Home and Personal Safety Tips

Burglary Prevention 

Physical security constitutes 90 percent of burglary prevention. If your home is locked and unauthorized entry is made difficult, time consuming, and conspicuous, chances of a successful burglary are minimized. 

  • Locks on all outside entrances should be double-cylinder deadbolts with movable collars. 
  • Door jams must be solid. Exposed hinges should be pinned to prevent removal. 
  • Windows should have secure locks and should stay locked. 
  • Lights must provide optimum visibility inside and out, with vandal-proof covers over the outside lights and power source. 
  • The perimeter must be well-lit, especially around all entry points. 
  • Alarm systems should be supplied by a licensed alarm company with a central monitoring station. 
  • Your NCDL or Social Security number should be engraved on enticing objects. 
  • Keep accurate records of serial numbers on all items to help in recovery. 

Home Security Tips 

Often, an intruder will be deterred from entering your home if you make it a noisy, difficult, time-consuming, and highly visible task. 

  • When away, try to make your home look as if it is occupied. Leave lights and a radio on. 
  • Have a friend or neighbor get your mail and newspaper, or cut the grass if needed. 
  • Be creative when hiding your valuables; burglars often go straight to the bedroom to look under mattresses, in bedside stands, and in closets for money and jewelry. 
  • Be a nosy neighbor by reporting any suspicious activity. 

If your community has a Community Watch, join it and support it. If not, hold a meeting with 
your neighbors to discuss starting such a program in your neighborhood. 

Vehicle Theft 

Auto Theft is big business and the "pros" can enter and steal a car within seconds. By following 
a few common rules when using your automobile, you can greatly reduce your chance of 
becoming a victim of theft.

  • Always lock your vehicle; 
  • Park in well-lit, populated areas that are easily observed by passers-by; 
  • Never leave the keys inside your car or the engine running unattended; 
  • Engrave audio and phone equipment with your NCDL or ID number; 
  • Always lock valuables in the trunk; never leave them in plain view. 

In the event of an auto theft, have a thorough description of your vehicle (including serial and license plate numbers) ready for the police. Report the stolen vehicle as soon as possible! 

Bicycle Theft 

In order to deter a potential thief, a bicycle should have its owner's NCDL or other ID number engraved on its frame. This number, along with the bicycle's serial number and description, should be recorded and kept on hand for police in case of a theft. A few proactive steps can also be taken to increase the security of your bicycle. 

  • Never leave your bicycle unattended. 
  • Always store your bicycle in a safe place. 
  • If you cannot store your bike inside, secure it from theft with a good chain and lock. 
  • Avoid leaving even a locked bicycle in a public area overnight. 
  • Do not leave detachable items unsecured on your bicycle. If you have a pouch for 
  • carrying money and small items attached to your seat, empty it or take it with you. 

Personal Safety 

The most important tool in crime prevention is your mind. When used effectively and coupled with a confidant attitude and keen awareness, you can avoid dangerous confrontations with potential assailants. This will decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Conversely, a timid or fearful demeanor signals a would-be assailant that you are an easy target. Make it a habit to protect yourself from harm by using common sense and a few standard security devices. But remember, even the most expensive security devices will not keep you safe if you do not use them. 

Here are some tips to reduce your chance of being victimized: 

  • Answer doors and phones so a potential burglar will know your home is occupied. 
  • Never tell a caller you are alone; give the impression that someone is with you. 
  • Look through the peephole to see who is outside the door. Never open it to anyone you do not know and trust. 
  • Verify repairmen with their dispatchers before allowing them inside; have a friend with you or have them call you several times; make these precautions obvious. 
  • If someone you do not know asks to make an emergency phone call, do not open the door; make the call for them. 
  • Children are less cautious; be careful about letting them answer the door or phone at an early age. 
  • If you think that a forced entry has been made, do not go inside! Go to a safe place and get help as soon as possible! 
  • Plan escape routes and keep emergency numbers posted by your phones. 
  • In apartment complexes, be cautious of laundry rooms, parking lots, and isolated areas; insist that they be well-lit; use them only when accompanied by a trusted friend or neighbor. 
  • Consider installing a Caller-ID system to your existing phone line. 
  • Never give out information about yourself or where you live. 
  • Do not indicate on your mailbox or in the phone directory that you are a female or living alone. 
  • If you are confronted and must yell for help, yell "Fire!" This phrase gets the best response from bystanders. Break glass or blow a car horn -- anything to bring attention to your plight. 
  • There is strength in numbers. Join with neighbors to start an effective Community Watch in your community. 
  • Never carry large sums of money. 
  • Carry your purse firmly near your body. 
  • Avoid flashing money or expensive jewelry. 
  • Avoid being in isolated areas where an assailant can easily attack you without being witnessed. 
  • If confronted in an assaultive manner, remove yourself from the situation ASAP and notify police. 
  • If you are the target of an armed robbery, give the robber what he wants and seek safety immediately. Remember, material possessions can be replaced; your life cannot! 

Travel Safety 

Outside of the home, the most common place for an assault to occur is in a vehicle or on a 
highway. A vehicle is an appealing target for attackers because it provides them with two key 
elements: privacy and mobility. 

  • Travel, walk, and park in lighted, populated areas. 
  • Remember where you park so you can easily find your car. 
  • Ask for an escort if you feel at risk. 
  • Keep some money hidden in your car for taxis or unexpected problems. 
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up at all times, especially while you are in it. 
  • Have your keys ready so you can enter your car quickly. 
  • Before entering, look in, under, and around the car to ensure that no robbers are awaiting your arrival.If anything seems amiss, do not get in your vehicle! Seek safety and ask for help. 
  • Be cautious of anyone standing near your car or offering assistance if it is disabled. This could be a ploy by a potential attacker waiting for his next victim. 
  • Keep your car in good running condition with at least a quarter tank of gas in it at all 
  • times. 
  • Lock gas caps and hood releases to deter sabotage attempts. 
  • Learn to change a flat tire to prevent being stranded. If a flat occurs in an unsafe place, continue driving at a reduced speed until you find a busy, well-lighted place to stop. 
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood or tie a white cloth to your antenna. Stay in your car with the windows up and doors locked. If someone stops, roll down your window slightly and ask them to call the police or a towing service. Display a large "CALL POLICE" sign if you have one. 
  • Do not assist stranded motorists; call the police to assist them as soon as you can. 
  • You must stop your car if you are summoned by a vehicle with blue lights. If you believe, however, that the vehicle is bogus or that you are in danger, drive to a well-lit occupied area before stopping. Unmarked police cars must flash their blue lights and sound their siren if they summon you to stop after dark. 
  • While stopping at an intersection, leave enough room between your car and the one in front of you so you can get around it if necessary. 
  • If someone tries to enter your car and you cannot move it, honk the horn and scream to attract attention. If someone unexpected enters your car, throw the keys out and exit immediately. 
  • An assailant may cause an accident in order to set up his next victim. If you have an accident in an isolated place, drive to the nearest safe place and call police. Safely inform the other driver of these plans. After you have notified police, meet them back at the accident scene. 
  • Carry a cellular phone with battery pack. 
  • Advise friends or family of your travel plans, i.e. departure time, route, stopping points, estimated arrival time, etc. 
  • Know where you are going, the safest routes, and what time you should arrive; have someone monitor your arrival.