To live safely, incorporate safe behaviour into your day to day routines - make safety a habit.
Walk with Foot Patrol , a friend or near a group of people. Travel in well-lit high traffic areas. Avoid short cuts, treed pathways, and poorly lit parking lots. If you must travel an extra distance in order to ensure your safety then do so. If jogging, go with a friend.
Be aware of your surroundings. Walk with your head up, this will project confidence. Being alert will enable you to view your surroundings, identify a potential problem or possibly an assailant.
Be alert. Have your keys ready before you enter your residence or vehicle. Keep your personal belongings close by and secure.
If you feel that you are being followed, seek immediate assistance from a school, business, hospital, or any place that you can reach safely. To prevent a possible reoccurrence or potential risk to others, notify the police of the incident.
Keep in mind that anything you carry could be used as a weapon and may be taken away and used against you. If confronted, do not introduce any objectinto the scenario. Personal safety alarms are a benefit, if they are heard.
Avoid travelling alone. If you do, lock your vehicle doors and stick to well traveled routes. Consider purchasing a cell phone, and a “Highway Help Sign” in the event your vehicle breaks down. Never hitchhike or pick up strangers.
Whether at school or at home, always lock your doors. THIS INCLUDES ROOMS IN RESIDENCE. This will help prevent an intruder DAY OR NIGHT. If you start now, the action will become part of your day-to-day routine.
Keep your residence well lit. This will give the impression to outsiders that someone is home. Don’t forget to turn the lights off during the day. Utilize window coverings to conceal your activities and the property you own.
If a stranger comes to the door, don’t open it. Keep the door locked and have them speak through the door. This is a preventative measure. Some intruders have forced their way into a residence. Being cautious is not being rude. Remember that your safety comes first.
Communicate with your family and roommates. If you are leaving, let them know your plans and expected time of return. A phone call saying you will be late will prevent unnecessary worrying. People care about you – be considerate.
Document all serial numbers of valuable property and store the information in a safe place. If your residence is ever broken into and valuable property removed, the property information can than be entered on the police computer system. This will assist in your property being returned. If you do not have the numbers for your valuables, the likelihood of the property being returned to you is minimal.
Working late? Then work safe. If you are working late at night, choose a location that is not secluded. If working in a lab, close and lock the door. Also, let someone know where you are and how long you will be there. Register and use the “Work Safe” program offered by Western Foot Patrol and Campus Police.
Keep your personal information secure. Remember where your identification is at all times. Do not leave it unattended even for a minute. Within seconds, your wallet and personal identification can be stolen. Don't post your schedule online or on your door - if someone needs to find you, they will call.
Be extremely cautious of divulging any personal information to strangers.
Alcohol consumption can greatly increase your vulnerability. If you decide to drink, designate someone in your group to remain sober to ensure that everyone gets home safely. In fairness, take turns being the designated person. Be aware of your beverages at all times. There may be a risk that someone may tamper with your drink leaving you more vulnerable to a sexual assault.
Meeting someone at a local bar does not constitute immediate friendship. Learn to be cautious with new acquaintances. Friendships develop over time. Just because a person appears to be friendly, does not mean they can be trusted. Remember alcohol can greatly impair your judgment. Your designated sober person usually has better judgment, especially under these circumstances.
Educate yourself on how to prepare for any circumstance. You can never prepare yourself for every eventuality, but knowledge is a tool that will contribute to safety awareness.
Trust your intuition. If a situation or person makes you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, go with your feelings. Immediately remove yourself from the area or person. Sometimes we dismiss our internal judgment capabilities. Learn to use your internal system to improve your safety.
Never prop open residence or building doors . Anyone can slip in.
Don’t let people in behind you when entering your residence. You may feel unkind by denying them access, but your diligence will help keep everyone safe.
Report suspicious, erratic or unusual behaviour immediately. Even if you are not sure if there is cause for concern, trust your gut and call Campus Police.
Follow campus policies – they are there to help keep you safe.
Safety is a Shared Responsibility
Get involved with your community. This is an excellent opportunity to meet new people. The interaction could benefit you by making you more street/home smart.