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Emergency Phone Program

Commonly known as "blue light phones," there are over 480* emergency phones located across grounds. These phones are intended for emergency use and provide direct contact to the police department. If you feel threatened, in danger, are experiencing an emergency, or otherwise need police or security assistance, press or pick up the nearest emergency phone. At night, outdoor phones are marked by a distinctive blue light. 

Emergency Phones on Grounds


Outdoor Emergency Phones

Commonly known as "blue light phones" because of their distinctive blue light on top, these outdoor phones are located throughout UVA's grounds and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Phones on grounds connect directly to the UVA Police Department, while off grounds phones connect to the Emergency Communications Center (911). To operate these phones, press the button in the area labeled "EMERGENCY." A dispatcher will pick up the phone and assist you. The dispatcher will also instantly have information on the exact location of the phone you activated.

Total Number = 368 (includes 170 phones located in various parking garages)*


Indoor Emergency Phones

Some buildings on grounds are equipped with emergency phones. Emergency phones are different from courtesy phones (see below) in that they will only dial the police, and you will be connected as soon as you pick up the receiver. They are generally red phones, or outlined in red or another contrasting color.

Total Number = 112


Courtesy Phones

As part of a VoIP transition in 2015, the University installed analog courtesy phones in many common areas and hallways. These phones were installed to be used in case of power outage. These phones have a dial tone when you pick up the receiver and can dial any local number. While these phones are not considered part of the emergency phone system at UVA, they can be used to dial 911 without regard to building power. They are generally an off white analog style phone with a dial pad.

Emergency Phone Status

Student, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to report any issues they see with any emergency phone on grounds. To report a problem with an emergency phone (blue light or red indoor phone), or to view the current phone status, go here

Program Oversight

The Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness is responsible for coordinating the emergency phone program. If you notice an issue with an emergency phone, or have a suggestion for a new emergency phone, please contact our office.

*Note: These figures do not include outdoor emergency phones located in the area commonly referred to as "The Corner." These phones are owned, operated, and maintained by the City of Charlottesville and are direct links to 911.