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Personal safety measures

Updated October 19, 2012

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Home safety | Telephone safety | Office security | Elevator security | Outdoor safety | Bus safety | Vehicle safety | Report crimes

Home safety

  • Install a peephole in your front door so you can see callers without opening the door. Do not rely on chains.
  • Ask for proper identification from delivery men or strangers. Donít be afraid of asking—if they are legitimate they wonít mind.
  • Keep windows and doors secured with adequate locks at all times. For ventilation, secure windows open no more than five inches.
  • Close your curtains or blinds at night to prevent strangers from seeing you are alone.
  • Women who live alone should list only their last name and first initial in phone directories and on mailboxes.
  • Be alert to protect your neighbors and yourself. Never mention to a stranger that a neighbor lives, or is at home, alone.
  • When a stranger asks to use the telephone, do not permit him to enter. Offer to summon emergency assistance or make the call for him.
  • DO NOT HIDE SPARE KEYS. Give your keys to trusted neighbors. There is NO safe place to hide an extra key.
  • If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, donít go in. Go to the nearest phone and call the police.
  • Have good lighting at all entrances.

Telephone safety

  • Do not give information about yourself to strangers over the phone or admit that you are alone.
  • If you have an answering machine, the message should be recorded by a male and should not give out any personal information or say "Iím not home."
  • Hang up immediately on obscene callers.
  • Keep all emergency numbers near the phone.

Office security

  • Never leave your purse or billfold in plain view or in the pocket of a jacket hanging on a door.
  • Donít leave cash or valuables at the office.
  • Mark your personal property with your California driverís license number.
  • If you work late, try to find a co-worker or security guard to walk out with you.

Elevator security

  • Check the elevator before entering. Wait for the next elevator if you are suspicious of any occupant.
  • When riding in an elevator, stand near the control panel. If accosted, press the alarm.

Outdoor safety

  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you, especially if you are alone or it is dark.
  • Avoid dark streets.
  • Donít walk alone, especially at night.
  • Walk at a steady pace with a self-assured stride.
  • Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes and alleys where someone could hide.
  • Walk on the side of the street facing traffic.
  • Donít take shortcuts or walk in alleys.
  • Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street—continue walking.
  • Avoid dark streets.
  • If a driver asks directions, donít get too close to the car.
  • If an occupant or a vehicle persists in bothering you, cross the street and walk or run in the opposite direction.
  • If you are followed, get away fast. Change direction and/or walk in a crowded area.
  • If in danger, scream and run, yell "fire" or break a window to attract attention.
  • Hold your purse tightly, close to your body. Keep your wallet in a front or buttoned hip pocket or side coat pocket. When walking in a parking lot, carry your purse on the side that is closest to parked vehicles.
  • Carry as little cash as possible.
  • Donít hitchhike.
  • Have your key ready in your hand so you can open the door to your home or car immediately.
  • Use intuition. If you feel insecure, ask a store manager or security guard to escort you to your car. Most will.

Bus safety

  • Try to avoid isolated bus stops.
  • Stand away from the curb until the bus arrives.
  • Donít open your purse or wallet while boarding the bus—have your pass or money ready in your hand.
  • Donít invite trouble. Keep gold chains out of sight, donít flash your jewelry, and turn your rings around so the stones donít show.
  • During off hours, ride as near to the driver as possible.
  • Stay alert and be aware of the people around you.
  • If someone bothers you, change seats and/or tell the driver.
  • Carry your wallet inside your coat or in a front pocket. A comb placed horizontally in the fold of your wallet will alert you if someone tries to remove it from your pocket.
  • Keep your handbag in front of you and hold it close to your body with both hands.
  • Check your purse or wallet if someone is jostling, crowding or pushing you.

Vehicle safety

  • Always keep windows rolled up and doors locked after entering or leaving your car.
  • Always have your car keys in your hand so you can get into your car immediately.
  • Always check the back seat before entering your car.
  • Never leave your keys in your car, even if you will only be gone a moment.
  • Never leave your purse in sight, hide it under your seat or in the glove compartment.
  • When parking, look for any suspicious persons loitering before leaving your car.
  • Always park in well-lighted areas.
  • If youíre being followed by another car, NEVER DRIVE HOME. Honk your horn in short bursts to attract attention and drive to a gas station, police or fire department.
  • Always keep your car in good running condition with at least half a tank of gas.
  • If your car breaks down, pull over to the right as far as possible, raise the hood, and wait inside for help. Do not get out of the car or unroll the window until the police arrive.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.

Report crimes

When you report all the facts about a crime, it helps the police assign officers in the places where crimes are occurring or where they are most likely to occur. Failure to report the crime allows the criminal to continue operating without interference. In many cases, it is information provided by victims and witnesses that leads to the arrest of a criminal. So, tell the Cerritos deputies as much as you can. The Cerritos deputies need the eyes and ears of every resident.

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