SAFETY TIPS

Personal Safety

  • Try not to walk alone or appear distracted by wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone.
  • Do not carry or display large amounts of money or jewelry.
  • Never leave pets or children in a car, even if the windows are cracked.
  • Never leave your book bag, wallet, purse or other valuables unattended.
  • When walking, jogging or running around the road after dark, wear reflective clothing and go in the opposite direction of traffic.
  • Only carry what you actually need in your wallet or purse.
  • Don’t carry anything that is irreplaceable unless you absolutely must, even if it has no cash value.
  • Make a plan for how you would respond if someone tried to steal your purse or wallet.
  • Handbags should be closed, carried in front of the body with an arm held loosely across it. A bag dangling by your side is much easer for a thief to grab on the run.
  • If wearing a handbag with a strap over the head, choose a thin strap, and wear it under your coat.
  • Do not carry house keys in your handbag. Instead, carry keys in a pocket. Chances are your address is on a document in the bag. If the thief has your keys and address he/she has easy entry to your home.
  • Victims sometimes tell a robber they have no money. This technique may backfire. It is safer to give up a few dollars. Carry a little money in an accessible place for just this purpose. Keep it separate from other funds.

Car Safety 

  • Check underneath and inside your car before entering.
  • Keep your car in good working order, including all fluid levels.
  • If your car breaks down, turn on flashers, lock your doors and get as far off the road as you can.
  • If you are being followed, go to the nearest police or fire station, well-lit gas station or public place. Do not go home.
  • When driving, place purse or valuables underneath your seats.
  • Never leave your keys in your car.
  • Use the emergency break when you park.
  • Park in lots that have attendants.
  • Use an anti-theft device whenever you leave your car.

Home Safety

  • Routinely lock all windows and doors.
  • Keep entrances well-lit. Use timers for lights, both inside and outside.
  • Check identification of repair contractors or sales individuals.
  • Identify visitors through a window or peep hole before opening the door.
  • Never indicate you are home alone.
  • Door chains are not sufficient protection. Install a deadbolt or door chain.
  • Even if you are just gone for “a minute”, take your belongings with you.
  • Exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand excessive force.
  • Double-hung windows should be secured with pins or extra locks to discourage prying.
  • Do not hide keys under planter or doormats.
  • Don’t advertise if you live alone. In phone books, directories and apartment lobbies use only your first initial.
  • Get to know your neighbors and keep their phone numbers handy for emergencies.
  • Leave valuable jewelry, especially those items with sentimental or heirloom value, in a safe deposit box.
  • If something is stolen or missing, report it right away.
  • Install a peephole in the door.
  • If you come home and see a door or window open, or broken, don’t go in. Call the police from a public phone, cell phone or neighbor’s home.

Dating Safety

  • When going out, let someone know with whom you are going, where  you are going, and if possible, the approximate time of your return.
  • When you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts.
  • Do not drink beverages that you do not open yourself.
  • Do not share or exchange drinks with anyone.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom or making a phone call.
  • Do not drink anything that has an unusual taste or appearance.

ATM Safety

  • Utilize an ATM located inside an open business whenever possible.
  • Avoid using street ATMs during night time hours.
  • Don’t write your ATM personal identification number on your card or keep the number in your wallet.
  • When entering your personal identification number, try to keep the numbers from the view of others.
  • Secure money at ATM. Don’t walk away with money in hand.
  • Always take your receipt with you.
  • If a robber demands your money, don’t argue or fight with the suspect. Note the robber’s description and give the robber the money.

Tourism Safety

  • Always travel with another person, particularly at night.
  • Walk with a purpose and project an assertive and business-like image. Criminals will be discouraged if you do not appear vulnerable or easily intimidated.
  • Select sight-seeing companies and guides carefully. Check with hotel staff for recommendations.
  • When asking for directions, first ask for a police officer or another public employee, or go into a nearby business.
  • Use travelers checks and debit/ATM cards. Keep a record of traveler’s check numbers, credit card numbers, photocopy of passport and other valuable documents separate from originals.
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry and watches when out sightseeing. If you must wear it, wear it inside your clothing.
  • Pickpockets are often attracted to crowded places. They often work in teams of two or three; one may create a distraction while the other one lifts your wallet. Be aware of someone who bumps, shoves or gets too close.

Avoid Telephone Con Artist

Be aware of these lines; if you hear any of these, just say “no” and hang up.

