Knowledge is the best defense

 

When it comes to your safety, it's important to stay sharp. Here are some tips to consider. Read them through - some you may have heard, others may be new to you. Be sure to let them all soak in, and always put them into practice.  Remember the basic rules; 1. Strength in numbers.  2.  Sound is your friend.  They may just save your life!

 
WALKING
  • Walk with someone. Most attackers will be discouraged if you have company - male or female.
  • Avoid dark, deserted areas, stay in well-lit areas.
  • Avoid shortcuts through parks, vacant lots and other deserted places.
  • Hold your purse close to you, not dangling. Never set it down on store counters, restaurant seats or bus seats.
  • If a driver stops to ask you directions, avoid getting too close to car - you could be pulled inside.
  • If you're being followed by someone, cross the street, act suspicious and keep looking behind you. This may discourage the follower. Walk towards a well-lit business or a group of people.
  • If you're being followed by someone in a car, turn around and walk in the opposite direction.  If possible record the license number, seek a safe location and call the police.
  • When you return home, have your key ready to open door without delay.
  • Leave your outside light on so you can easily see when you return home.
  • If you are on your cell phone, keep your head up, look around and be alert.  

HOME

  • Install a peephole so you can see who is outside, and ask for identification before opening the door strangers should not be allowed in your home.
  • Don't advertise by leaving a note on the door saying you're not at home.
  • Use your last name and first initial only on your door, mail box and in the phone book.
  • The average predator will watch you 6-12 times before they commit their crime. Be aware of who is in your personal space.
  • Buy a dog dish, and place it by the door. Even if you don't have a dog the idea that a dog could be inside could work as a deterrent.
  • Replace the locks when you move to a new house or apartment. You don't know who has keys to the old one.
  • Remember, the best lock in the world is no good at all if it isn't used. Lock your doors and windows.
  • Keep your shades closed to avoid a view into your living space.
  • Make sure your home is well-lit, and replace burnt out light bulbs immediately.
  • Don't allow service workers in your home when you're not there. It's best to have more than one person at home when work is being done. Ask service companies questions concerning workers who will be entering your home. Here are some question examples: their name, length of time they have worked with the company and the last time a background check was performed.  When they enter your home be sure they are where the repair is to take place and nowhere else.   
  • Know your neighbors, especially the person who is home during the day. They serve as your eyes while you're away.
  • Purchase timers for your television, stereo and lamps in your home and program them to go on at different times on different days, if someone is watching it gives the impression someone is home.
  • If you are away for an extended amount of time have someone you know take care of things at your home. Have them collect your mail and newspapers. They can take care of pets and or plants in addition to making your house look inhabited.
  • Be selective about your personal information on the internet. Avoid sharing your daily agenda with people, disclosing where you are going and when you will be arriving.  A predator only needs to know your name to determine everything about you. 

 

DRIVING TIPS

  • If you're being followed don't drive into your driveway or attempt to leave your car. Drive to the nearest police station or open business for help
  • If you're having car trouble, raise the hood, and stay inside with the doors locked. If strangers stop, ask them to report your predicament to nearest service station. And remember - a cell phone makes sense when you are traveling any distance alone
  • Keep your purse and other valuables out of sight - under a seat or in the glove compartment
  • Always park in well-lighted area, if you plan to arrive/leave after dark
  • Don't park in isolated or visually obstructed area near walls or heavy foliage
  • Use valet parking or an attended garage (be sure to have a valet key or one key not all your keys
  • When you are unlocking your car with a remote be sure to only push the unlock button once in order to only unlock the driver's door. Pressing the unlock button twice will unlock all the doors which can allow someone access to the passenger side or back seat
  • Put your valuables in your locked trunk or take them with you.
  • As you walk to your car be alert to persons sitting in cars
  • Ask for an escort or staff member if you are alone at a shopping center
  • If someone tries to approach, change direction or run to a busy store
  • Follow your instincts if they tell you to walk/run away to a busy place
  • As you approach your vehicle, look under around, and inside your car
  • Walk in the middle of the parking lot where the cars drive so you are more visible by others
  • If safe, open the door, enter quickly & LTD (Lock the Doors)
  • Don't be a target by turning your back while loading packages into the car
  • Always drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up
  • When stopped in traffic, leave room, front and back of your car, for the ability to turn
  • If you are bumped in traffic by others be suspicious of the accident
  • Give up your keys or money if demanded without resistance
  • Hitchhikers shouldn't be picked up. Don't stop to help disabled drivers if you're alone. Help them by reporting them to police or service station
  • Don't argue, fight or chase the robber
  • Never agree to be kidnapped.  Drop the car keys and run and scream for help, hand on the horn, create sound
  • If you are forced to drive, consider crashing your car near a busy intersection, avoiding other cars or pedestrians
  • Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information