Personal Safety

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The most important tip for personal safety is to always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. We have divided the tips into different areas, based on common activities most people experience during a normal day.

In Public

  • Stay alert – Be aware of your surroundings. By paying attention to what is going on around you, you make yourself a less tempting target.
  • Trust your instincts – If you feel uncomfortable or have a "bad feeling," leave. You can always come back at a later time.
  • Carry valuables close to your body – If carrying a purse, keep it close to your body and carry it firmly. If carrying a wallet, keep it in an inside coat pocket or a side pants pocket.
  • Have your keys ready – When approaching your house or vehicle, have your proper key in your hand and ready to use. When you get scared or excited, your heart rate increases and your fine muscle movement (control over your fingers) and sense of touch starts to lessen. So, if your keys are already in your hand, you will not have to search for them.
  • Walk facing traffic – Whether on the sidewalk or on the side of the street, always try to walk facing on coming traffic, so you can see what is coming in your direction.
  • Travel in groups – Whenever possible, whiile jogging or shopping, travel in groups. This reduces the likelihood of being attacked or robbed simply due to the presence of other people.

At Home

  • Keep your doors locked – Always keep you doors locked, even when you are home.
  • Check before you open the door – Check who is at your door prior to opening it. You always have the option of not opening the door, if you do not know who it is.
  • Ask for identification from repairmen – Ask for photo identification from any repairman, if you are suspicious, call the company, from their number in the phone book, to verify the employee.
  • Voicemail and answering machine messages – Do not leave your schedule or status (such as being on vacation) on your voicemail. 
  • Trusted neighbors – Know of at least one trusted neighbor who can be depended upon in an emergency. 
  • Personal information – Do not give out personal information to others unless you know exactly why they need it and they are from a trusted source.
  • Keep your cell phone charged – Keep you cell phone charger by your bed and keep it charged at all times. Cell phones are much harder to disable than a landline phone.

In Your Vehicle

  • Lock your doors – Whether driving or your vehicle is parked, always lock your vehicle doors.
  • Maintenance and gasoline – Make sure your vehicle is in good working order and has at least a half a tank of gasoline, whenever possible, to allow yourself the ability to leave in an emergency.
  • Take your keys out of the vehicle – By leaving your keys in the vehicle, you make your vehicle very tempting to steal. Also, the keys will most likely give the thief access to your home and/or business.
  • Remove extra keys – If you have to take your vehicle in for service, remove your extra keys, such as house and work keys.
  • Do not keep valuables in your vehicle – Do not leave money, jewelry, purses, wallets, cell phones, guns, etc. in your vehicle. If your vehicle does not have anything of value in it for thieves, they will probably leave it alone. If you do have to keep valuables in your vehicle, keep them hidden. When placing valuables in the trunk, do it before you arrive at the location you are going to park to prevent people from seeing what is being placed in your trunk.
  • Do not leave spare keys in/on your vehicle – An experienced thief knows all the "usual" hiding places for spare keys. Keep a spare key in your wallet or purse.
  • Park in well-lit areas – When parking your vehicle in parking lots or on the street, try to park in a well-lit area.
  • Being followed – If you are being followed, do not drive home. Drive to a well-lit public area that has open businesses so you can attract attention and notify law enforcement.