  • “You must act now or the offer won’t be good.”
  • “You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize – but you pay for  postage and handling or other charges.”
  • You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier before you’ve had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
  • You don’t need to check out the company with anyone – including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
  • You don’t need any written information about their company for their references.
  • You can’t afford to miss this “high-profit, no-risk” offer.

Financial Safety

  • Never send money or give out your credit card or bank account number to unfamiliar companies.
  • Be aware that any personal or financial information you provide may be sold to other companies.
  • Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.

Identification Theft Tips

  • Release Social Security Number only when absolutely necessary- because it is the key to your credit and banking account.
  • Do not have your Social Security Number printed on your checks or driver’s license.
  • Reduce the number of credit cards you actively use and cancel all unused accounts. Keep a list/photocopy of all credit card information, including telephone numbers of the customer service departments.
  • Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills and other financial information before throwing it into the trash.
  • When paying bills, do not leave envelopes containing your payment in your home mailbox. Place them directly into a secured mailbox.
  • Always take credit card receipts with you. Never throw them away in a public trashcan.
  • Memorize all passwords. Don’t record them on anything in your wallet or purse.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Carry a whistle or similar type of noise maker. In the event of an emergency, the sound may scare off a would-be attacker.
  • Take special care when jogging or biking. Vary your route. Go with a friend. Avoid isolated areas and don’t wear headphones.
  • Do not hitchhike.
  • Walk closer to the street side of the sidewalk rather than the building side – doing so gives you a split second longer chance to react in the event of an emergency.
  • If you are being followed, show you are suspicious and turn to look at the person. It sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.
  • Change directions. If someone is following you on foot, cross the street and vary your pace. If the person following you is in a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction.
  • Go into the nearest store or public place. If the person follows you, ask to use or find a phone and call for help. If there isn’t a store or public area nearby, keep moving. If you have to scream (or blow your whistle) to draw attention to your situation, do it.
  • Wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes that will not slip.
  • If you have a choice about where you walk, choose a route with sidewalks or a shoulder to give yourself space away from traffic.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
  • Before stepping in front of a car, make eye contact with the driver. Make sure they see you, plan on stopping and have time to stop.
  • Do not text while walking.

Children Safety

  • Instruct your child on how to contact the Police Department, Fire Department or Ambulance by dialing 911, and how to contact a known family member or responsible trustworthy neighbor or adult should an emergency arise.
  • Check your child’s route to and from school. Call attention to any dangerous spots such as vacant lots, alleyways, etc. Advise them what to do if a strange person follows or approaches them.
  • Instruct your child’s school to notify you immediately if your child is absent. Inform the principal who is authorized to pick your child up from school. Try to have the same person pick your child up every day when possible.
  • Instruct your child to never take a ride from any strangers even if the person says that they are there to pick them up because their mom or dad sent them.
  • Choose a secret code word to use with your child in case of an emergency. Tell your child never to go with anyone who does not know this code word.
  • Advise your child what to do if they feel lost.  Help them to identify the safest place to go or person to ask for help in reuniting them with you or other caregiver. Examples of safe helpers could be a uniformed law-enforcement or security officer, store salesperson with a nametag, person with a nametag who is working at the information booth.
  • Teach your child to tell you if anyone asks them to keep a secret, offer them gifts or money, or asks to take their picture.
  • Teach your child to always tell you if something happened while they were away from you that made them feel uncomfortable in any way.
  • Teach children their parents’ names, phone number, including area code, and your full address.
  • Teach your child how to use the telephone to make emergency, local and long-distance calls and how to reach the operator.
  • Never allow your child to use a public restroom unattended.
  • Don’t “personalize” your child’s clothing or accessories with his/her name. Children may respond to a stranger who calls them by name.
  • Teach your child that a stranger is someone that neither you nor they know well.

Internet Safety

  • Do not give out your personal information through emails or online forms unless you confirm that you are dealing with a legitimately secure site.
  • A secure web address begins with https:// rather than just http://.
  • Read website privacy policy prior to submitting information online.
  • When submitting information, also look for the lock or key icon on the browser’s status bar.
  • Do not download files from unknown email addresses.
  • Do not use the unsubscribe link in spam emails.  This only notifies them that your email address is valid and they do not remove you from their list.

*Tips accumulated from various resources

Safety Tip

Personal

  • Try not to walk alone or appear distracted by wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone.
  • Do not carry or display large amounts of money or jewelry.