Personal Safety


 Four ways to increase your personal safety are:

  1. Reduce or eliminate opportunities that may make you a target.
  2. Increase awareness in places you're most comfortable.
  3. Trust your instincts regardless of feeling embarrassed.
  4. Prepare your schedule daily with safety in mind.

PURSE/WALLET SAFETY

     Carry purses, portfolios or briefcases in a manner that will allow you to let go.  Straps placed across your shoulder, around your neck or wrapped around your waist have caused injuries because women could not free themselves during a purse snatch.

     Always be aware of your surroundings and carry your pocketbook clasp toward you, close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow as if it were a football.  If there is a long strap, wrap it around the bag.

     If someone attempts to snatch your pocket book, let go of it, especially if there is a weapon involved.  When dining out, the only place for your purse should be your lap.  The back of a chair is an easy target for a thief.  Never carry a wallet in a rear pocket; use a front trouser or an inside coat pocket. 

     Be particularly aware of your purse/wallet in crowded situations, such as rush-hour trains and buses.  If you are jostled in a crowd, be aware that a pickpocket might be responsible.  Beware of arguments or commotions designed to distract you while your pocket or purse is being picked.

     Minimize the  amount  of money,  credit  cards and valuables  you carry by only taking items that are necessary for the day.  Divide money between your purse/wallet and pockets.  Carry your keys on your person separate from your identification.

WALKING - BE STREET SMART

     Use well-populated and well-lit streets. If you suspect you're being followed, stay away from deserted blocks and head for an area where there are people or to the nearest open store.  If you're driven home, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside.  Should a motorist bother you while you are walking, reverse your direction. If you are still followed, seek a safe location and yell for help, if possible.

ELEVATOR

     When waiting for an elevator, leave the lobby/hallway if someone makes you feel uncomfortable.
Check the elevator's mirror before entering.  Stand between the control panel and door when in the elevator.  Exit the elevator if someone enters that makes you feel uneasy. If you feel the need to give an excuse, you can say, "Oh, I forgot my mail."  If accosted, press as many buttons as possible to try and get the elevator to stop at the next floor.

ATM

     Be aware of suspicious people near the en­trance.  Use well-lit, well-populated ATM's.  Avoid ATM's that have unlocked doors or are directly out on the street.  Block a bystander's view when doing your trans­action.  Use mirrors, positioned at the ATM, to see behind you.  Put your money away and take your card and receipt before exiting an ATM.  Your card is exclusively for your entry only. Make sure the door closes behind you.