UWPD Squad Car

Emergency & Safety

Sirens in University Apartments

  • Test Siren: Tornado sirens are tested on the first Wednesday of the month at noon
  • Fire Siren: Shorewood Hills Fire Department tests a two-tone signal for volunteer firefighters on Thursdays at 6:45 p.m.
  • Tornado Siren: a steady siren blast of three minutes or longer

Tornado Watches and Warnings

  • A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for severe weather, including tornadoes to develop. Listen to the radio or watch a local television station for weather updates.
  • A tornado warning means a tornado HAS been sighted in the area, and you need to take shelter. Take shelter in the basement or a laundry room if it is available. If you cannot get to a basement area the next best choice is an interior room without windows. Listen to a local radio station for information.


In any large apartment community, there are occasional false fire alarms. But there are also real fires, often starting in kitchens. When you hear a fire alarm, always vacate your apartment. Madison Fire Department responds to all building alarms and our staff are prohibited from resetting the fire alarm until Madison Fire personnel have directed them to do so. If there are flames, call 9-1-1 to get help there as fast as possible.

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Fire Extinguishers

Tampering with a fire extinguisher is a crime. If you observe someone tampering with an extinguisher, notify the University Police immediately. Also, notify the Apartment Facilities Office so that the extinguisher can be checked to ensure it is in working order. Make sure everyone in your household knows the location of the fire extinguishers in your building.

Kitchen Fires

Kitchen fires usually occur because someone put something on the stove to cook, and then became involved in another activity or left the apartment. Another frequent cause of fire is grease build-up in the kitchen.

  • NEVER leave a stove unattended if it is in use.
  • Keep the stove, kitchen walls, and all areas near the stove free of grease.  DO NOT cover drip pans or any other area of your stove with aluminum foil- this traps grease.
  • In the event of a stove fire, turn the stove off. DO NOT use water to extinguish the flames; it will spread a grease fire and may cause electrical shock. Instead, shake salt or baking soda on the flames, or use a fire extinguisher.

Fire Exit Paths

All exits and entryways must be kept entirely clear and easily accessible. This means you cannot store anything (including shoes, trash, plants, or toys) in hallways, staircases, or entryways, or on fire rescue platforms (the small fire escape balconies). Outdoor toys, grills, bikes, sleds, and outside (folding/stacking) chairs may be stored neatly on patios and balconies in the 700s, 800s, and 900s areas of Eagle Heights, as long as a four-foot-wide pathway is maintained. The City of Madison Fire Marshal can write citations (tickets) to residents if the fire codes are not followed.

Fire Related Regulations

  • Tampering with a fire alarm is a crime. Anyone caught intentionally setting off a false alarm will be charged for response time, and there could be additional lease or legal consequences.
  • Never overload electrical outlets. Do not use electrical cords that are damaged in any way.
  • Do not let candles burn for long periods of time or leave them unattended.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • It is illegal to light any fire on University property, except in those places that are established for such purposes.
  • It is a violation of your lease to use a grill indoors, on patios, or within 10 feet of a University building.
  • Explosive or flammable materials (such as gasoline or propane) cannot be stored indoors.
  • Fireworks are extremely restricted by law in Wisconsin and are absolutely prohibited in University Apartments.

Basic Community Safety

Building Security

University Apartments is a relatively safe community, but it’s a good idea to keep your doors locked, even when you are home.


You are issued a door and a mailbox key when you move in. Additional keys can be purchased at the University Apartments Office in the Community Center. All keys issued to you must be returned at check-out time. If a key is lost, you will be charged for a lock change. Please review our Key Policy for more information.

Security Locks

Chain latches or deadbolts are provided in all apartments. You are not allowed to install any additional locks or chain latches. If you have a concern about your locks, please submit a Maintenance Request Form.

Windows and Screens

Window screens are only intended to prevent insects from entering your home. The screens are purposefully designed to be removed easily, and they will not stay in place if they are pushed. Even a small child can easily push out a screen, and fall from the window to the ground.

