Safety at AFI – American Film Institute

Safety at AFI

AFI is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all staff, Faculty and Fellows to work and learn.


The AFI Campus is monitored by AFI Security personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. AFI Campus Security are the first line responders to all campus emergency and security situations and are an integral part of AFI’s day-to-day campus safety.

All visitors coming to the AFI Campus must be pre-approved and check in with campus security with a state/government-issued ID upon arrival. Should there be any changes to state and federal guidelines due to COVID-19 or AFI’s policies, we will adapt to them accordingly. Thank you for understanding. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Security Contacts

AFI Campus Information Center & Security
[email protected]; 323.856.7600

Kelly Dorsey
Director, Campus Operations
[email protected]; 323.856.7681

David Lopez
Manager, Campus Facilities
[email protected]; 323.856.7697

Emergency Security Contact

The Campus Information Center Officer (“CICO”) is on duty every day, from 8:00 a.m. to midnight. You can contact the CICO by dialing “0” on any campus phone or by picking up a red emergency phone. Security personnel will be alerted by the CICO and respond accordingly.

Red emergency phones can be found in the following locations:

  • Every floor of the WB Building
  • First floor of the Louis B. Mayer Library building
  • Hallways of the Sony Digital Arts Center.
  • Parking lot between the Sony Digital Arts Center, Louis B. Mayer Library, and in the WB Mill area.

The emergency phones are to be used for emergencies only.  When the receiver is picked up, the phone connects directly to the Campus Information Center Officer.  The Campus Information Center Officer will alert Security personnel and the appropriate agency (e.g., police, fire, etc.).

Emergency Text Alert System (Catchwind)

AFI has contracted with Catchwind Critical to distribute emergency communications to staff, faculty, and Fellows via text messages. These mass communications during emergency situations may be in response to emergencies such as severe weather events, acts of terrorism, acts of violence and “lockdown” of campus alerts. This rapid form of mass communication is critical in getting the word out in a timely and effective manner.


The Emergency Response Team (ERT) is the second line response created by AFI Security to assist in responding to emergency situations on campus. The ERT is comprised of a core group of staff members dedicated to serve AFI in response to crisis and emergency situations. These ERT members all receive basic first-aid, CPR and first responder training biennially. In addition, the ERT works with Campus Security to maintain vital and proper communications on campus, as well as evacuating campus buildings of incapacitated or injured persons in an emergency and are the last person out of their designated area during emergency situations.

Non-emergency duties of the ERT include matters such as reporting unsafe conditions, attending periodic training meetings, and assisting during emergency or fire drills. These tasks are important in maintaining a state of emergency preparedness for the campus and advising AFI Security of possible safety issues. In an emergency situation, the ERT is integral in AFI’s response and recovery efforts.



Given the close proximity of AFI to Griffith Park, the campus is located in a high-risk fire zone. Each main building on the campus has a fire alarm system monitored by TYCO Integrated Securities in addition to fire extinguishers and sprinkler system in the Warner Bros. Building. To reduce the risk of fire on campus or the surrounding area, the use of any open flames and pyrotechnic equipment during production on campus is prohibited.

Stairwell Safety Procedures

When evacuation is required:

  • Move quickly, but do not run.
  • Proceed to the safest designated stairwell or exit. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS.
  • Use the handrail in stairwells with poor visibility to maintain balance.
  • Security or ERT members on each floor will completely evacuate the building.
  • Allow room for people to enter the stairwell in an orderly flow of traffic.
  • Aid those who are slower moving or in need of assistance.
  • Don’t engage in any false information or rumors of the reason for the evacuation, etc. (To reduce panic situation, refrain from using the word “fire.”)
  • Treat all injuries incurred in the stairwell at the nearest floor landing, when required and if practical.
  • Complete evacuation is when everyone is out of the building. Do not congregate in stairwell.

Evacuation Procedures for the Physically Challenged

The Los Angeles City Fire Department requires businesses to keep an updated list indicating the name, location, and nature of disability of each physically challenged person. Human Resources records this information for staff and Faculty, and the Office of Fellow Affairs obtains this information for Fellows.

