APD Gives Tips on Travel Safety and Crime Prevention
TRAVEL PREPARATION and SAFETY
There are traditional times each year that many of us choose to travel to see family and friends as well as enjoy a vacation. Generally, when we go on trips we are less likely to focus on our surroundings and safety. Most of the security resources you can depend on at the office or at home are nonexistent when you travel. Your greatest resource is yourself – your willingness to take precautions, vary your routes, keep a low profile and be alert to suspicious behavior and circumstances. The following tips for securing your residence and travel safety should be observed before and during a trip.
Securing Your Residence and Preparing for Travel – Reduce Criminal Opportunity:
- Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your residence and report suspicious activity.
- If possible, have a trusted friend or family member stay at your home.
- Install automatic timers on lights, TV’s and radios to give the impression someone is home.
- Cancel your newspaper subscription delivery. If you have a rollout trash dumpster, have a neighbor place it in the street on pick up day and return it that evening. Also, ask them to park a vehicle in the driveway when ever possible and collect your mail.
- Be extra cautious about locking all doors and windows.
- Make sure trees and shrubs are trimmed to allow for good natural surveillance of your property.
- Make arrangements to have exterior lights on each night.
- Each entrance should have solid core or metal doors and deadbolt locks.
- All primary window locks should be operational and secondary locks should be installed.
- Let neighbors, family and friends know when you plan to return from a trip.
Travel and Hotel/Motel Safety:
- Always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
- Lock all personal items in the trunk or away from view – roll up windows, lock doors and take your keys.
- Park in well lit areas with a lot of activity. Park as close to an entrance as possible.
- Rooms should have solid core or metal doors and an eye viewer. Change rooms if these items are worn out or not functioning properly.
- Always verify who’s at your door. If you are not expecting a visitor, call the front desk if the person claims to be with the facility and do not open the door to strangers or solicitors.
- If you observe suspicious behavior, notify hotel/motel personnel or call the police.
- Look for establishments that have the unit doors and walkways enclosed as well as electronic card access verses the outdated door key.
- Turn on the TV or radio when you are away from the room and leave a light on.
- Request a room closest to the main office – avoid end units. Higher floors are preferred.
- Identify emergency exits and discuss hotel/motel safety and security with family members.
- Keep valuables in the hotel/motel safe or leave them at home.
- Carry a minimum amount of luggage and never leave them unattended.
- Carry only those personal items necessary for a particular trip. Use traveler’s checks or credit cards when ever possible. Leave local credit cards at home.
- Avoid carrying a purse whenever possible. Place money and credit cards in a front or jacket pocket. If you must carry a purse, carry it close to your body with flap facing inward and place strap around your shoulder (never wrap it around your body or neck).
- Don’t display your room key or leave them in places they can be easily stolen.