Personal Safety

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Personal safety covers a wide variety of subjects and themes. In order to stay safe, one should be aware of their surroundings. Take immediate action when a situation is uncomfortable. A few simple precautions can reduce the risk to one’s personal safety.


  • Keep doors locked
  • Don’t answer door to strangers
  • Don’t invite strangers into home
  • The telephone also provides access to one's home. Don't give out personal information over the telephone
  • For comprehensive security tips, refer to the Home Security Guide


  • Observe surroundings. Watch for any suspicious persons, occupied vehicles close by or odd circumstances
  • Use the ATM during normal business hours
  • Be ready to transact business. Have ATM card, deposits, and other paperwork ready and in hand
  • Remain observant while using the ATM
  • Leave quickly. Do not count money received from the ATM
  • If approached, leave the area immediately and call 9-1-1
  • Report any suspicious persons or activity to law enforcement authorities

Parking lots

  • Park under a street light
  • Lock vehicle
  • Keep keys in hand. Check around and inside vehicle before entering. Once inside vehicle, lock doors for safety
  • Don't be overloaded with packages
  • Keep purse on side of body away from traffic
  • Be wary of people sitting in parked cars nearby
  • Ask for a security escort

Out & about

  • There is safety in numbers. Whenever possible, don’t go out alone. Go out late in pairs
  • Walk confidently, directly, at a steady pace
  • Keep purse inside coat or wear a fanny back or backpack
  • Walk facing traffic
  • Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys
  • Know area well enough to know where to go for help
  • If followed, change direction by crossing the street or turning around
  • Be cautious of people asking for directions, the time or money. Keep a buffer distance from strangers
  • If attacked, make a lot of noise - attract attention. Yell "Call the police" rather than "help"
  • If followed in a vehicle, stay on busy streets. Do not drive home. Call 9-1-1 on cell phone and go to the nearest police station, fire station, or business.
  • If car breaks down and someone stops to help, stay in locked vehicle and ask them to call police

Running or walking

  • Notify a family member or friend of exercise plans, including departure and return time
  • Jog or walk with a known companion
  • Be alert, walk with authority, look ahead and scan surroundings
  • Attempt to keep unfamiliar people at a distance
  • Always jog or walk in a familiar area; avoid heavily wooded, poorly lighted, rural or secluded areas
  • Be aware of surroundings; avoid wearing earphones that will prevent hearing surrounding activity
  • Wear bright colored clothing to improve visibility; avoid exercising after dark
  • Vary route and schedule. Seek immediate help from any nearby residence, open business or group of people if followed
  • Carry a cell phone to use for emergencies; minimize phone conversations, which distract and increase vulnerability
  • Be alert to someone who asks for directions and continues to engage in conversation