Maintaining Situational Awareness

Let's work together to help maintain a safe environment for all who work at and visit the National Institutes of Health. Below you will find some helpful tips and reminders on pedestrian and cyclist safety, and crime prevention on the main campus of NIH.


Pedestrian/Cyclist/Motorized Vehicle Safety Tips so that we can move about the campus safely

  • Motorized vehicles include cars, trucks, motorcycles, electric scooters/skateboards, etc.
  • Motorized vehicle users should stay alert and yield right of way to pedestrians in designated crosswalks on campus. Approach crosswalks with caution; be prepared to stop.
  • Pedestrians shall only cross streets at designated crosswalks.
  • Pedestrians should stay alert while crossing the street at designated crosswalks. Approach the crosswalk with caution; be prepared to stop. Vehicles take a greater distance to stop than you do. Be courteous and allow an approaching vehicle to pass if you have not entered the crosswalk. When possible, wear bright or reflective clothing while walking on campus in the dark.
  • Motorists should maintain a safety buffer of at least three feet or more when sharing the roadway with cyclists, including electric-scooters and skateboards.
  • Cyclists and electric scooter/skateboard riders should stay alert and yield right of way to pedestrians on sidewalks and at crosswalks.
  • When riding at night, cyclists and other riders should use a light. Reflectors mounted to the front and rear of your bicycle will also help to be seen by motor vehicles.
  • When entering an intersection, motor vehicles, cyclists, and other riders, as well as pedestrians should use caution, scanning the area for any potentially distracted drivers or others who are actively entering the intersection. Only enter the intersection when it is safe to do so.
  • If you observe a vehicle being operated in an unsafe manner on campus, please immediately report the situation to the NIH Police at 301-496-5685. If possible, please obtain a vehicle description to include color, type of vehicle, license plate and last known direction of travel.


Crime Prevention Tips

  • Be aware of everyone that goes in and out of your office, lab or clinical space.
  • When entering a space where access is controlled by a badge reader or other type of access security mechanism, wait for the door to fully close behind you.
  • Do not prop exterior doors open in buildings where you work.
  • Do not allow an unfamiliar person or a person without a working ID badge to slide in behind you.
  • Do not allow someone else to use your access card to gain access to the campus or building. There may be a security reason unbeknownst to you why their access badge was deactivated or confiscated. (The use of someone else's access card to gain entry to the campus is prohibited by federal law.)
  • If you are unfamiliar with an unescorted person, ask, "May I help you?" and escort the person to his/her destination. If you are uncomfortable escorting the person alone, ask a colleague to accompany you or call the NIH Police to assist.
  • If you see something out of the ordinary, report it to NIH Police.
  • If you see or hear something that makes you uncomfortable or concerned, report the incident to NIH Police, a team lead, or your supervisor as soon as possible.
  • When possible, use a 'buddy system' by pairing up with a co-worker when working in isolated areas.
  • If you feel unsafe walking to your vehicle or other location on campus during off hours or at night feel free to contact the NIH Police at 301-496-5685 to request an escort. An officer will either walk with you or drive you to your destination.
  • To help prevent theft, do not leave valuable items unattended in your office, lab or even in a common space.


This information was provided by Sergeant Alvin Maker, Patrol Supervisor/Community Policing Coordinator, NIH Police. Please use the non-emergency phone number 301-496-5685 to contact the NIH Police. The NIH Police can be reached 24 hours / 7 days a week. For additional information, check out the NIH Police website.​



Get Fit! Try a FREE Virtual Fitness Class!


​Chris Gaines
Program Manager
Fitness and Well-being