Police District VI COPS Safety Tips

Prince George's County Police District VI COPS 301-937-0910
Safety Tips

Safety at Home:

  • Keep doors and windows locked, regardless of whether they are upper or lower level windows/entrances and garage doors (keep them closed with interior door locked)
  • Install and use a peephole in your door(s)
  • Do not answer knocks at the door without first checking to see who it is. Utilize peepholes or windows to know who's there (even if you are expecting someone)
  • Instruct children and other family members not to answer/open the door automatically
  • Require identification from all strangers (includes delivery/repair persons and police officers). If you're not sure of a person's ID, call the company/agency the person says they're from
  • Never leave notes/messages on your door, since they advertise that you're away and when you plan to return
  • Don't ever tell anyone that you or a neighbor are home alone
  • Use only initials and last names on mailboxes and phone listings (so as not to identify yourself as a female or a female living alone)
  • Use blinds and drapes for privacy
  • Trim bushes and shrubbery to remove any hiding places for an attacker
  • Install good interior and exterior lighting for protection. For additional security, use timers to make your home appear occupied when you're away.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • You and your neighbors keep close watch for unusual cars or people in your communities and report suspicious activity to police
  • When jogging/taking walks or participating in other such outdoor activities alone, let someone know your intended path of travel and estimated time of return. Better yet, don't jog/walk alone... go in pairs or a group
  • Always have car/house keys in hand before exiting secured areas
  • Keep hands free of excessive packages/bulky items
  • Never enter your home if you see that a door or window have been forced. Go to a neighbor's and call police
  • Never place a key over your doorway or under a flowerpot, etc. If you want, you can leave a spare key with a neighbor that is well known to you
  • In dating situations, such as blind dates or when attending late night events, it is recommended that you double date with another couple or take a friend with you
  • When returning home during hours of darkness, if possible, use a cellular telephone to alert someone inside your residence to observe your arrival

Telephone Safety:

  • If you receive obscene or annoying phone calls, hang up immediately. If calls persist, report them to the police and the telephone company
  • If the call is a "wrong number," don't reveal your name or number, ask what number they dialed... but don't tell them your number.
  • Never divulge any information over the phone
  • Instruct children that they should never tell anyone on the phone that you're not home, they should say, "She can't come to the phone right now, can I have her return your call?"

Automobile Safety:

  • Always remove valuable items in your vehicle (GPS, LAPTOPS, CAMERAS, PURSES, ETC)
  • Always have a charged cell phone with you in case of an emergency (CALL 911)
  • Always have your keys in your hand when going to your car. Never walk to your car digging in your purse for your keys
  • Check the interior of your car before entering, even when doors are locked
  • Keep car doors locked at all times, both when driving or parked
  • Park in highly visible areas that are well lit
  • Always be watchful of activity, people, cars near you
  • Keep your car gassed and in good running order
  • If your car does become disabled, tie a piece of cloth to the door handle of your car and raise the hood, then sit in your locked car until help arrives. If someone stops, don't get out of the car, roll your window down only slightly, and ask him or her to call a friend, relative, or police for assistance.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers
  • Avoid walking alone, especially late at night or in isolated or unfamiliar areas
  • Don't stop for a stranded motorist, instead go to the nearest phone and call police to assist them
  • Don't pick up hitchhikers
  • Don't leave house keys attached to your car keys when having your car serviced or at a parking garage/lot

Other Safety Measures:

  • Avoid walking alone. Walk with someone or walk in areas where other people are nearby
  • Don't dangle a purse by your side in a way that a thief can run past and grab it. When carrying a purse, keep it close to your body, preferably front of you
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money and unnecessary credit cards
  • Never leave your purse unattended in shopping carts, etc.
  • Don't have your ID/address attached to your car or house keys
  • Stay in well lighted areas, away from shrubs, doorways, and other places of concealment
  • Avoid shortcuts such as alleys
  • Be alert and aware. If someone bothers you, don't be embarrassed to attract attention... scream, yell or whistle