Avoiding Street Crime
When you are away from home, never:
- Shop or conduct bank business on the 1st or 15th of the month. Talk with your bank about setting up a direct deposit system for your social security checks.
- Carry large sums of money, jewelry or valuables.
- Park your car or walk in dark or poorly lit areas.
- Drive through unfamiliar neighborhoods or on dark streets. If you are lost, drive to the nearest public place and ask for directions.
- Leave small children unattended in your vehicle.
- Drive with your car doors unlocked.
- Leave your car key in an unattended automobile.
- Leave your packages where they will be visible to thieves. Instead, lock all valuables inside your trunk.
- Leave your credit cards in the glove compartment.
- Become a creature of habit. Vary your route and schedule shopping and conducting personal business.
- Carry important papers with you on outings. Documents such as birth certificates and medical records are of no use to a criminal and will be difficult for you to replace if you are the victim of a street crime.
- Get into an elevator alone with a stranger. If you must get on the elevator, stand near the control panel, push all the buttons so that the elevator will stop at every floor, and ring the bell in an emergency.
Be sure that when traveling, you always:
- Travel with a companion.
- Use credit cards in place of cash.
- Keep your distance from drivers who stop you to ask for directions. Stay out of the person's reach by remaining a few feet from the vehicle.
- Keep one arm free when you are waiting for a public bus. A large number of sex assault victims have been abducted from bus stops.
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes in case you must flee and pay close attention to what is going on around you. Also, put a whistle on your keychain and have it handy for emergency use.
- Walk confidently. Behave in an alert and self-assured fashion. People who appear to know exactly where they are going and are aware of their surroundings are less vulnerable than those who appear timid and confused.
- Have your car keys in hand before approaching your vehicle. Place a whistle on your keychain for emergency use.
- Check your surroundings before venturing into parking lots or other unfamiliar areas.
- If you observe something suspicious, remain indoors and report it immediately.
- Check the back seat of your care before entering.
- Be cautious when approached by strangers.
Child Safety Tips
Ask your child to commit to the following rules.
- Before going anywhere, I will get permission from my parents by telling them where I am going, who I am going with, how I'm getting there, who is going with me, and how I will be getting back.
- I will get permission from my parents before getting into a car or leaving with anyone, including people I know.
- I will not change my plans or accept money or gifts without telling my parents. If anyone offers me drugs, I will tell a grown-up immediately.
- I will use the "buddy" system whenever possible and will avoid playing or going places by myself.
- I will not keep it a secret if a grown-up touches me in any way that makes me feel confused, but will tell a grown-up I trust. Also, I won't feel guilt if it happens because it is not my fault.
- I will trust my feelings and will share them with grown-ups I trust. They care about me and I am not alone.
- If I feel unsafe, I will never give up and will continue asking for help until I get it.
- I will keep myself safe because I am a special person who deserves it.
Domestic Violence Kills So Get Help
More than 4,000 women are killed each year in this country by their boyfriends or husbands. That's not counting men and children, who are also victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is any physically abusive behavior committed by a household member that results in injury or death. Here are some signs of an abusive relationship that may result in domestic violence.
- You are afraid of your partners temper.
- You are overly concerned about what kind of mood your partner is in.
- Your partner prevents you from seeing your friends or family, or alienates them so that they are uncomfortable being around him.
- Your partner threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, friends or pets.
- Your partner yells at you, reprimands you, or demeans you in public.
- Your partner hits, slaps, pushes or shoves you, pulls your hair, or inflicts physical injury on you in any way.
- Your partner prevents you from getting, or keeping a job.
If You Are Hurt Call for Help
- Call the Domestic Violence Shelter 734-242-7233
- United Way First Call for Help Crisis Hotline 734-242-4357
- Leave, or have someone come stay with you.
- Go to a battered women's shelter.
- Call Rape Crisis Silent Tears 734-243-6410
- Get medical attention from your doctor or hospital emergency room. Ask the staff to photograph your injuries and keep detailed records in case you decide to take legal action.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 911.
Learn Drowning Prevention
Drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages one to four. You don't need to go very far in Michigan to find an open body of water. Here are some tips to help keep your children safe.
- Teach children water and swimming skills as early as possible.
- Install a self-closing and self-latching gate around the pool so that children do not have direct access to the pool from the house.
- Alarm every house door that leads to the pool to alert you if a child has gone outside.
- Install a safety pool cover to securely cover the water area.
- Never leave children unsupervised in or around a body of water even for a moment.
- Don't be distracted by doorbells, phone calls or chores.
- If you must leave the pool area, take the child with you, making sure the pool gate latches securely when it closes.
- Don't allow children to play in the pool area.
- Remove all toy, tricycles - anything that might attract a child - from the vicinity.
- During pool parties or family beach gatherings, designate an adult to watch the children.
- Avoid keeping water or solutions in buckets and other containers when toddlers are in the home.
- Never leave an infant or small child unattended in the bathroom even for a few moments. Children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water.
- Talk with baby-sitters about pool safety, supervision and drowning prevention.
- Don't rely on flotation devices to protect your children in the water. These devices can slip out from underneath an active child.
- Children with long hair should clip it close to their heads, braid it or wear a cap. If long hair gets near a pool outlet the suction can trap the hair and cause drowning.
