Safety Tip for the Month
- When parking your vehicle to go shopping, remember where you parked it! Always park in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Although it might be more convenient when trying to find a parking spot, do not park in a remote dark area. Remember to lock your vehicle.
- Try not to allow items to obscure the view to entry points of your home. This would include vegetation such as hedges or large plants in front of doors and windows. These obstructions create a hiding place for someone trying to gain entry to your residence.
- Do not carry all your personal identification in your wallet. Leave your birth certificate and social insurance cards at home. If possible, memorize your SIN and health care numbers. If your wallet is lost or stolen notify your bank immediately. Cancel all credit cards and flag your lost identification with the credit bureaus; Transunion and Equifax. Make a report with your local police. Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements and periodically run a personal credit check through the credit bureaus. Following these simple steps can help prevent you from becoming a victim of identity fraud. For more information on Identity Theft or other common scams please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at: http://www.antifraudcentre.ca.
- When using an ATM machine, if no money comes out, make sure to check the money slot for blockages and notify the bank immediately. A recent popular scam has been for people to block the money slot with a piece of plastic and then return to collect the money after the customer leaves.
- If you are stalked or attacked, the most important thing to do it to tell the police. They are the best resource for stopping the problem and the earlier you contact them, the earlier they can help.
- Know the neighbourhoods where you live and work. Know locations of police and fire stations, public telephones and hospitals and restaurants or stores that are open late.
- Surprise them. If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant or lighted house. If you’re scared, yell your lungs out.
- Leave in twos. If you work late, make sure others are in the building and ask someone – a colleague or security guard – to walk you to your car, bus or subway stop.
- Make your neighbourhood and workplace safer. Report broken street lights, clean up parks and vacant lots and lobby local government for better lighting in public places. It’s your right. Make it your obligation.
- Answer from a distance. Be careful if anyone in a car asks you for directions. If you feel safe to answer, keep more than a full arm’s length away from the car.
- Surprise is on your side. If you think you’re being followed, change direction and head for open stores and/or where there are other people who can help you.
- Call a cop. If something happens to you or someone else or you notice anyone out of the ordinary, call the police. Your local authorities are also a great resource for finding out about criminal activity in the area where you plan to run.
- Do unto others. Even if it’s simply calling the police on someone else’s behalf, your actions can help others from becoming victims of robbery and assault.
- If you are verbally harassed, do not respond. Keep walking and notify the nearest authority.
- Don’t get stuck. Keep your car in good running order. Make sure there’s always enough gas.