Physically Challenged includes, but may not be limited to:

  • Persons with limited mobility because of the use of wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, or those with other health conditions.
  • Persons recovering from surgery.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Persons with significant hearing or vision impairment.

Those with mobility challenges may also be anyone who, without the assistance of another person, would have difficulty evacuating or relocating to a safe location either inside or outside the building, or who would slow down evacuation of other occupants within the building.

Any individual placed on a physically challenged evacuation list must be assured that information provided to management/ERT members will be kept confidential, and only used to provide a safe and quick evacuation in emergency situations.

During an emergency evacuation, ERT members will be assigned to assist AFI community members in their designated area who are physically challenged. ERT members assigned to assist will have knowledge of how to safely evacuate community members they are assigned to (i.e., proper lifts and carries), in addition to inquiring how they can best assist.


Remain calm, and do not panic. Do not attempt to leave your current location until shaking stops and it is safe to move. Take cover under a sturdy object such as a desk, table, or other furniture. If no cover is, available, position yourself against a sturdy interior wall. Avoid all windows, glass and lighting fixtures or any freestanding objects.

Once the shaking has stopped, evacuate the building in an orderly manner, following the instructions of the ERT personnel or posted campus evacuation maps. Evacuate to the nearest wait area and avoid standing near any buildings or under any tall trees once outside. Do not attempt to reenter any buildings until all buildings have been determined safe. Additional information or updates regarding campus access or building damage will be sent out via the AFI text alert system once an assessment is conducted.

If you are outdoors when the quake occurs, stay there. Move away from buildings, power poles, lampposts or retaining walls that could fall during a quake and avoid fallen electrical lines. If possible, move to an open area.

If you are in an elevator, stay calm and use the emergency phone to contact Campus Security who will advise you on the steps that will be taken for a successful rescue. Upon rescue, follow the directions given by Campus Security or any rescue personnel.

If you have a medical or other emergency, please alert Campus Security once contact has been made. If immediate help is needed, please call 911.

Power Outage

  • Remain calm and in place.
  • AFI has emergency lighting in all hallways that will come on during a power outage.
  • If possible, notify Building Facilities or Security by dialing 323.856.7600.
  • Turn on a battery powered radio, if you have one available, to determine what is happening in your area.
  • Unplug all electrical equipment such as movie projectors, TV sets, computers, audio visuals. Turn off light switches, unless needed.
  • Open window shades to provide natural lighting.
  • If evacuation is necessary, follow the emergency lights in the hallways and the directions of Campus Security or ERT members to evacuate to your designated area.

Firearms Or Violent Threat (Campus Lockdown)

If a firearm or other weapon is observed, discreetly call 911 and immediately notify Campus Security.

If notified of a gunman on campus, begin the following campus “lockdown” procedures:

  • Secure all doors, close any blinds, and cover all windows, including the windows in doors.
  • Turn off lights and instruct people to stay below the windows.
  • To avoid causing a panic, do not use cell phones except to call 911 to report the threat.
  • Do not leave your secured location or let anyone enter until an all clear from the proper authorities is given or you receive a message from the AFI text alert system.

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence comes in various forms and includes actions such as verbal confrontations followed by violence, unarmed, or armed physical assault, weapon brandishing, or a non-provoked assault.

If a situation begins to develop that looks like it might escalate towards violence, notify AFI Security and Campus Operations before attempting to defuse the situation. Quietly assist with evacuating bystanders from the area. If someone threatens violence implicitly or explicitly, report the situation to AFI Security immediately. Any probable targets of the violent person should be located and relocated to a secured area, on or off campus.

If an incident involves firearms, take cover and initiate lockdown procedures until given all clear, or evacuation instructions by the proper authorities.


Should you receive any communication regarding a potential bomb threat on Campus, follow the below procedures:

  • Keep the caller on the phone as long as possible. Don’t hang up first!!!!
  • Ensure that the “threat conversation” is documented as accurately as possible and as soon as is practical. To assist the police and as an aid to completing reports, use the Bomb Threat Report form for guidance. This form may be found on the AFI Intranet or in the Human Resources department.
  • Contact AFI Campus Security immediately after your conversation has ended. If for some reason you cannot reach Security, contact the police by dialing 911 or 485.4304 (if problems are encountered using 911)
  • Be prepared to provide pertinent information including location, instructions, etc.
  • Follow any instruction given by the Police Department.

