Just in time for a new school year, students, staff and faculty at Carleton will be informed faster — and kept safer — in the case of an emergency.

The university unveiled a new state-of-the-art Emergency Notification System, the most comprehensive of its kind on a Canadian university campus Thursday.

Active as of Sept. 1, the ENS will inform the Carleton community in the event of a major incident or campus emergency.

Messages will be sent through a PC desktop alert that locks thousands of campus computers to get the user’s attention; email notification to nearly 27,000 accounts; and text messages to every person who has voluntarily provided the university with a cellphone number.

Messages will also be posted on TV screens across campus.

Although director of the Department of University Safety Len Boudreault acknowledged that not everyone has a cellphone, “if we can get 68 per cent of people in the first shot, the number would rapidly rise.”

The system currently includes three kinds of messages — regarding an armed intruder, evacuation of a building and a fire.