• Keep entrances well lighted. • Check the identification of any sales or service persons before letting them in. Ask for a photo ID. • Equip your home with peepholes, deadbolts and chain locks. If you have a child, add a second peephole at eye level. • Never give the impression that you are at home alone if strangers telephone or come to your door. Advise your children to do the same. • Keep outside bushes and shrubbery trimmed. Plant defensive shrubbery, with thorns and spiky leaves, beneath windows to thwart criminals. • If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, do not go in. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.
In your car
• Keep your car in good working order and gas tank at least half full. Make a practice of filling up your vehicle during the daylight hours. • Always have your keys out and ready before leaving a building to approach your car. • Look around and in your car, including front and rear seats and floor, before entering. • Lock your car door immediately after entering the vehicle, even before putting the key into the ignition. Keep car doors locked until you safely reach your destination. •Park in well-lighted areas and lock the doors, even if you’ll be gone a short time. Check your surroundings before getting out of your car. • If you are accosted in a parking lot, away from your own vehicle, consider rolling underneath a nearby auto. It is difficult to force anyone out from under a car. • If an attacker does manage to get into your car while you are in it, do everything in your power to exit the automobile.
If you are still behind the wheel, steer your vehicle into a barricade, a pole, a wall — any object that will create a minor accident. • Don’t stop to assist a stranger whose car has broken down. Instead, help by driving to the nearest phone and calling police to help. • If you get a flat tire, drive carefully on it until you reach a safe, well-lighted and well-traveled area. If necessary, better to ruin a tire than gamble with your safety. • If you are involved in an accident, stay in your car until police arrive. In minor accidents where the other driver suggests you exchange insurance information, simply hold up your driver’s license and insurance card against the window. • If you are being followed, don’t drive home. Go to the nearest police or fire station and honk your horn, or to an open business where you can safely call the police. Try to obtain the license plate number and description of the car following you. • If possible, have a cellular phone in your car for use in emergencies.
Walking or jogging
• Always be alert to your surroundings and the people around you. • Walk facing oncoming traffic, close to curb or on a sidewalk. A person walking with traffic can be followed, forced into a car, and abducted more easily than a person walking against traffic. • Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys. • Don’t walk alone at night, and always avoid areas where there are few people. • When people stop you for directions, stay far enough away from the car that you can turn and run easily. • If you feel you are being followed, walk to a well-populated area. • If you are in trouble, attract help any way you can. Scream, blow a whistle or yell for help. • Trust your instincts. If a particular place, person or group of persons makes you feel uneasy, go a different direction.