Should you discover an explosive or incendiary device on the AFI Campus, please contact AFI Campus Security immediately to conduct evacuation procedures – do not attempt to move the device.


AFI conducts an unannounced campus wide preparedness drill on an annual basis. The preparedness drill is typically conducted in the Fall to coincide with California’s Great Shakeout events. These preparedness drills consist of a test to the Catchwind emergency text alert system in conjunction with campus wide evacuation drill. During the evacuation drill, a test of each building’s fire/burglar alarm is initiated to signal the start of the evacuation drill. Safety Committee members, essential ERT members, and AFI and Conservatory Administration, determine the date of the drill.


Fire Extinguishers are located throughout the AFI Campus, and locations are noted on all emergency evacuation maps displayed in classrooms and hallway areas:

Types of Fires & Extinguishers

Class A: Wood, paper, rubber, plastics, and fabric (ordinary solid materials). These types of fires can be put out with water. Water acts as a cooling agent, thus reducing the heat of the fire. After a Class A fire is put out, it must “overhaul”, which means the material must be broken up to ensure all embers are smothered. A Class A Fire Extinguisher can be a silver container filled with water and a special “wetting” agent. This type of extinguisher can shoot an approximate 5–40-foot stream of water. It can also be a red container filled with a foam which removes the air and heat of a fire or a dry chemical or halon which breaks the chain reaction of a fire.

Class B: Fires that are from the vapors formed above flammable liquids, such as gasoline, tar, cleaning fluids and grease. These fires are put out by a dry chemical, or halon, which removes the oxygen from the fire. A Class B Fire Extinguisher contains a special foam (or carbon dioxide, CO2), which remove the air from the fire.

Class C: Class C fires are those found with electrical equipment. At first knowledge of an electrical fire, turn off the electricity. The fire then turns into a Class A fire and can be treated as such. When treating a Class C fire as a Class A fire, a carbon dioxide, dry chemical, or halon extinguisher can be used. If the electricity cannot be turned off at once, be sure to use a chemical extinguisher, not water. If water is released on this type of fire, the electricity will travel up the stream of water through the extinguisher and shock you.

Class D: A Class D fire refers to a combustible metal fire, such as the magnesium metal sometimes found in certain car engines. These can only be put out by a Class D fire extinguisher. Water will only feed the fire. It takes a tremendous amount of water to put out this type of fire.

All Fire Extinguishers on campus are rated for Class A, B and C fires with the usable class(es) noted on the label.

Use and Care of Fire Extinguishers

Extinguishers (carbon dioxide, dry chemical, or halon) should be serviced once a month by inverting the extinguisher and shaking it. Once a year an authorized service should inspect and recharge the extinguisher. Once an extinguisher is used, never put it back in its original place—be sure it is recharged immediately by an authorized service company.

To use a fire extinguisher, the word PASS explains the basic operation:

Pull the ring pin

Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire

Squeeze the handle

Sweep the nozzle from side to side

Note: If the extinguisher has an insulated handle, be sure to hold the handle, not the hose. As carbon dioxide is discharged, it creates static electricity that can shock you.

Keys to Combating a Fire

  • Use the appropriate fire extinguisher to combat the fire. The type of fire which the extinguisher was made for is labeled on the container. Most AFI fire extinguishers are of the ABC type which can be used on most types of fires.
  • When at all possible, two or more people should fight a fire. Never enter a room alone unless a person’s life is in danger.
  • Feel the door or doorknob for heat before entering the room. If the door or doorknob is hot to the touch, do not enter. This is an indication the room is engulfed in flames and opening the door will cause the fire to spread rapidly. If you determine it is safe to enter the room, close any doors to prevent any fire from spreading.
  • Fire, gases, and smoke will rise; therefore, if you must enter a room to save a life, enter on your hands and knees and crawl along the floor.
  • Do not touch electrical wiring or sources of static buildup. ( i.e., televisions or computer monitors).
  • To exit, use stairwells, not the elevator. NEVER take an elevator to investigate or to get to a fire.