Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Robbery can happen at any time. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings but to also know how to protect yourself should you ever be put into a robbery situation.
Always Protect Yourself
- Walk with your head up, make eye contact with others, have confidence and move at a steady pace.
- Stay in well-lit, heavily travelled areas. Avoid alleys, dark parking lots or secluded areas.
- If you wear headphones while walking, keep the volume low so you can hear other noises.
- Avoid texting and walking as your attention is not on where you are going or who is coming toward you.
- Don’t walk alone at night. Walk in groups as there is always safety in numbers.
- If you are going to a particular destination, let someone know you are on your way and approximately what time you will arrive.
- If you are carrying a wallet, keep it in your purse or bag and carry it close to your body. Do not leave personal items unattended at any time.
- Vary your route. Take a different path so you don’t become predictable.
What If I Get Robbed?
- Don’t panic. Stay calm and breathe and just let the robber have whatever they want. Your personal safety is worth more than anything you may have
on your person.
- Remember what the robber looks like. Look for distinguishing marks, scars and tattoos. Compare your height and weight to that of the attacker.
- If the aggressor states they have a weapon, assume this is true and that they may use it. Fully cooperate with their instructions.
- If you see someone else getting robbed, report it to the police immediately, when it is safe for you to do so.
After a Robbery
- Watch the direction in which the attacker flees. If they are in a vehicle, get the color, make, model and license plate number.
- Notify the police as soon as you can and give them all of the characteristics of the attacker. If your wallet was stolen, notify your bank and credit card companies.
- Go to a safe place. If you are not near your destination, go to a public place for help. If you are near your destination, get there and lock the doors.
- If there are witnesses, ask them to wait for the police, or obtain their contact information.
Protecting Your Home
In many cases of home burglaries, thieves enter the house through a door or window that was left unlocked. The fact is, thieves are “lazy,” and many burglaries can be prevented by using simple strategies to deter them from attempting to enter your home. Keep in mind that there’s more at stake than your possessions — a significant number of violent crimes that occur in the home are committed during household burglaries. Following are some tips on how to protect your home and your family from burglars.
- Lock all doors and windows, including your garage door, when you leave the house and while sleeping.
- Install a dead-bolt and/or a secondary locking system on doors that lead outside. Using a lock that can only be operated from the inside is an extra security measure.
- Remember that patio doors with glass panels can be especially vulnerable. Consider installing double-cylinder locks, where you need a key to unlock both sides, so that a burglar can’t enter your home simply by breaking the glass next to the lock. Also, insert a board at the bottom of the door, to prevent the door from sliding.
- Be suspicious of anyone who asks to enter your home for any type of “maintenance” reason. There are numerous cases of impersonating electricians or gas line inspectors who turn out to be danger ous. Always demand to see an official company ID.
- Install peepholes or wide-angle viewers in your doors.
- Replace burned out light bulbs quickly. Thieves like homes with inadequate lighting. Consider incorporating lighting into your landscaping.
- Keep trees and shrubs around doorways, windows and porches trimmed. The bushes that provide privacy also give burglars a place to hide. Dense shrubs can even make for a makeshift ladder, helping a thief into your home through a window.
- Get involved in a neighborhood watch group. Local police departments can provide you with information on how to establish a watch group in your neighbohood.
- Consider installing an alarm system.
While You’re Away
- Use random access timers that automatically change what time your lights go on and off each night. Lighting patterns that vary appear more natural.
- Ask a neighbor to park his or her car in your driveway.
- Keep expensive items out of view from the yard or the street.
- Have your mail and newspapers picked up by a neighbor or held at the post office.
- Ask your neighbors to call the police if they notice any suspicious activity. Leave a phone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
In Stores and Malls
Personal safety is an issue that concerns everyone. To help you take charge of your own safety in malls and parking areas, remember these safety tips. And don’t hesitate to report any suspicious people and/or situations to mall security officers immediately. They’re there to help you.
In Parking Areas
- Make a mental note of where you parked your vehicle.
- Never park in an isolated area.
- Park in a well-lit area as close as possible to mall entrances.
- Never leave valuable packages in your vehicle.
- Store your packages in the trunk of your car.
- Know your vehicle’s license plate number.
