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Safety Tips

Courtesy HPD

 

 

 

I.                HOME

 

Try “casing” your own home, at night and/or during the day. Attempt to gain

access when locked and “secure.” If possible, invite a security survey from your

local Police department.

A. Drapes and Shades-

Draw the drapes and pull the shades. If the drapes are thin or worn, you may

want to consider investing in a heavier fabric o prevent silhouetting.

B. Outdoor Lighting-

Good outdoor lighting will deter crime greatly. Lighting around doors and

corners are important. Driveways and parking areas need lighting also. Motion

Detectors for exterior lighting, is highly recommended. Installation of ground

lights will help with walk ways and doorways.

C. Shrubs and Bushes-

Try to keep the bushes and shrubs trimmed for consistent shape, which will make

it easier to detect motion near windows. Replace and or trim large shrubs and

bushes close to doorways and window. I is recommended that bushes under

windows be kept at least 6” below the ledge.

D. Doors and Locks-

Consider investing in solid doors and good locks, preferably dead bolts. Also

consider installing a one-way “peep” hole. Consider keeping your bedroom door

closed and locked at night, and remember doors with windows close to the door

knob could provide a means of easy access for and intruder.

E.Windows-

Are there locks on your window? Do you use the locks? Windows are and often

used entry point for criminal. Even on second floors!!

F. Spare Key-

Hiding spare keys outside of a residence is a dangerous practice. Leave one with

a family member or a trusted neighbor or friend. Give a description of any “key

holder” to the police when you go out of town, if your residence will be checked

periodically by them.

G. Knock on door-

Before opening the door, check through the peep hole, and consider calling out

“who is it”? it is a good idea to check and verify all professionals, including

police (I.D.). Never buy from the front door, personal checks can cause too much

information to a bad guy.

H. Harassing Calls-

Your best strategy is to hang up immediately. If it continues, you are encouraged

to call police and report it. Try to have a phone in your bedroom with lighted

number pad, for night time emergencies.

 

II.              OUT AND ABOUT

 

If gone for and extended period of time, consider stopping paper and mail

delivery or have someone pick up your mail and newspaper. You may even want

to give someone a key and have them alternate the lights that are left on, or use

light timers.

A.Prepare for your -return

Consider leaving on some lights, inside and outside. Also think about leaving on

the television and or the radio. Timers here are useful.

B.Neighbors-

Get to know your neighbors and if you feel you can trust them, learn each others

schedules. Watch out for each other. Talk about emergency phone numbers for

notification purposes.

C.Returning Home-

Be cautious. If you see anything out of the ordinary, call the police.. let the police

investigate!

 

III.            YOUR VEHICLE

 

Before getting into your vehicle, give it a visual check. If it has been tampered

with, notify police as soon as possible. Try not to touch or get into the vehicle.

Look under the vehicle during approach. Have your vehicle serviced regularly.

Check oil, tires, fluids, water, etc. When at the service station, take your car keys

off your key ring and leave only them. Try to maintain one forth of a tank of gas

in the car.

A. Visual Scan-

After scanning the vehicle and it appears safe, unlock the door and check the back

seat and the floor area. If it is clear, go ahead and get in. be wary of mechanisms

that will allow you to unlock all four doors while approaching the vehicle.

B. Once Inside-

Remember to lock all doors, and consider keeping the windows rolled up as far as

the weather permits. Place your purse or valuable out of sight.

C. Being Followed-

If you think you are being followed, instead of going home, make a few extra

turns, but try to be familiar with the area your are in. When convinced that you

are being followed, drive to the nearest police of fire station. Avoid stopping at

isolated pay phones. Try not to become separated from populated areas, find 24

hour shopping areas if other options are not available. It is not recommended that

you pick up hitch-hikers.