Each window has a safety pin that can be inserted into the window frame when the window is partially open (approximately 4 inches). Once inserted, the pin can be turned slightly to keep children from removing them. This allows air circulation while limiting how far open a window can be. To see how to insert window pins visit our Maintenance Video page.

Exterior Doors

Keep all doors leading to the outside closed at all times for fire safety and to prevent rodents and insects from entering your building.

Car Theft, Accidents, and Vandalism

Lock your car doors and avoid storing valuables in the car or trunk. If you are in an accident, you must contact the police if anyone is injured or the amount of property damage equals or exceeds $1,000. Report any acts of vandalism to the Community Police Officer, the RM on Duty, or contact UW-Madison Police.


Child Safety

The safety of children in our community is a top priority. You can help by supervising your own children and teaching them about safety and respect for other people’s property.

Unattended Children

In Wisconsin, social services policy indicates that a child younger than 10 years old should not be left alone without an adult. University Apartments staff uphold this policy. Children younger than age five should never play outside unless attended by a parent or a designated adult.

School-age children often choose to spend time in the Community Center after school and on weekends when the gym is open. Families should be aware that there are adults present in the building, but children are not supervised closely. Children can come and go as they please. Please make certain your child is old enough to be unsupervised if they are allowed to come to the Community Center without a responsible adult.

If you see an unattended child anywhere in the complex, look in the immediate area for the parent or caregiver. If you don’t see anyone, contact (hours depending) the University Apartments Office, RM On Duty, Community Police Officer, or the UW-Madison Police.

Lost or Missing Children

Young children can easily get lost in the University Apartments complex because the buildings look very similar. Please make sure you teach your children to memorize their building number and apartment letter as soon as they are able.

If you cannot find your child call the UW-Madison Police at 608-262-2957 or by dialing 9-1-1 number. Tell the dispatcher where someone can meet you, the name, age, and description of your child, and places your child was and where they may go. You can also call the Eagle Heights Community Center at 608-262-3407 and ask for staff assistance in locating your lost child.

Areas Off Limits to Children

There are some areas where children are not allowed for safety reasons: construction areas, roofs, laundry rooms and basement storage areas, dumpsters and recycling containers, and balconies and fire rescue platforms. Do not allow children to play on, in, or near the dumpsters.

Child Car Safety

In Wisconsin, children are required to be in a safety seat or booster seat. For more information about this car and resources visit the UW-Madison Police site.

Bike Safety

Bicycling is a popular means of transportation in Madison. The city and the University have done a lot to promote safe bicycling, including developing an extensive network of bike paths around the city and campus, which are marked with signs.

Bike Registration

Madison City Ordinance requires that all bicycles used in Madison be registered with the city. UW-Madison also requires that all bikes on campus be registered with the city, as well. Failure to do so could result in a fine. Register your bike today.

Lock Your Bike

The best way to prevent your bike from being stolen is to lock it securely. A U-shaped lock is stronger than a cable/combination lock. All bikes should be locked to a bike rack when not in use. Do not lock bikes to trees, signposts, handrails, or picnic tables.

Bike Helmets

Helmets save lives. About 75% of those who die in bike accidents die from head injuries; many more are permanently impaired. If you need help purchasing a bike helmet or have additional questions, contact the Community Police Officer. The Kohl’s Safety Center at UW Children’s Hospital sells youth and adult helmets for $10.00.

Other Bike Safety Tips

  • Ride single file, on the right. There is a myth that you should ride facing traffic “so you can see cars coming.” Don’t. Go with the flow of the cars.
  • Obey traffic signs, laws, and signals. Often bicyclists fail to come to a complete stop at the curb or at STOP signs.
  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way. A minimum of three feet should be allowed between a bicycle and any pedestrian or vehicle it is passing.
  • Night riding requires special equipment: a light and a 2 1/2 reflector that can be seen up to 500 feet away. Lights are required if riding after dark. Wear light-colored clothing.