- Respond quickly if someone calls for help. Post CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) instructions and the 911 emergency number in the pool area. Check with the American Red Cross or American Heart Association for a schedule of CPR classes.
- Keep life saving equipment, such as a pole, life preserver and rope - in the pool area. Hang them from the fence so people won't trip on them.
- Don't assume that a drowning incident couldn't happen to you or your family. It's 100% preventable but no one is immune.
Tips on Recognizing Gang Activity
A youth gang is a group of people who get together on a regular basis to carry out violent, illegal, or anti-social activities, including intimidation, assault, vandalism, burglary and murder. Gang members come from all races and social classes. They can be male or female, starting as young as 7-years-old. The following signs will help recognize if someone is involved in a gang:
- Hanging out with a new group of friends.
- Showing a change in personality or behavior.
- Abusing alcohol or other drugs. Frequently bruised or injured.
- Using unusual hand signs, nicknames or street language.
- Carrying guns, knives or other weapons.
- Writing strange symbols (graffiti) on notebooks and folders.
- Withdrawing from family members or friends.
- Having trouble at school with grades or discipline.
- Obtaining money and valuables without your knowledge.
- Tattoos, jewelry, hairstyles, or clothing that identify a particular gang.
Holiday Safety Tips
The holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day always promises to be a busy and exciting time for everyone. I want to make sure it's a safe and happy season, too. By remembering some simple safety tips and practicing common sense precautions we can ensure that we have plenty to celebrate during this joyous time of year.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that criminals sometimes prey upon holiday shoppers. Those who are careless or preoccupied make the easiest targets, so we all need to be careful and alert to keep from becoming victims of crime.
When you leave your car at a store or the mall, remember where you are parked. After you finish shopping you'll be able to return directly to your vehicle instead of wandering aimlessly through the crowded parking lot. Do not park in a remote area or a place that is not well lighted. When you return to your car scan the interior to be sure that no one is hiding inside. If anything is wrong, return to the store and report the problem.
As you approach your parked car, have your keys in hand so that you can quickly unlock the door and get in. A woman standing in the middle of a mall parking lot, fumbling through her handbag, makes a tempting mark for a purse-snatcher or mugger.
You should never leave your new purchases, or anything else of value, sitting on your car seat in plain sight. The best place to store items is in your car trunk.
If someone does attempt to steal something, don't try to fight back or resist. You could suffer serious injuries, or worse. Try to get a good description of the suspect and call 911.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash while you're shopping. If you go to an automatic teller machine for cash, be sure it's in a safe location. If you notice any suspicious persons or vehicles nearby, don't use the ATM. Carry only the credit cards that you'll need.
- Keep a list of all of your credit cards, and if any are lost or stolen, report it as soon as possible. Most thieves will begin using your cards immediately, ringing up charges before the cards can be canceled. Always check your monthly statement to make sure you're not being billed for someone else's purchases. It is just too easy for a dishonest person to get your card number.
- If you plan to travel during the holidays, there are some precautions to keep in mind. At the airport, or any public terminal, never leave your luggage unattended. There are professional thieves who will watch you and wait for the one moment that you turn your head - he may even use a partner to distract you - then he'll pick up your bags and disappear in the crowd.
- If you're driving, be sure you have good directions to your destination. Should you get lost, go to a public place to ask for help. Don't open your car window and call to some stranger on a street corner. If another vehicle, or some sort of object, bumps your car don't stop unless you feel absolutely safe in that area. When you step outside your vehicle to investigate the bump you are vulnerable to attack.
Putting Burglars Out of Business
The more time it takes a burglar to break into your business, the greater the chance he'll move on. Most burglaries are committed by amateurs. They can be deterred if you take basic security measures seriously.
It is important for your business to be properly lighted inside and out. Outside, there should be lighting near all the doors and windows. High pressure sodium vapor lighting is recommended. It eliminates shadows and is inexpensive to operate.
The most vulnerable parts of any business are glass areas. In more than half of business burglaries, entry is made by breaking the glass. All rear and side windows should be replaced or covered with iron bars of 26 gauge (or stronger) wire mesh screens. For display windows, smash-resistant window film should be considered.
Before Closing up at Night
Remember to turn on interior and exterior lights. Leave cash register empty and open. Turn off all computers. Finally, secure all doors, windows, and locks before leaving.
Securing Your Home
Visit the HomeAdvisor website to learn about home security tips, crime prevention and home safety.
Home Security Checklist
- Be sure your outdoor lighting illuminates all entrances to your home.
- Shrubbery should be cut back to discourage burglars from hiding near your window and doors.
- All entrances should be kept locked at all times, including your garage door.
- Install a peephole in your front door.
- Windows and sliding glass doors should be secured with auxiliary locks or pinned with a nail. To avoid having your sliding glass doors removed during a burglary, leave the screws in the track.
- Deadbolt locks should be used on all exterior doors (single or double cylinder with a minimum one inch throw is recommended).
- Never hide or store your keys or tools outside.
- When away from home, be sure to take the following precautions:
- Make sure your home appears occupied. Put timers on your lights and set them to go off at different times.
- Have your newspaper and mail held, or picked up by a friend or neighbor.
- Close and lock your garage door. Don't forget to disconnect the automatic opener.
- Do not close all drapes or blinds. This is a dead giveaway that you are out of town.
- Notify the police that you are leaving town, and provide them with the dates you will be away and an emergency phone number.