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Personal Safety

Your personal safety is often a factor of being alert and aware of your surroundings and having some knowledge on how to stay safe. Here are some safety measures and tips to help keep you safe in a variety of circumstances.

  • Keep your cell phone on you so you can call 911 if needed.
  • Don't carry large sums of money or unnecessary valuables.
  • If someone grabs your purse, do not resist.
  • Let a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
  • Avoid walking/running too closely to bushes or areas with any kind of tall overgrowth.
  • If you are out after dark, carry a flashlight and avoid short cuts through parks, vacant lots or unlit areas.
  • If listening to music, keep the volume at a low level so you can hear what's going on around you.
  • Always walk/run on the sidewalk facing traffic. Facing traffic makes it more difficult for someone to drive up behind you without being noticed.

If you suspect you are being followed

  • Go immediately to the nearest well-lit or populated area.
  • Walk on the other side of the sidewalk/road than the accused stalker.
  • If others are within hearing distance, turn to the person following you and say in a loud and assertive voice: "Stop following me!"
  • If you carry a key, keep it in your hands while walking alone, especially in a parking lot.
  • Contact Police immediately. In order to make this easier, always make sure to have a charged cell phone on you.
  • If the person following you is driving a car, try to remember the licence plate and vehicle description.

If you are attacked

  • Noise is your most immediate defense. Not only will sound attract attention to you and make your location known, but it may also scare off the attacker.
  • If possible, run in the direction of help (well-lit and/or busy areas). An assailant usually will not engage in a pursuit because it could increase the possibility of getting caught.
  • If the attacker is wanting your personal valuables (cell phone, purse etc.), drop them on the ground and run.
  • Try to remember full features of the accused: (complexion, body build, height, weight, age, and type of clothing worn by the attacker). If possible, take a picture or write down notes in your cell phone.

  • Whenever possible use bank machines in well-lit highly visible locations during busy periods.
  • During inactive periods or after hours, avoid using poorly lit bank machines.
  • If driving, make use of the drive-through rather than getting out of your vehicle.
  • Avoid using a bank machine if the vestibule door lock seems defective or the machine appears to be tampered with.
  • Be prepared to start your banking as soon as you arrive at the machine.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and always make sure that no one has the opportunity to see you entering your pin number or look over your shoulder.
  • Do not leave anything behind. 

  • Equip your door with a peep hole and answer with it closed and locked.
  • Install good locks and use them. Avoid using chain locks. They provide little deterrent to an aggressive person.
  • Don't hide keys outside, leave them with a trusted neighbour.
  • Secure all windows. Draw window shades or drapes after dark and don't leave accessible windows open while you sleep.
  • Verify identification of visitors, sales and service people by calling the company to see if they sent a representative.
  • Should a stranger request to use your phone, do not allow the person to enter your home. Offer to make the call for them.
  • Don't reveal personal information to anyone on the phone or at your door.

  • When not at home, use an answering machine. Have it answer that you cannot come to the phone, rather than saying you are not home.
  • Don't give any personal information out if called about surveys, contests, subscription drives, purchases or deliveries until the source of the call has been verified. Ask for a number they can be called back at and confirm the number in the phone book or online.
  • Never give your name, address, or phone number to someone you do not know.
  • Never give any information to “wrong number” callers, ask for the number they are trying to dial.
  • If caller asks for someone who is not there, say they cannot come to the phone and ask for a name and number.
  • When you first realize the caller is obscene or harassing, hang up immediately. Do not listen to them or show any type of emotional response.
  • Report continuing incidents to your service provider and police.

  • Avoid isolated or deserted stairways.
  • Call security or the police if you see someone in the building you don't recognize.

Working afterhours

  • Keep all doors and windows locked.
  • Arrange to have a co-worker stay with you.
  • When you finish working, go to your vehicles together.
  • Ensure the other is safely in their vehicle and on their way before you leave.
  • Leave together if possible.
  • If the company has security, advise them you're working late and ask if they can check in on you periodically.
  • Advise security when you're leaving and have them escort you to your vehicle.
  • If alone, contact your family/friend and advise them that you'll be working late and will call before you leave and advise them of your route home.

  • While waiting for an elevator, stand off to the side; this gives you the opportunity to view inside and removes your obligation to enter if you are unsure of the occupants. If in doubt concerning people in an elevator, do not get on; just wait for the next one.
  • If someone gets on the elevator after you and you're not comfortable with them, get off.
  • Stand near the control panel.
  • If confronted, push all the floor buttons and the emergency button, do not push the stop button; you may get trapped between floors.

In considering your reactions to different situations, keep these three basic rules in mind.

  • Try to remain calm so you can think clearly on the best way to react.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Don't be afraid to be impolite or make a scene; this is especially important if someone you know threatens or attacks you.  

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