Security and Safety

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Security and safety regulations, rules, and procedures have been established to provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. All students are required to adhere to these guidelines. The security staff is responsible for enforcing these guidelines and for maintaining a safe and secure environment for the Corcoran. Students are expected to comply with security staff instructions and guidance.

All students must understand that security guidelines are subject to change. Students unaware of procedural changes are expected to comply with the requests of security officers. Security staff will provide instructions in the unlikely event of an extreme or national emergency or evacuation. Students wishing to request a policy exception or submit a complaint should submit everything in writing to the dean of students. Students are responsible for the conduct of their guests. Guests must abide by the Corcoran's Student Conduct Code.

Students can contact 24-hour security at the Corcoran’s E Street Security Desk by calling (202) 639-1793 or the Georgetown Security Office during campus hours at (202) 298-2585 .

i. Student Identification Cards

New students receive Corcoran ID cards during orientation. Returning students must retain their same ID cards from year to year. Students must have their ID cards with them at all times and may not enter a Corcoran campus without them. There is a $20 replacement fee for lost or stolen ID cards. ID cards are available at the E Street security desk at the Downtown campus Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.


Preventative measures have been taken for everyone entering and exiting the downtown campus and museum. Security officers will conduct random bag checks during hours the Museum is open to the public. Security has posted signage at all entrances to the building stating that random bag searches will be conducted at all entrances. All Corcoran staff (Museum and College), faculty, students, and visitors must participate. The purpose of the security checks are to deter persons from entering the facility with prohibited items that can cause harm to occupants of the building, the building itself, and to the museum collection and to ensure the security of the museum collection.

The security officer will conduct a hands-free check. Persons will be asked to shift items in their bags in order for the officer to complete a visual inspection, and officers will keep a running log of all artwork leaving the facility. Packaged artwork may need to be displayed/unwrapped for further verification. Anyone with questionable items or artwork may be asked (at the discretion of the officer) to provide verification of ownership of the items. Students entering the facility with prohibited items will only be permitted to do so with the required faculty/college administration consent. Prohibited items include: hand guns; flammable liquids; knives (with the exception of tools for studio work); acids; and narcotics.

iii. First Aid

First aid supplies for minor injuries are available in the following locations.

Downtown Campus: Office of Student Affairs and the E Street security desk

Georgetown Campus: Security office

If severe injury occurs and immediate medical attention is required, please:

  1. Call 911 ( 9-911 if calling from a campus phone)
  2. Go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room:
    Downtown campus: George Washington University Hospital or
    Georgetown campus: Georgetown University Medical Center

Accidents resulting in physical injury must be immediately reported.

Downtown Campus: E Street Security Desk

Georgetown Campus: Security Office (on ground level near entrance)

iv. Theft and Vandalism

  • The College will exercise reasonable care over personal property, but is not responsible for loss or damage.
  • Students are expected to protect the equipment and possessions of the College and faculty.
  • Theft, vandalism, graffiti, and property damage are grounds for dismissal. Damage charges will be assessed.
  • All reports of theft or other incidences should be made to the security desk at the facility where the incident occurred. Students should be prepared to provide information requested by the security officer who will file a report.
  • If an incident was reported to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), students should inform the security desk that the Metropolitan Police Department will arrive shortly.

v. Lost and Found

Articles found in the Downtown building should be turned in to the E Street Security Desk, where lost articles may be recovered. Lost and found articles in Georgetown should be turned in or picked up at the Georgetown Security Desk.

vi. Free Emergency Text Messaging Alerts

Alert DC

The Alert DC system provides immediate text notification and updated information during a major crisis or emergency. This system delivers important emergency alerts, notifications, and updates on a range of devices including e-mails, cell phones and wireless PDAs. Registration is free, though standard text messaging rates apply. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Please visit the Alert DC website at .


The Rave system provides immediate text notification and updated information during a major crisis or emergency. This system delivers important emergency alerts, notifications, and updates on a range of devices including e-mails, cell phones and wireless PDAs. Registration is free. All faculty, staff, and students are automatically registered for this service. Students may opt out or update their contact information at .

vii. Fire Safety

Smoking Rules

The Corcoran Gallery of Art has a strict non-smoking policy within the building to reduce fire hazards and promote a healthy environment. Smokers must exit the building and smoke only in designated areas outside. Security officers aggressively enforce this policy, and violators are subject to disciplinary action. Smoking is not allowed within 25 feet of any entrance to the buildings. The designated smoking area Downtown is to the left of the E Street entrance, where tables and chairs are located and where there is an ash receptacle. The designated smoking area in Georgetown is to the left of the entrance courtyard, where the last table/chair set is located, and where there is an ash receptacle. Security officers aggressively enforce this policy, and violators are subject to disciplinary action

Fire Exits

  • Fire exits are marked and should be noted in case of an emergency requiring evacuation.
  • Emergency fire exits should not be blocked by exhibits, performance pieces, or any material that hinders progress or blocks exit signs.
  • Objects (including artwork) found blocking doors or impeding access to fire exits will be removed by security or operations personnel.
  • Evacuation routes are posted near the door to each room in case anyone is not familiar with the layout of the building.
  • Emergency fire exit doors are for emergencies only. Emergency doors, including senior studios, should never be propped open.
  • Emergency fire exits are alarmed and connected to a central monitoring station. These doors should not be used unless there is an emergency.
  • Violating these policies may result in disciplinary action.
  • Elevators in the Georgetown building should not be used during an emergency.

Fire Hazards/Electrical Appliances

  • Coffeemaker, microwave, hot plate, electric heater, heat gun, and hair dryer usage, and any other item that requires an extension cord will be closely regulated due to potential strain on the electrical system fire hazard potential.
  • All such use must be approved by the facility managers prior to any installation.
  • All unpermitted usage shall result in confiscation of the item(s).


In the event that there is an urgent situation that requires an emergency evacuation from the Corcoran (Downtown and/or Georgetown campus), Corcoran security personnel have prepared an extensive plan for multiple possibilities. With the help of faculty and staff, Security has designated select point people to ensure all proper measures have taken place that everyone is safely moved out of the building and accounted for. Students should familiarize themselves with exit points in studios, classrooms, and galleries throughout the building. Evacuation routes are printed on the wall outside each studio and classroom. Evacuation plans are made public on the Corcoran website, and at various points around campus.

Throughout the year, Security will hold practice evacuation drills that should be taken seriously. For all questionable situations, please notify Security.

viii. Exhibition and Installation Safety

Please see Student Resources: Use of building and facilities.

ix. Occupational Safety and Health

Students will be using a variety of materials in their work, and are encouraged to become familiar with the properties of these materials, the health and safety hazards of their use, and any additional safety precautions.

  • Chemical manufacturers provide Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which provide the necessary information.
  • MSDS information has been requested based on the material lists provided by the chairs; binders with MSDS sheets have been compiled and placed in each studio.
  • Binders of MSDS information for all materials used in a particular area are available in that studio.
  • If a material is used for which an MSDS is not available, students are encouraged to contact the chair or program director to obtain the proper MSDS sheets.
  • Students must report all hazardous conditions to help maintain a safe and healthy environment.

x. Other Safety Issues

Incidents of Sexual Assault

In the event an incident of sexual assault happens, the following is recommended:

  • Call the local police at 911 .
  • Call Corcoran 24-hour security at (202) 639-1793 . Files maybe anonymous.
  • Contact the dean of students for a referral for professional help.
  • Contact U ASK for free, confidential support and care or DC Rape Crisis Center for 24-hour intervention and support whenever necessary.
  • Go to the nearest hospital.