Security Awareness

It is impossible to read the daily newspaper without finding a new report of violent crime, We are all too familiar with stories about physical assault and rape, But violent crime isn't something we just read or hear about, We have personal experiences to relate - and ones that have affected our close friends and family. We make decisions everyday based on our fear of crime, Asking a friend to accompany you to your car at night, installing deadbolt locks in your home are just a few of the ways we try to minimize the risks of crime.

A Brief Summary

This program will help you:

  • Avoid putting yourself and your loved ones in a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Learn what makes you vulnerable to assailants; what they look for.
  • Recognize how pre-planning can help you avoid assault.
  • Recognize how your instincts and gut-level reactions can help you.

What Can Be Done?

The primary purpose of the "Crime Prevention and Security Awareness" program is to increase your awareness of the numerous threats to your personal safety that exist in our society. The intent is not to frighten you, but to empower you with information that will help you make wise decisions about your safety.

Security is Everybody's Business!

The effectiveness of any security program depends on the degree of cooperation and support it receives from those it is designed to protect.

Gaining knowledge is an important first step. However, it is essential to follow up this knowledge with action. You can make a difference and the best place to begin is with yourself and your immediate environment.

Trust Your Instincts

Trusting your instincts - that "gut" feeling that something is wrong - can be one of the most ef f ective weapons you have to prevent a crime.

Don't be concerned about feeling foolish - or being rude. it is far better to feel foolish than to be hurt - far better to offend than risk being placed in jeopardy. If you are alert and recognize the warning signals, you will be better prepared to act appropriately - whether the situation calls for getting away, surrounding help, or assertive confrontation,- Trust your instincts, evaluate the situation and take extra precautions, It is often in your power to avoid becoming a victim.

A Show of Strength

It is important to emphasize that nothing you do gives an assailant the right to hurt you - it is not your fault if you are attacked, Since many assailants choose victims who will be most vulnerable to an attack, it is critical that you appear confident, capable and in control.

Body Language, your walk, the way you stand, the manner in which you sit tell much about you. If you look tired, timid or lost, you may be unwittingly setting yourself up as a target for attack. Be conscious of your body language and work on a strong, self- confident and outward appearance.

  • Eye Contact: Make eye contact with people you meet. It is a powerful way of saying "I am in control of myself and my environment, I belong here." It can also say "I see you and I'm not afraid of you."
  • Personal Space: You have the right to decide who will touch you and when. If someone is too close to you and making you feel uncomfortable or touching you in a way you don't like, you have the right to move away and tell them to stop - no matter who they are.
  • Clothing: We know about dressing for success but,, it is also important to dress for personal safety, Clogs or extremely high-heeled shoes as well as tight, restricting garments can impede an escape, Select shoe, shirts and pants that allow you to run or strike back.
  • Immediate Action: If you feel threatened or scared, or if you think you might be in danger, don't pretend that danger will go away if you ignore it. Your chances of handling a threatening situation are much better if you act immediately.
  • Environmental Awareness: Notice your environment, Where could you go for help? Where are the exits located? Who is available to assist you? Be aware of the people around you, Who is in front of you? In back? Use peripheral vision to notice what is happening all around you.

Assertiveness

Assertiveness is behavior which enables a person to act in their own best interests, An assertive verbal response to a threatening situation should contradict or disagree. Be concise, keep your voice under control and at a medium volume, and your facial expressions calm and controlled.

It is important to be able to say an unconditional "No" without feeling guilty. It is your right to refuse a request - no matter how reasonable it may seem. You are not being rude or over-reacting when you say "no." Instead you are being cautious and safety smart.

Make a scene Use your voice if you feel trouble. Many of us are embarrassed or afraid to make a scene, If you are assaulted, make noise. Get bystanders involved by giving them specific directions about how they can help you.

