Below are some general tips that can be used to keep yourself safe.
- Keep doors and windows closed and locked.
- Install good quality locks on doors and windows. Deadbolt door locks are always best. Sliding glass patio doors are frequent points of entry for burglars. They should always be reinforced by wedging a stick or pole firmly in the lower track behind the door.
- Unplug your automatic overhead garage door opener when leaving for an extended period of time.
- Install peepholes in doors.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed so doors and windows are not obscured.
- Ask reliable neighbors to watch your residence when you are away. Keep newspapers, handbills, and mail picked-up while you are gone.
- Keep valuables well hidden, especially checkbooks and extra checks. Record and safely store serial numbers from valuable items, such as electronics and firearms.
- Keep premises well lit at night.
- Never let strangers into your home, not even to use the phone. Make the call for them while they wait outside.
- Never give information indicating when you will or will not be at home.
- Never let strangers know if you live alone.
- If you are gone overnight, use automatic timers on interior lights to give the appearance that the residence is occupied.
- Lock your vehicle at all times.
- Never leave your vehicle running unattended.
- Keep all valuables hidden or out of unattended vehicles, especially purses, wallets, and checkbooks. Use the trunk.
- If leaving your vehicle parked for an extended time, secure the remote automatic garage door opener in the trunk.
- Do not leave a hidden ignition key attached to the outside of your vehicle.
- Keep your vehicle in good mechanical condition, including a full tank of gas.
- If you suspect someone is following you, drive to a public place, never home.
- Never pick up hitchhikers. If a motorist appears stalled, go to the nearest phone and call the police.
- If you get stranded along the roadway, raise the hood slightly and display a SEND HELP sign. Lock yourself inside your vehicle and wait for the police. If a stranger stops, do not get out of your car. Ask them to call for assistance for you.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Keep money in a pocket instead of a purse or wallet.
- Do not leave purses unattended in shopping carts, even for a minute.
- Do not walk or jog alone at night.
- Be especially alert when using ATMs and pay phones.
- Never write Secret Codes or Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) on your credit cards or ATM cards.
- Do not release your personal information to anyone unless you absolutely must. Only release your social security number if absolutely necessary.
- When disposing of personal documents, always shred papers which contain your personal information such as your bank account numbers, your social security number, credit card statements, etc.
- Should you lose your credit cards, ATM cards, or bank checks, immediately report it to your bank or credit card company.