Westchester County

Protecting Yourself

Protecting Yourself

It's often common sense that keeps you safe.  Here are a few tips to follow: 

When At Home

  • Do not allow strangers into your home, even if they are hurt or say that they need help. Keep the door locked and call the police for them.
  • Do not advertise that you live alone.
  • Don't be afraid to call the police to investigate suspicious circumstances, unusual people or strange noises. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keep your curtains or shades closed at night.
  • Don't leave notes on your door announcing when you will be home.
  • Keep outdoor lights on at night.
  • Never give information to an unknown caller. Report nuisance calls to the police and the telephone company.
  • Keep your doors and windows locked. If it is warm and you leave your door open for circulation, keep the screen door locked.
  • If you arrive home and your door is open or things appear to be out of place-don't go in your home. Leave and call the police.
  • Write down license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles to give to the police, if necessary.  

When On The Road

  • Keep your car in gear, doors locked, and windows rolled up.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially at intersections and stop lights.
  • Park in areas that will be well lit when you return.
  • If you are being followed, don't drive home or get out. Drive to the nearest police station, open store or business for help. Try to note the license number and description of the car and persons following you.
  • When stopped in traffic, leave enough distance between your car and the one in front of you, so you can pull away quickly if necessary.
  • If someone tries to get in your car while you are stopped - drive away quickly.
  • Don't use ATM machines at night.  Plan ahead and get your cash during safer times. Use ATM machines that are very visible. Avoid isolated ATM machines.
  • When using valet parking, provide the parking clerk with the valet key that most car manufacturers provide now. This prevents strangers from looking in your glove compartment or trunk and finding personal information or possessions.
  • When approaching your car, have your car key in your hand. Before entering your car, be alert to any activity near you. Check the handles, locks, and back seat before entering. If there is anyone loitering near your car as you approach it, keep walking until they leave.
  • If another driver bumps your car or your tire goes flat, keep your doors and windows closed and locked and wait for help or for the police to arrive.
  • If you are driving home and there is someone walking down the street that you don't recognize, drive around the block and come back after that person is gone.
  • If you are confronted by a carjacker, don't resist; give up the car.  

When Walking

  • Walk in open, well lit areas. Don't get too close to buildings and doorways.
  • If you are attacked on the street, make as much noise as possible by calling for help or making noise.
  • Do not pursue your attacker. Call 911 and report the crime as soon as possible.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. Try to have a friend accompany you in high risk areas...even during the daytime.
  • Avoid carrying weapons...they may be used against you.
  • Always plan your routine and stay alert to your surroundings. Walk confidently.
  • Have your key ready when approaching your front door or car.
  • If you must carry a purse or shoulder bag, keep it tucked under your arm; don't dangle it away from your body. (The elderly particularly are often victims of purse snatchings and street robberies.)