Personal safety is based on one simple concept…PREVENTION.
People often mistakenly think that personal safety and self-defense are one in the same. However, this just isn’t the case. Personal safety is what we do before we find ourselves in a potentially dangerous or violent situation. Self-defense is what we do if our personal safety plan fails.
SOME BASIC SAFETY TIPS
Reporting a Crime
Whether you are a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime, call the police to report the incident. If the crime is in progress and it is safe for you to do so, call the police immediately at 911 to increase the chance of the suspect being apprehended.
When you call the police, it is important that you know the street name, address, and name of the building where you are located and where you saw the incident.
•Immediately go to a safe place and call the police at 911 (Fire, Medical, Police)
•Provide a description of the incident and remain on the phone until the operator says it is okay.
•Call your supervisor, if possible and inform them of the incident.
What if you see something suspicious?
Suspicious Behavior? People are not suspicious, their behavior is! If you notice something suspicious happening, call the police or security.
Examples of suspicious behavior include:
•Unusual noises, including screaming, sounds of fighting, glass breaking, or illegal activity.
•People in buildings or areas who do not appear to be conducting legitimate business.
•Unauthorized personnel in restricted areas.
•People in the building who do not appear to be loitering.
•Persons abandoning parcels or other items in unusual locations (i.e. in the lobby or in the elevator)
Increase Your Awareness: Safety on Elevators
•If the person waiting to get on the elevator with you makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t get in. If you are riding with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, leave. Get off before the door closes, or leave at the next floor. You don’t need to feel guilty for protecting yourself.
•In elevators, stand near the control panel with your back against the wall. If you are threatened, hit the alarm button and as many floor buttons as possible.
Increase Your Awareness: Safety in Parking Lots and Garages
•When you know you will be returning to your car late at night, try to park it in a well-lit area.
•Before getting into your car, visually check the interior.
•Have your keys in your hand, so that you don’t have to search for them when you reach your car.
•Try not to park on levels of a parking garage that will be empty when you return.
•Know your nearest safe exit route from a garage.
•Back your car into a parking stall in a garage. This gives you greater visibility and allows you to drive away more quickly if you are being approached by a stranger.
•When you leave your car, walk briskly and confidently. Do not be distracted.
•If you are worried about becoming a target, vary your routine. Park in different spots at different times.
•Always lock your car door. (Never leave your car unlocked or running. This is an invitation to a car thief.)
•Keep valuables out of sight. (Place items such as Electronics, Cellular phones, book bags, and purses in the trunk or take them with you.
•Report all suspicious activity or persons. (Call the police immediately. don’t hesitate to call the police. (It’s better to call and find out that the activity is nothing)
Increase Your Awareness: While You Are Out
•Be alert! – Being alert to what and who is around you is the best defense.
•Walk with a self- assured stride, with your head up, and look around. (persons who look strong and in control are less attractive targets.)
•Avoid walking alone at night.
•Avoid using short cuts or other routes that are less traveled and may obscure you from being seen by others.
•Try to stay in well-lit areas, and use routes that are frequently traveled by others.
•Know where you are going-plan your route.
•Have your keys in your hand. This prevents you having to fumble with your keys at the doors.
•Be aware of what is going on around you. If you suspect you are being followed, indicate your suspicion by looking behind you. If you are on foot, cross the street, change directions or vary your speed. In a commercial or residential area, head for a place where there are other people as soon as possible.
•If someone is following you or you even think someone is following you, go immediately to a phone and contact the Police at 911.
Increase Your Awareness: Using an ATM machine
•Try to avoid using an ATM by yourself. Either take someone with you or only use an ATM when others are around.
•If possible, avoid using an ATM after dark. If you must, choose one that is well lighted and does not have tall bushes nearby.
•When you arrive at an ATM, look around. If you are uncomfortable, do not stop.
•Have everything you need ready when you approach an ATM.
•When using the ATM, stay alert to your surroundings. Look up and around every few seconds while transacting your business.
•Protect your personal identification number (PIN). Do not enter your PIN if anyone else can see you enter it. Shield your PIN from onlookers by using your body.
•When your transaction is finished, be sure you have your card and your receipt and leave immediately. Do not count your money at the machine.
Increase Your Awareness: Some Tips For Your Home
•Lock all outside doors before you leave or go to bed.
•Lock all windows.
•Leave lights on when you go out. If you’re going away for any length of time, connect.
•Some lamps to automatic timers so your lights turn on and off at preset times.
•Keep your garage door closed and locked. A lot of visible items in your garage may be an invitation to a burglar.
•Don’t allow daily deliveries to accumulate. Either suspend delivery or have a neighbor pick up the mail, newspaper, etc.
•Arrange to have your lawn kept. If you leave for an extended period have your lawn maintained while you are gone. This gives the appearance that someone is home.
•Know your neighbors! If you can, try and meet the people that live near you. Also, try and know the vehicles common to the neighborhood. If you see a strange person or vehicle staying in the area, Call The Police!
Be Aware….Be Prepared!!