Safety Tips

Personal Safety and Security

What is Personal Security?

Personal Security involves taking steps to keep yourself safe, and protecting yourself from situations that are potentially violent or criminal. Personal Security is important because property can be replaced but YOU ARE IRREPLACEABLE.

Personal Security involves:

  • Recognizing, anticipating, and assessing the risk of a crime occurring.
  • Being aware of your surroundings at all times, and not placing yourself in situations which might jeopardize your safety.
  • Remember, suspects can be very unpredictable and may have weapons.
Safeguards at Home
  • Ensure your house number is clearly displayed so emergency vehicles can find your house quickly. €Yes € No
  • For Rural Community Residents, ensure you know your legal land address as emergency personnel cannot respond to box numbers. €Yes € No
  • Keep premises secure at all times (including garages and vehicles) €Yes € No
  • Ensure the man door from the garage to your home is always locked. €Yes € No
  • Change door locks when you move into a new residence. €Yes € No
  • Install a one inch dead bolt. €Yes € No
  • Do not rely on door chains. €Yes € No
  • Install and use a peephole in the front door. Never open the front door to a stranger.
  • Secure sliding windows and doors. €Yes € No
  • Consider installing an intrusion alarm. €Yes € No
  • Lock patio doors with second looking device when possible. €Yes € No
  • Keep your outside entryways and driveway well-lit. €Yes € No
  • Use motion sensor lights. €Yes € No
  • Keep shrubbery from concealing windows doors and windows. This prevents hiding places.  Yes  No
  • Dogs are great deterrents  Yes  No
  • Record serial numbers of valuable items and keep the list in a secure place. €Yes € No
  • Keep a home inventory list that is always up to date. This inventory can include photos or videos of your home and property. €Yes € No
  • Do not leave notes on doors or mailboxes advising that you are not home.  Yes  No
  • Never hide keys outside your residence. Leave spare keys with a trusted neighbor or family member.  Yes  No
  • Periodically change the security code on your electronic keypads. €Yes € No
  • Keep your doors locked when you are inside. If you are in your backyard it is good practice to keep your front door locked. €Yes € No
  • If your keys are lost, you should change your locks.  Yes  No
  • Ladders or tool boxes should be secured. These can be used as break and enter tools. Yes  No
  • Keep windows locked. €Yes € No
  • Keep drapes closed at night. €Yes € No
  • Keep lights on in some rooms. €Yes € No
  • When a stranger asks to use your phone, do not let him/her in your house. Offer to call for assistance on their behalf.  Yes  No
  • Be extremely cautious about letting anyone into your house.  Yes  No
  • Do not be fooled by a well-dressed person.
  • Verify identification of sales and service people. Check with their company via telephone call to see if they have sent a representative out. Note: This is applicable to police officers as well. Police officers always have credentials that can be verified by calling your local detachment.
  • Keep an eye out for your neighbors. Don’t volunteer information about them to strangers.
  • Report suspicious people and/or vehicles to police in a timely manner.
  • Garage doors, fence gates and garden sheds should be locked when not used.
  • Grills, lawnmowers, BBQ’s and other valuables should be stored in a locked garage or shed. If left out, ensure they are hidden from view with a tarp and securely locked to a stationary point. €Yes € No
  • If you have recently purchased a major household item (Television, computer, etc.…) do not leave the empty box outside in plain sight. Take it to a recycling depot immediately or keep it out of sight until your scheduled recycling pickup day.
  • By law, all firearms must be stored in a lock gun safe with any ammunition stored separately from the safe. €Yes € No
  • Never reveal your name or address to a stranger.
  • Never tell a stranger that you are alone.
  • Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone.
  • Report indecent, harassing, and/or scam phone calls to your local police detachment. (For unwanted calls from telemarketers, call 1-888-382-1222 to register your phone number with the Federal Government on the Do Not Call list).
Vehicle Safety Tips
  • Always lock your vehicle.
  • Never leave items of value in your vehicle and in plain sight.
  • Never leave an unattended vehicle running.
  • Never leave a spare set of keys in your vehicle.
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • If you do not feel safe walking alone to your vehicle, ask someone, if possible, to escort you.
  • Carry your cell phone with you.
Create the Illusion of Occupancy

If you are away from your residence:

  • Leave your home in the care of someone you trust and let them know where you can be reached in case of an emergency
  • Arrange to have newspapers, flyers, and mail picked up
  • Arrange to have the grass cut, leaves raked, or snow removed as necessary.
  • Have someone check both the inside and outside of your home periodically while you’re away.

