Be aware of your surroundings. Look around, stay alert, be observant.

At home

  • List only your last name and initials on your mailbox and in the phone directory
  • Have locks changed when you move into a new residence and give copies of keys only to people you know
  • Be sure you lock all doors. If you leave your residence for only a short time, to take our the garbage or get the mail, always lock your doors
  • Install dead bolt locks and use them! Do not rely on chain locks
  • Install a wide-angle viewer in your door so you have a clear view of people outside
  • Keep windows secured. If existing locks are insufficient, install new ones. Lock sliding glass doors
  • Make sure you have the shades or blinds on every window and put them down at dusk
  • Make sure the entry way to your home is well lit
  • If upon your return home you find a door or window open, or suspect that you have been burglarized, do not enter. Notify the police
  • Never open the door until visitors identify themselves and you are satisfied with their reason for the visit
  • Do not leave spare keys under the doormat, on the door sill or any other obvious place
  • If someone drives you home, have them wait until you are safely inside, then signal by flashing a light
  • Always have your key in hand upon returning home so you can open your door immediately
  • Never reveal any personal information over the telephone. Never let a caller know that you are alone. Notify police immediately if you receive any obscene phone calls.
  • If you use a telephone answering machine, be careful about the kind of message you record. Use “we” rather than “I”; don’t give your phone number, and don’t give any information that implies you re not at home. An example is, “We cant’ come to the phone right now, leave your number and we’ll call you back.”
    A message with a male’s voice in the recording can also be helpful.

Walking or jogging

  • Avoid walking or jogging alone, especially at night or in isolated areas
  • If you must frequently walk alone at night, vary your route
  • Don’t wear headphones, you may not hear an attacker’s approach
  • Never hitchhike or pick up a hitchhiker
  • Look around when you’re at a bus stop or train station to be sure you are not being followed
  • If you suspect someone is following you, cross the street and keep crisscrossing from one side to the other
  • Avoid shortcuts like alleys, backyards or parking lots
  • Walk close to the curb or roadway - away from shrubbery, doorways and alleys where rapists can hide
  • Dress in a manner which allows you freedom of movement
  • Arrange things you carry so you can easily get your keys
  • Let someone know your destination, route and time of return
  • Never accept a ride from a stranger
  • If you are asked for directions, never get too close to the car when you reply


  • Keep you car in good running order. Items such as hoses, belts, and tires should be checked regularly
  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full. Make a habit of checking gas, oil and battery gauges
  • Have car keys in hand before reaching your car so you can get in quickly
  • Lock doors immediately upon entering the car
  • Plan ahead. Know your destination and route. Carry a map
  • Drive on well-traveled and well-lit roads whenever possible. Carry a car phone if you regularly travel isolated roads
  • Always keep you car doors locked. Use caution in lowering your windows in slow moving traffic and on isolated roads
  • Never leave keys in the ignition. Lock the car and take the keys
  • Park in a well-lit area at night. In a parking lot, park directly under a lamp post
  • Before exiting or entering your car, look around for loiterers
  • Check inside and underneath your car before you unlock the door and enter
  • When stopped at a light or in traffic, keep your car in gear. If you feel threatened, hold your hand on the horn and drive away as soon as possible
  • Check frequently in your rear view mirror. If you think you are being followed, never drive home or pull over in a deserted area. Drive to the nearest police station, fire station, gas station, or well-lit building and honk your horn until help arrives
  • Do not stop to aid a disabled vehicle. Call the police instead
  • If your car becomes disabled, more to the shoulder, raise the front hood, then stay in your car. Lock the doors and don’t open the windows. If someone stops to assist, talk through the closed window only
  • Keep a sign in your car that you can put in your rear view window which reads “Call Police.” Someone may call for help and anyone with bad intentions will be deterred by thinking the police are on their way

At work

  • Never work alone in the office, especially before or after hours. Discuss your safety with your supervisor
  • Always let the front desk or night staff know you are in the building after hours
  • Use the “buddy system.” Always walk with someone else to and from the worksite
  • If you work in an isolated area, discuss your safety with your supervisor
  • Report poorly lit areas surrounding the worksite and inadequate staffing at worksite entrances
  • Always have the police emergency phone number at your desk or programmed into your phone
  • Discuss your safety concerns with your supervisor before accepting work before or after regular working hours