Protecting Yourself at Home

  • Lock your door, even when you intend to return home shortly or even if you are just going down the hall. It takes a thief ten seconds or less to enter an open room and steal your property.
  • Lock or secure doors and windows when you are alone or asleep.
  • Keep emergency numbers by your phone.
  • Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are away and when you will return.
  • Do not let strangers enter your home.
  • Do not prop open outer doors.
  • If someone asks to use your phone for an emergency call, offer to telephone for them instead of allowing them access.
  • Do not put your address on your key ring.
  • Know your neighbors.
  • Do not leave keys in hiding places. Thieves will find them. Carry your keys or make sure that anyone who truly needs them has their own copy.
  • Call 911 to report suspicious persons or activity in or around your neighborhood.
  • Open a savings or checking account instead of keeping money in your room.
  • Keep automatic teller machine cards in a safe place, keep your PIN number secret. When possible, only use ATMs during the day.
  • Instead of carrying large sums of cash use a charge card. Some charge cards insure property purchased with those cards against loss, theft or damage.
  • If you find yourself in immediate danger, call 911; try to stay calm and get away at the first opportunity.

Protect Yourself When Walking

  • Avoid walking alone at night unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep to well lit commonly traveled routes.
  • Avoid shortcuts and dark, isolated areas.
  • Walk purposefully, know where you are going, and project a no-nonsense image.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous situations.
  • If you feel threatened, cross the street, locate an emergency phone, or enter a store or place of business even if you have just left it.
  • Have your door keys ready; carry them in your pockets, not buried in a purse.

Protect Your Automobile, Bicycle or Moped

  • Always lock your car. (one in five stolen cars was left with keys in the ignition.)
  • Lock bikes to immovable objects or bike racks with hardened alloy locks and chains or U-shaped lock
  • Do not leave tempting valuables or property visible inside the car. Lock these items in the trunk.
  • Lock mopeds as you would bikes.

Protecting Yourself When Driving

  • Look into your car before getting in. Lock doors and roll up windows once inside for protection.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Carry change for emergency calls. 911 is a free call.
  • Drive to a police or fire station or open place of business if you feel you are being followed.
  • Do not stop to help occupants of stopped or disabled vehicles.
  • Continue driving to the nearest phone and call assistance for them.
  • Raise the hood, and then lock yourself into your car if it breaks down. If someone stops and offers you help, remain in your car and ask them to phone for help. Do not worry about seeming rude.

Protect Yourself At Night

  • Travel with a friend or in a group
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid dark, vacant or deserted areas; use well-lit, well-traveled routes.
  • Dress in clothes and shoes which will not hamper movemen

If You Sense You Are In Trouble:

  • Move away from the potential threat if possible.
  • Join any group of people nearby; cross the street and increase your pace.
  • If a threatening situation is imminent, and people are close by to help, yell, scream or make a commotion in any way you can to get their attention.
  • Go to an open business.
  • Call 911 from a safe location