We can't always control the environment around us, but there is a lot we can do to protect ourselves from becoming victims of crimes. Personal safety is important to remember wherever you are - whether at home or in public.
Safety TipsHere are a few general safety tips to consider:
- Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid "automatic pilot". Scan the area around you.
- Plan your route, stick to well-lit areas avoiding shortcuts, walking alone at night, uninhabited parks, garages and alleyways. Use common sense and pay attention to uneasy feelings.
- Develop a plan before you see trouble. Know who is nearby to help.
- Consider wearing clothes and shoes that are comfortable, appropriate for the weather and you can move freely and quickly in.
- Before you leave home decide what you actually need to take rather than automatically taking your entire handbag or wallet. Carry minimal items and never carry those items in your back pocket - keep them in your front pockets.
- If you carry a purse, keep it close to you (the front of the body is best). Don't dangle it on your arm. Never leave it unattended in a shopping cart.
- Don't display large sums of cash and don't carry more cash than necessary. Use checks, check cards or credit and debit cards where possible and use only ATM's in well-lit, busy areas. Immediately put your card away before leaving the ATM machine.
- Lock your car door while driving and when you leave your car.
- Park in busy, well-lit, open areas. Do not leave packages or valuables inside a car. If they must be left in the car, lock them in the trunk.
- Keep your car in good mechanical condition to minimize the possibility of a breakdown. This includes keeping the gas tank at least half full, current road maps, emergency equipment and extra clothes or blankets if traveling in cold winter areas.
- If you do breakdown, stay inside your locked car. Use a cell phone to call for help. If another motorist or passerby stops to see if you need help, ask them to call police or your auto club. Crack the window slightly to speak to them but do not get out of the car until police or a tow truck arrives.