Face to Face

When despite your precautions, trouble cannot be avoided, you will respond more effectively if you consider all your options and determine the best solution for the particular situation, Whether you cooperate, resist, fight back or run should depend on several considerations:

  • Your strength and experience in self-defense.
    Have you practiced self-defense often enough to feel confident about its use? How fast can you run?
  • Your assessment of the assailant.
    What does he or she want from you? What is his/her mental state - angry, nervous, high on drugs? Is a weapon involved? Is the attacker acting alone or as part of a group? If the attacker is carrying a weapon, do not fight unless absolutely necessary.

There are circumstances when it is impossible to resist - when there is little to do until after the attack.

Unfortunately, no strategy can guarantee your safety and each involves a certain amount of risk, But, exercising good judgement, developing a plan of action, and following through with commitment are your best insurance.

Office Security

  • Never leave your keys lying about.
  • Never leave change or cash on the desk or in a top drawer. Instead, place any cash in an envelope and into a drawer that you can lock.
  • Avoid using deserted stairwells in office buildings, and do not enter a stairwell if you see a suspicious person.
  • Leave a washroom if you see a suspicious person. After normal working hours, have someone else accompany you.
  • Check the identification of any stranger that asks for confidential information or any delivery or repair persons who want to gain access to an employee restricted area. Don't be afraid to call for verification.
  • Be discreet, don't advertise your social life or vacation plans and those of your co-workers to strangers.
  • Personal and irreplaceable articles and memorabilia do not belong in an office.
  • Never write down safe or vault combinations or computer passwords.
  • Know your co-workers and look out for each other, Ask a friend to watch your desk while you're in another room or out for lunch, and volunteer to do the same, Find someone who leaves a the same time or takes the same bus and wait together.
  • Always let someone know where you'll be, whether it's coming in late, working late, going to the computer room, going out to lunch, or to a meeting, If you have an accident, they will have an idea where you are.
  • During the fall and winter months, be especially careful of expensive outer clothing such as leather and fur jackets.
  • Use recognized taxicabs. Avoid "gypsy cabs" that have an undesignated color, no meter and usually no roof sign.
  • Be extra cautious when using restrooms that are in isolated locations, poorly lighted or open to the public.
  • Wear street or walking shoes to and from work and change to dress shoes for the office. Also remember that you can't run in confining clothing such as narrow, long skirts or high heels.
  • Walk briskly on the sidewalk facing traffic. Walk with confidence, head up. Don't give drivers a chance to sneak up behind you. If someone in a car stops to ask a question, keep walking and stay on the sidewalk so you can't be grabbed.

Safe Home Game Plan

For a small investment of time and money, you can greatly reduce your chances of being a victim. For example, a home that looks lived-in, well lighted, shrubs trimmed away from doors and windows, a car in the drive, a clean yard - deters burglars. So do watchful neighbors who will call the police when they spot something suspicious. Good locks discourage thieves, and an alarm system not only deters burglars, but tells you and the police if someone succeeds, in breaking into your home.

Check Your Locks

Door and window locks in most homes today might keep out someone who just rattles the knob, but won't stop a determined burglar. Many people don't even use the locks they have. In over 40% of all residential burglaries, the thieves just walked in through an unlocked door or crawled in an unlocked window.

Every exterior door should have a dead bolt lock with a one inch throw. If you have a key-in-the-knob lock, install an auxiliary lock, a vertical bolt, cylinder dead-bolt, or horizontal bolt model.

If you've just moved into a new house or apartment, consider re-keying the locks. You never know who may have keys. Don't hide the keys to your locks in mailboxes, planter, or under door-mats. Give a duplicate key to a trusted neighbor instead.

Ask your local police or sheriffs department for a free home security survey.

Check Your Doors

Locks lose their effectiveness if they are installed in cheap, flimsy doors. Make sure outside doors, including the one between your house and the garage, are solid, 1 3/4 inch metal or hard wood.

Doors should fit tightly in their frames and hinges should be on the inside.

Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door.

 
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