Compiled by Dick Oakes
In the Home
- Lock doors at all times, even during the day.
- Use a peephole or ask for identification before opening the door. Install peepholes in entry doors to see who's outside, if you don't already have one.
- Door chains are NOT security devices; they break easily and won't keep intruders out.
- If a stranger asks to use the phone, do NOT allow them in. Offer to call for emergency assistance.
- If windows or doors have been forced or broken while you were out, DO NOT ENTER OR CALL OUT! Usa a neighbor's phone, call 9-1-1, and wait until help arrives.
- Always close and lock garage doors before driving away.
- When returning home, don't leave house keys in the door after opening it.
- Never put keys and pocketbook down just inside the open door while carrying packages inside.
- Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed deadbolt lock with a minimum of 1-1/2 inch bolt.
- Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available locks or with a broomstick or wooden dowel in the track to jam the door in case someone tries to pry it open.
- Make sure windows are of good quality with strong locks; don't forget about basement windows.
- Don't hide keys in mailboxes, planters, or under doormats.
- Give an extra key to a trustworthy neighbor.
- Have locks changed if moving to a new home or apartment.
- Doors should be of good quality with exterior doors made of metal or solid 1-3/4 inch hardwood.
- Trim shrubbery that hides doors or windows.
- Cut tree limbs that could help an intruder climb into windows.
- Turn on outside lights after dark to illuminate porches, entrances, and yards, front and back. Consider timers that turn on outside lights or install motion detectors.
- Make sure the house number is clearly visible so police and emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
- Update or create a home inventory list. Take pictures of personal property and make sure you have a list of items and their serial numbers. Keep this list in a safe place. If your home is burglarized, this can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.
- If you hear a noise that sounds like someone is breaking in or moving around, quietly call the police and wait calmly until they arrive. If you and your family can leave safely, do so. Otherwise, lock everyone in a room. Do NOT be a hero.
Away from Home
- Be alert of surrounding and people.
- Walk confidently at a steady pace making eye contact with people.
- Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
- Stay in well-lit areas as much as possible. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide.
- Although a purse-snatcher's intent is to steal the purse, the grabbing and shoving that can take place may result in injury. Carry a purse securely between arm and body.
- Do not converse with strangers -- continue walking.
In the Car
- Lock car doors after entering or leaving the vehicle.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Have car keys in hand before entering the car.
- Check the backseat before entering the car.
- Drive to a well-lit public place if being followed.
- If a car breaks down, open the hood and attach a white cloth to the antenna. If someone stops to help, stay in the locked car and aske them to call police or a garage.
- Don't help broken-down motorists. Call for help.
- If driven home, request driver to wait until you are safely inside.
In the Office
- Never leave a purse or billfold in plain view or in the pocket of a jacket hanging on a door.
- Personal property should be marked with identification.
- Don't leave cash or other valuables at the office.
- If in an elevator with another person, stand near the control panel. If attacked, press the alarm and control buttons.
- Be alert to pickpockets on crowed elevators.
- If working alone or non-business hours, lock your office door.
- Report suspicious persons or activities to authorities.
- Know esape routes for emergencies and post your emergency numbers near telephones.