Follow these tips for personal safety
No one likes to think about becoming the victim of a crime. But every day houses are broken into, purses get stolen, and people are robbed at bank machines. In fact, a violent crime occurs about every 17 seconds in this country. How can you protect yourself? Being prepared can help.
Practice Safety at Home
If you were locked out of your house, would you still be able to get in? Maybe you keep a window unlocked in the back, or a hidden key on top of a window ledge.
You may think this is a good idea, but guess what? If you can break in, so can a burglar.
One out of ten houses will be broken into this year, Here are tips for protecting your home.
- Keep the entrance well-lit and clear of any bushes or shrubs, which can give burglars a hiding place.
- Have at least one dead-bolt lock on your front and back doors.
- Make sure sliding glass doors are secure. Install a commercial lock or put a broomstick in the inside track to jam the door.
- Don't give housekeys to workmen, mechanics, or other strangers.
- Be suspicious of people who ask to use your telephone because their car is broke down. Offer to call someone of the police for help, but do not let them into your home.
- If you travel, create the illusion that you're home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your home. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty home. Don't let your mail pile up. Have a neighbor pick it up.
- Get an alarm, especially if you have many valuables in your home, or live in an isolated area.
- If you hear someone break into your home, do not confront the burglar. Lock yourself and your family in a room with a phone and call the police immediately.
Follow these rules of the road:
Car-related crimes are on the rise. To protect yourself in your car, follow these rules:
- Plan ahead. Many crime situations are created a s a result of running out of gas or getting lost.
- Always keep your doors locked and your windows rolled up.
- Don't drive with your purse on the seat next to you. The best place for it is on the floor behind the driver's seat, where it is out of view.
- When stopped at a light, leave enough space between your car and the car in front of you so you can drive away if necessary.
- Always park in a well lit area. Have your keys ready in your hand and look in the back seat before getting into your car.
- Avoid driving alone. Go with someone whenever possible, especially at night.
- If you're bumped by another car, look aron\und before getting out. Make sure there are other cars around, and check out the car that's rear ended you and who's in it. If the situation makes you uneasy, jot down the car's tag number and description; signal the other car to follow you. Drive to the nearest police station.
- If your car breaks down, be wary of the person who offers to help. Keep your doors locked and ask someone to call the police for you.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers.
Beware at the Bank!
ATMs (automated teller machines) are a criminals dream. It's best to avoid using one at night, but if you have to, follow these safety tips:
- Choose ATMs that are well-lit and in public view. If possible, use one that is indoors such as in a grocery or a gas station.