Here are a few tips that we hope may keep you safe.

While Out and About In Your Home
When Walking When Driving

Senior Citizens Safety Tips



While Out And About....

Go with friends and family, not alone.
Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
Don’t carry credit cards you don’t need or large amounts of cash.
Use direct deposit for social security and other regular checks.
Whether your a passenger or a driver, keep car doors locked. Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. Park near an entrance.
Sit close to the driver or near the exit while riding the bus, train, or subway.
If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.

In Your Home....

For the majority of people, a feeling of security is found in the safety of their homes. Today, you hear of people (most strangers, but on rare occasion, friends) whose homes have been broken into and burglarized. You wonder if this could happen to you or whether it can be prevented. If your home is an easy target for a burglar, your chances of being burglarized can increase. There are a number of precautions you can take that will reduce or even eliminate the opportunities that a burglar is looking for.

Women who live alone should list only their last names and initials in the Phone Directories and on mailboxes.
Install good locks on doors and windows. Use them! Do not hide keys in mailboxes and planters or under doormats. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a trusted neighbor or friend.  The best lock cannot function if you fail to lock it.  Be sure you lock your doors during the day, even if you are home, and even if you leave for a few minutes, (to walk the dog, get the mail, etc.)  Consider a home alarm system that provides emergency monitoring for burglary, fire, and medical emergencies.
Never open the door automatically after a knock.  Require the caller to identify themselves satisfactorily; this includes repairmen, delivery men, and Police Officers, as well.  Utilize chain bolt when checking identification.

Lighting is very important.  Inside and outside lights give you a great deal of protection. Prowlers prefer the dark.  Leave lights on at night, even when away from home.  Change location of lights from time to time.

Leave a light on the door you will be using when you are going to return home after dark.  (Use Timers) Have your key ready so that the door can be opened immediately.
When a stranger asks to use your phone,  do not permit them to enter.  Offer to summon emergency assistance or make the call for them.  Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried call the company to verify.
If a window or door has been forced or broken while you were away, do not enter or call out, silently leave, use a neighbor’s phone immediately to CALL POLICE and WAIT OUTSIDE until they arrive.  Be sure your street address number is large, clear of obstruction, and well-lighted so police and other emergency personnel can find your home quickly.



When Driving....
When practicable, travel well lighted, more popular streets and thoroughfares.  Keep doors and windows locked.
Do not leave your purse or wallet on the seat.  Put it in a glove compartment or on the floor opposite yourself.  Your purse or wallet can lure a criminal to your car.
Keep your car in gear when stopped at traffic lights or stop signs.  If your safety is threatened, hold down on your horn and drive away as soon as possible. 
Check your rearview mirror.  If you believe you are being followed by another car, do not drive into your driveway or park on a deserted street.  Pull over to the curb at a spot where there are people, and let the car pass you.  If the car continues to follow you, drive to the nearest place where you can get help, (Gas Station, Police Station, Fire House, etc.)  Do not pick up hitchhikers. This may seem overcautious and an unfair stereotyping of all hitchhikers, however, you do not know who you are giving a ride to. You could be needlessly jeopardizing your safety and well- being.
If you are followed into your driveway at night, stay in your car with the doors locked until you can identify the occupants or know the driver’s intent.  Sound your horn to get the attention of neighbors or scare the other driver off.
When parking at night, select a place that will be well lighted when you return.  Check for loiterers before leaving the car.
Never leave the keys in the ignition even if you only park for a short time. Take them with you, and make sure the car is locked. 
Do not leave any personal identification in your car, including Registration, License and Insurance papers. If your car is stolen, the thief will know where you live (and he may have your keys, if you left them in the car!)
When returning to your car, check the interior before you enter.  If you do not have a remote keyless door locking/unlocking system which turns on the interior lights, open the door slightly to turn on the interior lights and look inside. Check front and rear areas.
Should your vehicle break down in an isolated area there are certain steps you should follow, particularly at night: pull your vehicle off the road so you will be out of the traffic; turn on your emergency (four way) flashers; raise the hood of your vehicle; if you have a bright colored cloth (scarf, handkerchief, etc) tie it to your antenna; then stay in your car with all doors locked and windows rolled up; wait for help to come to you -- a patrolling police car or another motorist; should a passing motorist stop, stay in your car and ask him/her to send help back to you. ( You must use your judgment in this situation. If the motorist has his/her family in the car and offers you a ride to the nearest garage or town, only you can decide what is best for you under the circumstances.) Remember, a helpful or concerned motorist will be only too happy to assist by contacting the right party to help you.

When Walking....

 
Look around to see whether you are being followed.  If someone suspicious is behind you, or ahead of you, cross the street, and if necessary crisscross from one side to another, back and forth. If you feel you are being followed, don’t be afraid to run.  One of the criminal's greatest assets is their ability to surprise you, to attack when you least expect it, by suddenly leaping out and not giving you a chance to fight back.  Should the person continue to follow you, be prepared to defend yourself by screaming and running, to a lighted residence or business, or possibly to flag down a passing car.
If a car approaches you and you are threatened, scream and run in a direction opposite of the car.  The driver will have to turn around to pursue you.
Maintain a secure grip on your purse.  Walk near the curb and avoid passing close to shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment.  Avoid shortcuts, especially through backyards, school yards, parking lots and alleyways.
Have your keys ready in hand, so your house door can be opened immediately.  When arriving by taxi or private auto, request the driver to wait until you are inside.
Be sure you know the area you are walking in.  Know what stores, restaurants, or gas stations are open late in the evening.  If there are none of these watch for homes with lights on.  If an attempt is made to attack you, run to those places and create as much commotion as possible.  Create commotion by screaming as loud and as long as you can.  It will call attention to your predicament and someone may call POLICE or it may frighten the would be attacker.  Yelling FIRE will aslo aslert someone!
The way in which you carry your purse largely determines whether or not you are chosen to become a victim of a purse-snatcher.  Do not carry your purse by the handle, or place your arm through the strap and let it hang.  Place one end of the purse in the palm of the hand and the other in the bend of the elbow. Draw it close to your body.  Hang on to it firmly.  The rule to remember is “Carry as much money in your purse as you can afford to lose.” When possible, hide the bulk of your money on your person.
Never provoke an attack.  If it is apparent that it is only your money at stake, give it up, try to remember what the perpetrator looked like, give as accurate a description as your can to the police.  It is impossible to advise you specifically as to what to do if attacked, because only a person under attack is qualified to make this decision.  THE BEST WAY TO AVOID PANIC IS TO BE PREPARED.
PANIC PARALYZES YOU.  If you are prepared to meet the emergency of possible attack, you are more likely to run (when that is the safest procedure) than if you are totally unprepared.  Panic prevents us from seeing the possible solution to an emergency situation. Prevention procedures minimize the danger of physical attack. Take precaution, develop safety habits.  Don't forget- the best defense is prevention.

Remember!

Prevention is the key to your personal safety. 

Prevention means being aware of two things:

1. What can happen to you.

2. What you can do to avoid it.


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