Personal Safety

Personal Safety Tips For Where You Live, Work and Study.

No lock works unless you use it! Always lock the doors to your building, residence hall, or office when you leave and before you go to sleep. Never leave a door propped open - even for a friend. Lock windows that are accessible from the outside. Never leave keys hidden near your door. Keep house and car keys on separate chains, and when leaving your car for service or in a parking lot, leave only your ignition key. Do not attach your address to your key chain. Request that service people show proper credentials before you let them in. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, do not open your door. Instead, offer to call for emergency assistance for them. Report any unusual or suspicious activity near your home or room, or around neighbors' homes or apartments to the Department of Public Safety.

If You Live Alone: Use an initial for your first name for directories, all mailing addresses and on your mailbox. Report repeated harassing or suspicious or "wrong number" calls to police. Avoid using common laundry facilities if you will be alone in the room.

If You Are The Victim of a Break-In: Should you spot a burglar leaving your room, do not try to stop them. Get out of the building, or get out of their way. Avoid any face-to-face confrontation. Should you enter your room and find evidence of a break-in, do not touch anything. Leave everything as is until the police can inspect the area for evidence.

When Walking: Walk with someone else. Two is good, but three or more is better. Use Safe Walk, offered by the Department of Public Safety. Be alert, observant and aware of your surroundings and any other people on the street with you. Plan your route before you go out and know where to find the emergency telephones on campus, and avoid dark or deserted streets, alleys, parking lots, parks, or areas known to have crime problems. Conceal necklaces and other jewelry. If you carry a purse, briefcase, or backpack, keep only a small amount of cash in it. Carry your keys, your identification and anything else of value concealed on your person. The carrying of Mace or other chemicals for your protection is not recommended. Some sprays may not have a disabling affect, and as with any weapon, a spray could be used against you.

If You Must Walk Alone: Use a route where there will be lots of people. Walk purposefully, briskly and keep moving. Walk in the center of the sidewalk - away from buildings, doorways, hedges and parked cars. Walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic. You can see a suspicious car more readily, and the car will have to turn around to pursue you. Avoid travelling the same route every day, if possible. Should a stranger try to engage you in conversation, use good judgment before stopping to talk. Have your key (to your home or car) ready. Should you be dropped off by taxi or friend, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.

If You Sense A Potential Threat: Activate one of the campus emergency telephones. Be aware of your surroundings. Think first, then take action. Join up with any group of people nearby. Cross the street and increase your pace. Go to a well-lit public place and call the Department of Public Safety immediately. Should you believe a threat is imminent and you see people nearby to help, yell, scream, or make a commotion to attract attention and run toward any crowd of people. Should you see someone else in trouble, call the Department of Public Safety immediately.

If You Are Facing An Armed Criminal: Should you be the victim of a street crime, how you react can affect whether or not you are physically harmed. You will have to make the decision, and it helps to think ahead about how you might react under a variety of circumstances. Should you resist a street crime, the likelihood of personal injury is greatly increased. The risk of injury is minimized by cooperation, avoidance of sudden moves and giving the criminal whatever is requested. Try to get an accurate and complete description of the assailant, their car or bicycle and the direction of their escape. Report the crime as soon as you can.