- When leaving your vehicle, make sure all doors are locked and windows closed.
- Have your keys ready when returning to your vehicle.
- Only leave your ignition key with a valet parking attendant.
- When walking to or from your vehicle, avoid dark areas where criminals might hide.
- If you have car trouble, remain in your car and use a cell phone to call for assistance, or return to the mall and notify security.
As You Shop
- Walk confidently and be alert.
- Keep shopping bags in your sight at all times.
- Don’t burden yourself with too many bags or packages.
- Don’t display large sums of cash.
- Use checks or credit cards whenever possible.
- Never leave your credit card on a store counter.
- Carry your handbag or purse close to your body with the clasp or flap toward you.
- Never leave your purse on a store counter, on the floor in a restroom or in a dressing room.
- Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket.
- Shop with friends whenever possible.
- Report suspicious people or situations to mall security.
Back to School Safety
With the beginning of the new school year fast approaching, parents, children and motorists should take time to review some key rules and guidelines to make the school year a safe and enjoyable experience.
Students on the Way to School Should
- Wait for their bus in a safe place, away from traffic and the street.
- Make sure they walk to and from school or the bus stop with others whom they know and trust.
- Tell the driver if they have dropped something near the bus before they retrieve it.
- Keep a safe distance from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver says it is OK to approach and enter.
- Exit the bus and take 10 big steps away from the bus, always maintaining a safe distance from the bus.
- Pay attention to and obey all traffic signals and signs. It is also exceptionally important to be extra careful in foggy, rainy or snowy weather.
- Be in a reliable and responsible carpool, if they are not taking the bus. Carpool drivers should drop youngsters off as close to the school as possible,
- and make sure that they have entered the school or schoolyard before leaving the area.
- Be aware of the street traffic around them. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses and pedestrians; however not all do.
Children on Their Own After School Should
- Be sure to know their home phone number (including area code) and address, the numbers of their parents at work and of another trusted adult.
- Know how to call 911 in emergencies.
- Establish rules for locking doors and windows and answering the door or telephone.
- Have an agreement regarding inviting friends over or going to a friend’s house.
- Never talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers.
- Contact a parent or neighbor when they arrive home if they are staying home alone after school.
- Obey all traffic safety laws!
- Be alert for children walking on the sidewalks, in the road, etc.
- Come to a complete stop—at the minimum distance required by your state—for stopped buses and allow all children to cross the street, if necessary.
- Obey the specially marked speed limit around schools.
Be Safe at work
Accidents and emergency situations can happen in any environment, in any industry, at any time. While our workplaces are often protected by devoted police and security officers and efficient alarm systems, each individual must also take an active role in maintaining a safe work environment. Staying consciously aware of your surroundings and recognizing potential hazards will significantly reduce risks. Even the smallest daily tasks, such as cleaning up minor spills and washing your hands, can make a huge difference.
- Develop and communicate a safety and health policy to all employees.
- Conduct regular safety and health meetings involving employees from all levels.
- Recognize employees for safe and healthful work practices.
Health and Safety
- Have cleaning agents available to everyone to routinely clean and disinfect common areas.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often—for at least 10-20 seconds—to help prevent the spread of illness.
- If you come across a chemical spill and cannot identify the substance, do not touch or move it. Barricade the area, and report the spill.
- Keep an adequate stock of supplies such as batteries, a First Aid kit and flashlights, on hand in case of an emergency.
- Become familiar with the people in your immediate work area to easily identify an individual who may not belong there.
- Lock all the doors and shut down all electrical devices when leaving your work space.
- Never take a hazardous chemical out of its original container and store it in something else.
- Follow manufacturers’ safety guidelines on all equipment.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts and information for employees and clients, and police, fire and paramedic departments.
- Keep combustibles, such as wood, paper and trash, away from all heat sources.
- Report to a supervisor or security official if you observe a stranger or coworker displaying suspicious or potentially threatening behavior.
- Keep access-control codes or keys private.
- Establish and communicate a company emergency/disaster plan to all employees and make sure everyone, including new employees, is educated on the plan.
- Keep all working and walking surfaces free of spills and debris.
- Stay calm and contact help, if necessary, if an incident does occur.