Personal Safety Tips
Traveler Safety Tips
- Don't answer the door in a hotel or motel room without verifying who it is. If a person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and ask if someone from the staff is supposed to have access to your room and for what purpose.
- When returning to your hotel or motel late in the evening, use the main entrance of the hotel. Be observant and look around before entering parking lots.
- Close the door securely whenever you are in your room and use all the locking devices provided.
- Don't needlessly display guest room keys in public or carelessly leave them on restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, or in places where they can easily be stolen.
- Don't draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.
- Don't invite strangers to your room.
- Place all valuables in the hotel or motel's safe deposit box.
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
- Check to see that any sliding glass doors or windows and any connecting room doors are locked.
- If you see any suspicious activity, please report your observations to the management.
Personal Security at ATM's
Be careful when using an automatic teller machine, especially when getting cash. To increase your level of safety at automatic teller machines, follow these basic guidelines:
- Try to use the ATM during daylight hours. If you have to get cash at night, go with someone else and only use machines that are visible from a major street and well lit.
- Look for suspicious people or activity.
- If you notice anything out of the ordinary, even if you have started a transaction, cancel your transaction and leave.
- When entering your secret code, use your body as a shield.
- Always take your transaction receipts and statements.
- Do not count or display money at the ATM.
- Do not accept offers of help from anyone you don't know. If you have problems or questions, contact your bank.
- When you use a drive-up ATM, make sure your passenger windows are closed and all doors are locked.
- Protect your access code.
- Memorize your access code; don't write it down and/or carry it with you.
- Don't use an access code that's the same as other words or numbers in your wallet.
- Never tell your access code to ANYONE !! (including bank employees, the police, etc.)
- Never lend your ATM card to anyone; treat it like cash or a credit card.
- If you lose your ATM card, notify your bank or credit union immediately.
Parking Lot Safety
Don't make Yourself an Easy Target!
- Park in highly visible, well lit areas and be mindful of suspicious activity. Report any lights out or suspicious persons to store personnel or the police.
- Always carefully note where you parked so you don't spend unnecessary time walking around a parking lot.
- Always lock your car doors (even before you buckle up) both when driving and parked. Never leave your keys in your car, whether you're at the gas station or in the parcel pick-up area.
- Limit the amount of time you spend idle in the car.
- Never leave valuables in your car.
Walking to your car:
- Any person walking alone, male or female, is potential prey for assault. Shop with a friend or family member whenever possible.
- Walk purposefully and look confident. Assertive body language can help prevent an attack. Don't slouch...keep your head up. Look as though you would cause an uproar if bothered.
- Try not to carry a lot of packages at once, as this makes you an easy target.
- If you carry a purse, don't dangle it by your side in such a way that a thief can run by you and grab it. Carry your purse close to your body, preferably in front.
- When possible wear shoes and clothing that will not hinder an escape. Sneakers are best, shoes with low heels are your second best bet. Keep a pair in the car if you are going to be out on your way home from work. If you wear high heels and are pursued, kick them off and run barefoot.
- As you walk observe those around you. Notice if there are any strangers sitting in parked cars or standing in your pathway. If so, choose an alternate route and by all means, avoid them.
- Stay away from isolated or poorly lit areas. Avoid walking near shrubbery which can hide attackers.
- Always be alert and aware. Have your car keys in your hand and be ready to unlock the door without delay.
- As you approach your car, look under and around it. Before getting in your car look in the back seat and on the floor.
- Don't place your purse or package on the roof of the car while loading other items.
If you are approached:
- If someone suspicious approaches your car, honk your car's horn. It's one of the loudest and fastest ways to scare off or let others know that you need help.
- If a car approaches you while you are walking, and you are harassed by the occupants, scream and run in the opposite direction so that the driver will have to turn around to pursue you.
- If you feel that you are being followed, walk or run quickly to a lighted store or where crowds of people can offer help if needed. Know where to go for help -- police station, fire house, etc. Do not go home.
- It's a good idea to keep a police whistle on your key chain. If you feel your personal safety is being threatened, follow your instincts. Do anything you can to draw attention. Don't be embarrassed. Scream, yell or blow your whistle.
Other helpful suggestions:
- Keep your car in good mechanical condition to prevent car trouble. Keep the tank filled with sufficient gas.
- Keep your house keys separate from your car keys.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money and unnecessary credit cards. However, law enforcement agencies suggest keeping "mugger money" of ten or fifteen dollars in your wallet or purse to satisfy money-hungry thieves. Consider carrying only a small change purse with necessities instead of a handbag.