GOING OUT ALONE
- Plan ahead with safety in mind.
- Try to take a bus, taxi or arrange a ride.
- When possible, call ahead and let others know your arrival time.
- Travel on busy, well-lighted streets.
- Carry a cell phone with you and have it easily accessible.
- Always know the street name where you are and know the address of your destination.
- When approaching your home, have the key that unlocks the door ready in your hand.
SAFETY WHEN WALKING
- When out walking, use the buddy system whenever possible. There is safety in numbers.
- Be aware of your surroundings and what is going on around you. Be alert.
- Walk confidently with your head up and show a sense of purpose.
- Walk facing traffic so you are easily seen.
- Walk in the center of the sidewalk, not too close to the street, and not too close to the building entrances or bushes.
- If you feel unsafe, go to an open business or a house where the lights are on, and ask someone to call the police.
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear to remain sturdy and speed up if it is necessary.
- Do not take shortcuts through empty lots and dark alleys to try and save time.
- If you go out walking after dark, carry a flashlight in your hand to illuminate your path and wear bright or light coloured clothing.
- If confronted by a panhandler be assertive, keep moving and don’t give them any money. Make donations to food banks or charities that you know use this money for what you intend.
- If a criminal who wants your money, purse or valuables confronts you – cooperate and give them up. Your personal safety is the most important thing.
SAFETY IN YOUR HOME
- Keep your doors locked and windows secure at all times.
- Place a peephole in the door so you can look out and see who is on the other side.
- Do not open the door to anyone you do not know without some kind of verification of identification. If you are not satisfied with the identification – do not open the door. It is your home and you do not have to allow any access to it.
- Never give out personal information to any stranger who comes to your door.
- You do not have to participate in surveys – that is your choice.
- At night, surround your house with adequate lighting (sensor lights, floodlights, etc.).
- Clearly display house address numbers on the front of your residence.
- Use exterior motion lighting and interior light timers.
- Join Block Watch and get to know your neighbours.
- If you live in an apartment building, encourage your manager to certify the building Crime-Free Multi-Housing.
- Apply the 3-foot / 7-foot rule to maintain open sight lines around your residence. Shrubs should be trimmed so they are no higher than 3 feet from the ground and tree boughs overhead should be trimmed so they are no lower than 7 feet from the ground.
- If you return home and find that it has been broken into, go to a safe place and call 911 immediately.
- Be a good witness; watch for suspicious activity in your neighbourhood and immediately report anything suspicious to the police.
- Do not provide personal information to someone you do not know.
- Remember, no matter whom they say they are, you cannot visually identify a telephone caller. They could be anyone!
- If a caller refuses to identify him or herself to you – HANG UP the telephone.
- If a caller asks what number they have called, ask them what number they dialed.
- If you receive a harassing call, hang up immediately. Never stay on the line and react to the caller. After you have hung up, lift the receiver and dial *57. This will automatically trace the call with Telus. Police can then obtain these traced calls if needed. Write down the date, time and nature of each call so you have a record for police if needed.
- If you wish to respond to telemarketing calls or surveys ask for their telephone number and offer to call them back. Never give out a credit card number over the telephone.
- Consider answering machines as useful tools for screening telephone calls.
- Be alert for potential scams!
SERVICE AND DELIVERY PEOPLE
- If possible, have all service and delivery people attend your residence by appointment or prior arrangement.
- Do not hide keys outside of your house for the delivery person to use while you are not home.
- Do not leave valuables open to view or to a delivery person who is unattended while in your premises.
- If you do not like who you see when the delivery or service person arrives – you can send them away.
- Ask for identification from any delivery or service personnel who attend your residence. Be sure to utilize reputable and reliable businesses for service calls. Take the time to check on references regarding any company that you plan to have work or perform service for you.
SAFETY IN YOUR VEHICLE
- Ensure your vehicle is in good working order.
- Park in a well-lit spot, as near as possible to where you are going.
- Do not leave any valuables inside your vehicle.
- Always lock your vehicle, even inside your garage.
- Use an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock and an alarm.
- Don’t pick up hitch hikers or give money to panhandlers hanging around intersections.
USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
- Try to use convenient, well-lighted and frequently used bus stops.
- Make sure that you aren’t alone at an isolated bus stop for a long period of time. If you must walk home late at night from a bus stop, try to arrange for someone to meet you.
- Know where you are going, where you have to transfer (if needed) and how to get back home.
- Know when the last scheduled bus runs on your route.
- If you are taking a route that you are unfamiliar with at night, plan ahead and consider taking a trial run during the daytime.
- When boarding the bus, try to choose a seat close to the driver.
- When riding in a taxi, sit in the back seat.
- BC Transit offers Community Travel Training to help you learn the system and how to use it.
REMEMBER TO USE YOUR COMMON SENSE AND
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!