D. Disabled Vehicle-

If you become stranded on the highway, think safety, and consider staying in your

vehicle. Turn on the four-way flashers, and then wait for the police or road

service to arrive. If you have a flat tire, and you know how to repair it, then

attempt to do so. If you’re interrupted during the changing process, pick up your

tools and get in the vehicle. A “call Police” Sign may be placed in the rear

window of a disabled vehicle, but try not to completely block your vision. Be

wary of vehicles bumping into you to simulate an accident. If it is only a bump

and not an accident, consider continuing to your destination and calling the police

when your arrive there. Cellular phones can be a tremendous help in these

situations.

E. Assistance-

Be cautious of the “helpful stranger” as this person may intend to harm your

rather than help you. Ask them to call the police or service station, stay with your

vehicle and wait for help to arrive. If possible, obtain a cell phone, 911 calls go

directly to the jurisdiction you are in.

F. Parking-

When driving into a shopping mall or similar complex, try to park in a well-lit

area; also consider backing into the space. A lighted area should keep vandals

away from your vehicle. Also try to avoid parking next to vans, and be cautious

when returning to a vehicle parked next to a van. When walking back to your car,

try not to walk close to other parked cars, try staying in the center of the access

way. This will give you more reaction time. When in an angled parking lot, walk

with the direction of traffic flow in the lot.

G. Keys-

Being ready for an encounter is to your advantage? Try to have your keys in your

hand. This provides you with a tool which can be used for self-defense, and

allows for quicker access once you arrive at your vehicle. If used for defense,

attack the eyes. Lacing keys between fingers in not very effective and may hurt

your hands.

 

IV.             PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

 

A. Elevator-

When on an elevator, be aware of other people. If they get off on your floor, try

to be sure that you’re not followed to your room. Attempt to stand close to the

control panel with your back against the elevator wall. Identify important buttons

and or the telephone; these buttons are the alarm, door open, floor buttons, etc…

Avoid pushing the large Red Stop button, as this will cause the elevator to stop

immediately, you want the door to open if there is a problem.

B. Plane-

When in an airport, there is no way of knowing who could read your luggage tag,

so try to use a business card with a covered holder. Also, it is a good idea to place

your work address inside your luggage in case of loss.

C. Bus-

Try to sit next to the driver. If possible, avoid sitting next to rear doors. Consider

exiting near lighted areas and try to avoid dark bus stops, if possible.

D. Taxi-

Consider calling ahead and find out the distance you are traveling and how long it

will take to get there, dispatchers can often give drivers name. ask the driver his

name when he arrives and use it or the cab number in conversation.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

A. Advertising-

Be careful about how your name is listed on your mailbox or how it is listed in the

telephone directory, consider using initials for both. Personal checks are also a

concern since they usually have your life history on them. If you need to put an

address on your checks, consider using a post office box. If a cashier asks for a

phone number, take the check back and write it on the check for him/her. A

check card or debit card would be safer.

B. Clothing-

Consider wearing clothing that is non-restrictive and athletic type shoes or shoes

without a heel. Practice defensive techniques in desired clothing that may be

restrictive, this will test your mobility, as your may need to adjust your plan of

action to accommodate clothing or footwear. It may be helpful to carry two sets

of shoes’ one pair for travel and one pair for office.

C. Exercising-

Try to exercise with a partner. When walking or running, try to stay on main

roads and populated areas. Vary running or walking routes and times to avoid

predictability. Running or walking with a headset on, could prevent you from

hearing the approach of a vehicle or attacker. Try to walk or run against traffic.

(When walking, use some sort of walking stick for your protection).

 

CAUTION

All of the above mentioned items are positive steps to

help reduce the chances of becoming victimized.

1. Use these items as risk reducing steps, but they are

not FOOLPROOF”. Nothing works all the time,

and there are no guarantees.

2. Being aware of yourself and your surroundings is

probably the single most important aspect of

avoiding an attack.

3. These strategies are actually preparatory steps for

your overall safety. With out some preparation you

may increase your already statistically significant

chances of being selected as a target.