaborating with emergency response partners.

SAFE contains data and photos related to:

  • school contacts
  • floor and site plans, maps and aerial views
  • pertinent building features (alarms, hazards, etc.)
  • points of interest to law enforcement and emergency response partners
  • lockdown procedures

When can SAFE be used?

SAFE can be useful in any school event or situation that requires the deployment of police resources. This can include but is not limited to the following critical situations:

  • active shooter
  • bomb threats
  • barricaded person(s) or hostage situations

Providing information for SAFE also helps schools prepare for critical situations and enhance the safety of students and staff.

Know the difference between a lockdown and a hold-and-secure

Many people use the term "lockdown" when they mean "hold-and-secure".

These terms are not interchangeable.

  • A lockdown is a response to a threat of violence within or in relation to the school. Occupants take shelter and remain in place until the situation is resolved.
  • A hold-and-secure is a response to an emergency outside and not related to the school. The school locks and monitors all exterior doors, but classes may take place normally. No one can leave the school until the situation is resolved.

For more information

Please contact your local RCMP detachment.

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