Personal Safety Tips

Virtually all activities in life entail some level of risk, and we all have different attitudes toward risk.  What is useful is to accurately assess the risks, take those precautions that make sense, and live as fully as possible. The following tips will not guarantee safety, but they will minimize criminal opportunities.

Keep in Mind Some Rules of Personal Safety

Be aware of your surroundings! Look to see who’s in front of you and behind you. If you’re concerned about your safety, ask a friend to accompany you.
Communicate the message that you’re calm, confident and know where you’re going! Stand tall, walk with purpose, and make eye contact with people around you.
Trust your instincts! If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, simply leave.

When at Home Alone

Have lights at all entrances.
Have good locks on all doors and windows.  Keep them locked even when you are at home.
Check who is at the door before opening it, and do not open the door to an unexpected visitor.
Ask for photo identification of all repairpersons. If you are suspicious, call to verify employment.
If you return home and you suspect forced entry, DON’T GO IN! Call the police to help you check the house.

On The Street When Walking Alone

Walk only on busy, well-lighted streets, even if it makes the trip a little longer.
If using earphones to listen to music, use only one earpiece, enabling you to still hear surrounding sounds.
Carry your cell phone when walking or jogging.
Avoid shortcuts such as parking lots, alleys or parks.
Carry no more money or credit cards than you absolutely need.

Parking and/or Returning To Your Vehicle

Park in a well-lighted area.
Always lock the vehicle doors.
Put valuables in the trunk before you get to your destination.
Be cautious when parking next to a van or large SUV.
Have your key in your hand, ready to unlock your vehicle.
Look around the area to see if someone is loitering around your car.
If you observe anything suspicious walk to where there are other people and call the police.

If Your Vehicle Breaks Down

If you are safely off the roadway, raise the hood. Depending on the situation, it may be a good idea to get back into the vehicle and lock the doors. If you are standing outside your vehicle, be cautious of other vehicles on the roadway.
It would be very helpful to keep an emergency number of someone you can call if your vehicle breaks down.

In A Building

Avoid isolated corridors or hallways.
Be extra careful in stairwells and isolated or poorly lighted restrooms.
Avoid entering an elevator that is occupied by only one other person who is a stranger.
In an elevator, stand near the controls and locate the emergency button.
If you are assaulted while in an elevator, hit the emergency or alarm button and press as many floor buttons as possible.

 No single method is the best in every situation. All situations are different. Every attacker is different. If your first effort doesn’t work, keep thinking and try another method. Passive resistance may not change the attacker’s mind or offer a chance to escape. Active resistance may excite or cause him to use more force than he would have otherwise used. If you choose active resistance, remember to use full force, use a combination of techniques and don’t telegraph what you are about to do by looking in that direction.

References:  ”The Complete Campus Crime Prevention Manual” by The AEGIS Protection Group and Texas A & M University Police Department