Personal Safety & General Security Tips
PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS
The most important tool in crime prevention is your mind. When used effectively and coupled with a confidant attitude and keen awareness, you can avoid dangerous confrontations with potential assailants. This will decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Conversely, a timid or fearful demeanor signals a would-be assailant that you are an easy target. Make it a habit to protect yourself from harm by using common sense and a few standard security devices. But remember, even the most expensive security devices will not keep you safe if you do not use them.
Here are some tips to reduce your chance of being victimized:
– Answer doors and phones so a potential burglar will know your home is occupied.
– Never tell a caller you are alone; give the impression that someone is with you.
– Look through the peephole to see who is outside the door. Never open it to anyone you do not know and trust.
– Verify repairmen with their dispatchers before allowing them inside; have a friend with you or have them call you several times; make these precautions obvious.
– If someone you do not know asks to make an emergency phone call, do not open the door; make the call for them.
– Children are less cautious; be careful about letting them answer the door or phone at an early age.
– If you think that a forced entry has been made, do not go inside! Go to a safe place and get help as soon as possible!
– Plan escape routes and keep emergency numbers posted by your phones.
– In apartment complexes, be cautious of laundry rooms, parking lots, and isolated areas; insist that they be well-lit; use them only when accompanied by a trusted friend or neighbor.
– Consider installing a Caller-ID system to your existing phone line.
– Never give out information about yourself or where you live.
– Do not indicate on your mailbox or in the phone directory that you are a female or living alone.
– If you are confronted and must yell for help, yell “Fire!” This phrase gets the best response from bystanders. Break glass or blow a car horn — anything to bring attention to your plight.
– There is strength in numbers. Join with neighbors to start an effective Community Watch in your community.
– Never carry large sums of money.
– Carry your purse firmly near your body.
– Avoid flashing money or expensive jewelry.
– Avoid being in isolated areas where an assailant can easily attack you without being witnessed.
– If confronted in an assaultive manner, remove yourself from the situation ASAP and notify the Sheriff’s Office.
– If you are the target of an armed robbery, give the robber what he wants and seek safety immediately. Remember, material possessions can be replaced; your life cannot!
Physical security constitutes 90 percent of burglary prevention. If your home is locked and unauthorized entry is made difficult, time consuming, and conspicuous, chances of a successful burglary are minimized.
• Locks on all outside entrances should be double-cylinder deadbolts with movable collars.
• Door jams must be solid. Exposed hinges should be pinned to prevent removal.
• Windows should have secure locks and should stay locked.
• Lights must provide optimum visibility inside and out, with vandal-proof covers over the outside lights and power source.
• The perimeter must be well-lit, especially around all entry points.
• Alarm systems should be supplied by a licensed alarm company with a central monitoring station.
• Your NCDL or Social Security number should be engraved on enticing objects.
• Keep accurate records of serial numbers on all items to help in recovery.
Home Security Tips
Often, an intruder will be deterred from entering your home if you make it a noisy, difficult, time-consuming, and highly visible task.
• When away, try to make your home look as if it is occupied. Leave lights and a radio on.
• Have a friend or neighbor get your mail and newspaper, or cut the grass if needed.
• Be creative when hiding your valuables; burglars often go straight to the bedroom to look under mattresses, in bedside stands, and in closets for money and jewelry.
• Be a nosy neighbor by reporting any suspicious activity.
Auto Theft is big business and the “pros” can enter and steal a car within seconds. By following a few common rules when using your automobile, you can greatly reduce your chance of becoming a victim of theft.
• Always lock your vehicle;
• Park in well-lit, populated areas that are easily observed by passers-by;
• Never leave the keys inside your car or the engine running unattended;
• Engrave audio and phone equipment with your NCDL or ID number;
• Always lock valuables in the trunk; never leave them in plain view.
In the event of an auto theft, have a thorough description of your vehicle (including serial and license plate numbers) ready for the police. Report the stolen vehicle as soon as possible!
In order to deter a potential thief, a bicycle should have its owner’s NCDL or other ID number engraved on its frame. This number, along with the bicycle’s serial number and description, should be recorded and kept on hand for police in case of a theft. A few proactive steps can also be taken to increase the security of your bicycle.
• Never leave your bicycle unattended.
• Always store your bicycle in a safe place.
• If you cannot store your bike inside, secure it from theft with a good chain and lock.
• Avoid leaving even a locked bicycle in a public area overnight.
• Do not leave detachable items unsecured on your bicycle. If you have a pouch for carrying money and small items attached to your seat, empty it or take it with you.