Use timers on interior lights and motion sensor lights for the exterior

  • Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway or your designated parking stall.
  • If you have a garage, keep the door closed and locked so no one can see if your vehicle is gone.
  • Turn the ringer on your phone off or set your answering machine or voicemail to pick up on the second ring. Do not leave specific information about your absence on your message.
  • Do not share you vacation plans on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.…).
  • Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway or your designated parking stall.
  • If you have a garage, keep the door closed and locked so no one can see if your vehicle is gone.
  • Turn the ringer on your phone off or set your answering machine or voicemail to pick up on the second ring. Do not leave specific information about your absence on your message.
  • Do not share you vacation plans on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.…).
If your home has been broken into

If you return home and discover your home has been broken into:

  • DO NOT ENTER, call the police immediately.
  • Wait at a safe place (i.e.: a neighbors) for the police to arrive.
  • If you have entered your residence, do not touch anything or clean up until the police have arrived as you may disturb evidence.
  • You can start making a preliminary list of items you notice missing.
If You Suspect Someone is Outside Your Home
  • Call the police immediately and stay on the phone with the dispatcher until the police arrive.
  • Remain inside.
  • Turn on the lights.
If a Person Gains Entry to Your Home
  • Call the police and keep the line open to the dispatcher if you are not able to speak.
  • Do not engage that person.
  • Try to leave through another door.
If a Person Traps you Inside
  • Comply with their demands
  • If you are physically attacked, use whatever means you can use to fend off the attacker.
If You are Attacked
  • Call the police as soon as you are able to.
Try to obtain as much of a description of the attacker(s) as you can. This would include the following:
  1. Ethnicity
  2. Approximate height and weight (small, medium or large build)
  3. Hair color
  4. Approximate age
  5. Scars/marks/tattoos or any other distinctive features such as piercings.
  6. Clothing description
  7. Did the attacker have an accent?
  8. Were any weapons used? If so, what?
  9. Did he/she leave in a vehicle or on foot?
  10. Direction of travel (did they leave out the front door, back door etc...).
If Attacker is Unarmed
  • Employ basic self-defense techniques.
  • Kick, bite, scratch, and punch – the throat, eyes, face, knees and groin.
If Attacker is Armed
  • Comply with the attackers demands.
  • A thief normally wants money – give it to him/her.

When out Walking
  • Plan your route, avoid short cuts through vacant lots, unlit areas or parks.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Know what is going on around you and exactly where you are.
  • Limit distractions such as texting, talking on your phone or listening to loud music
  • Carry a cell phone with you in case of an emergency.
  • Use assertive body language and walk with confidence. Keep your head up!
  • Always carry identification.
  • Do not carry large sums of money or valuables.
  • Use Cross-walks.
  • Wear bright clothing.
  • Carry a flashlight at night.
  • Walk facing traffic. Never assume a driver has seen you.
  • If a vehicle stops, do not approach unless you feel safe to do so, and even then, do not approach too closely.
  • Have your keys ready when you get to your car. Check your seat before entering and then drive away as soon as safe to do so. Predators have an opportunity to approach you if you sit in your car.
  • Walk to your vehicle with your cell phone ready to use in case of emergency.
  • Report suspicious people and/or vehicles to police as soon as possible.

If You are Approached or Attacked
  • Be assertive – sometimes this can be enough to deter an attack.
  • Head towards a group of people.
  • Cause a scene – scream – run away.
  • Only you can decide to resist or not.

If Attacker has a Weapon
  • Comply with the attackers demands.
  • A thief normally wants money – give it to him/her.
If Assaulted on the Street
  • Try to escape.
  • If unable to flee, comply
  • If able to flee – don’t run blindly. Avoid darkened streets and alleys

What We Ask of You
  • Report incidents to the police as soon as possible. Time is of the essence.
  • Do not hesitate to call the police for fear that you are “inconveniencing us” or that we “have better, more important things to be looking after”. We are here to help you and we take all calls seriously and record the information.
  • Do not assume that someone else has called us regarding an incident. We prefer to have multiple calls over no calls at all.
  • Please follow the instructions given to you by the call-taker/dispatcher. These instructions are being given to you as they have been proven to help keep you safe until help arrives.
Reporting Incidents Involving people

Description of the individual(s) involved which includes:

  • Ethnicity
  • Height
  • Weight (small, medium, large build)
  • Age
  • Hair color
  • Clothing
  • Marks/scars/tattoos/piercings
  • Weapons (if so, what type)
  • Alcohol/drugs
  • Did they leave on foot or in a vehicle
  • Direction of travel
  • Anything else
Reporting Incidents Involving Vehicles

Vehicle Descriptors:

  • Color
  • Make/Model
  • Year
  • Style (SUV, Truck, Car, Hatchback, etc.…)
  • License Plate
  • Anything Else (Dents, Broken Windows, Spoilers, Tinted Windows, etc.…)
  • Number of Occupants
  • Direction of Travel
  • Any weapons seen?