Safety Tips

Safety Tips

Act on your intuition. It's better to be safe and risk a little embarrassment, than to stay in a potentially unsafe situation.

If you suspect that someone is following you, by foot or in a car, don't go home. Go to a public place to call police, or go directly to the police station.

If you are in danger and need help, yell "Call 911!" or give specific directions to onlookers. For example, "You! Get the police!" or "Walk me to the store on the corner, I'm being followed."

Have your keys ready when approaching your car or building.

Vary your routine. Drive or walk different routes every day.

Do not label keys with your name or any identification.

Keep all entrances well-lit.

Install high quality locks on all doors and windows.

Do not use your full name on your mailbox, in the phone directory, or on your voicemail greeting.

Know which of your neighbors you can trust in an emergency.

Check who is at the door before opening it; do not open the door to an unexpected visitor.

Don't hide extra keys in easily accessible places. Criminals will find them.

Do not use your full name on your mailbox, in the phone directory, or on your voicemail greeting.

Service employees should carry photo ID when visiting homes. If you are suspicious, call to verify employment.

Consider creating a "safe room" with a separate telephone line or cellular phone, and strong locks. If someone breaks in, your family can retreat there and call for help.

Play outside or ride bikes in pairs or groups. 

Most children are harmed by someone they know – not by a stranger.  Make sure your child knows body safety and who to talk to if they feel uncomfortable in any way.

Teach children firearm safety. If they find a gun, don’t touch it and tell an adult right away.

Go over boundaries for playing outside. Establish where they are going to play and re-affirm never to play in the street.

Teach your children about “stranger danger.” Never talk to strangers and never accept gifts or a ride from someone you don’t know.

Tell your children about ploys that strangers may use to get kids into their vehicles.  Examples are asking kids to help look for a lost pet, or telling a child that their parent sent the stranger to pick them up.

Teach kids to not open the door to strangers if they are home alone.

Make sure your kids know who can pick them up from school or other places – and have a plan for what to do if you don’t show up on time. 

Always have a meeting place for the kids to meet you if they get lost while you’re in public.

Teach your kids your name, address, and phone number.

For small children, write your phone number inside their clothing or shoes with a permanent marker in case they become lost. 


Keep your home computer in a public part of the house, not in a child's bedroom.

Sign an “Internet Safety Contract” with children outlining when, where, and for how long they are allowed to be online or on their phones.

Use a firewall, virus protection, and parental controls on every computer connected to the Internet.

Never respond to unsolicited emails, especially if they are requesting any type of personal information. Legitimate companies will never ask for your social security number, your bank account number, or other personal information by email.

Shred old financial documents and pre-approved credit card offers.

Check your credit report every year.

Safeguard your social security number at all times. Do not use it for any type of ID number, including internet passwords.

Check inside and around your car before entering to ensure no one is hiding there.

Plan your route and check a map before you start out – don’t rely solely on GPS apps.

Always carry safety gear: flashlight, flares, fix-a-flat, maps, layers of clothing, first aid kit, empty gas can, cellular phone cord or extra batteries.

Learn basic auto maintenance, such as how to fix a flat tire.

Don't let gas indicator fall below ¼ tank.

Keep doors locked and windows rolled up while driving.

Don't pick up hitchhikers.

If you see an accident or stranded motorist and you don’t feel safe stopping, report it by phone.

Park in well-lighted, heavily traveled areas if possible.

Check your surroundings before getting out of your car.

Lock your doors and don't leave valuables in plain sight inside your car.

Give only the ignition key to a parking attendant.


If greeted by a strange dog, let it sniff the back of your hand before you try to pet it.

When confronted by an aggressive animal, do not run – this will trigger the animal’s instinct to chase.  Instead, make yourself “big” and don’t look stare at its eyes.  Back away slowly until the animal is out of sight.

If you are attacked by an animal, curl your body into a ball and protect your face and neck.  Try not to scream or roll around.