KCAD believes there are several safety precautions that can be taken to reduce the opportunity of you becoming a victim of a criminal incident. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent someone else’s actions, but exploring the tips below by following the links in the index may help you avoid a similar situation.
BICYCLE AND SKATEBOARD SECURITY
- Secure your bicycle using a U-Lock device and ensure the U-Lock is through the bicycle’s frame. Cable locks are more easily cut with basic tools and can be cut quickly.
- Bike licenses, which can help authorities track down your bike in the event that it is stolen, are available at all Grand Rapids Fire Stations. You will need to bring your bike and fill out a short form to receive a license. Bike licenses are a free service of the City of Grand Rapids.
- Only secure you bicycle to designated bicycle racks.
- Write down your bicycle serial number and a description and put in a safe place.
- Bikes, skateboards, and cars – same rights, same laws. Obey stop signs, traffic signs and traffic lights.
- Take your place in traffic. Ride your bike/skateboard on the street or on campus pathways at a safe speed.
- Always ride with traffic. Ride on the right where drivers expect to see you.
- Walk your bike/skateboard in areas of high traffic.
- Be alert and be visible. Steer clear of riding with earphones and use lights at night.
- Use a lock to increase your computer's security.
- Never leave your computer or any equipment (cameras, phones, MP3 players, etc.) unattended, even for a minute.
- Record your laptop's serial number and save it in a safe place.
- Back up your work often.
- Utilize anti-virus software.
- Enable your personal firewall.
- Create strong, secure passwords.
- Scan email attachments and validate links before opening.
- Limit information on social media.
- Shred trash (checks, junk mail and personal documents) with a cross-cut or confetti shredder.
- Minimize financial and personal information carried on your person or in public, especially your Social Security Number.
- Do not give out personal or account information unless you know who you are speaking to and you made the contact.
- Research and become aware of the numerous types of fraud and scams such as shipping scams, check cashing scams, lotto scams, confidence games, and internet scams.
- Everyone regardless of gender is vulnerable.
- Have your keys ready so doors can be unlocked and entered quickly.
- If in danger, scream, run, yell "fire!" or carry a blow whistle to attract attention.
- If someone stops to ask for directions, do not approach them or the vehicle. Answer from a distance.
- Keep valuables such as laptops, cameras, iPods, etc., out of sight in your car.
- Don't take rides from individuals you just met. A free ride home might not really be free.
- Keep your guard up when socializing. Alcohol and drugs impair your judgment and could hamper your personal safety.
- Consider having the following: peephole in your front door, dead bolts on all doors, pins in windows to prevent them from opening more than five inches, and good lighting at all entrances.
- Walk around your house or apartment (inside and outside) and think like a criminal. Report concerns to the property owner.
- Storm doors and screens do NOT provide adequate security.
- Do not rely on chains for added door security. Get a deadbolt.
- Keep windows and doors secured with adequate locks at all times.
- Close your curtains or blinds at night to prevent strangers from seeing you at home alone.
- Never hide an extra key under a mat, in a flowerpot, or in any other easily accessible place.
- Criminals know all the hiding places.
When walking to and from campus, take these simple steps to keep yourself safe:
- Look confident and purposeful and be very alert to your surroundings. Don't zone out!
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don't wear headphones or earbuds. Music can block the sound of someone approaching you.
- Have your cell phone with you at all times.
- After dark, always go with another person, whether you are walking home or going out for a run. You can utilize the Downtown Ambassador Program if you are in a situation where you are walking alone downtown.
- Walk with a steady pace and vary your routes, yet stay in familiar areas, especially after dark.
- Stay in areas where someone can hear and see you. Avoid vacant lots, alleys, construction sites, parks or heavily-foliated areas, especially after dark.
- If you think you are being followed, or notice someone who is suspicious, go to a place of calculated security and call 911.
- Always cross the street at an intersection.
- Obey the “walk/don’t walk” pedestrian signals. Don’t enter the crosswalk once the hand begins flashing.
- Use the “push to walk” button, where available. It adds pedestrian crossing time to the traffic signal.
- Never assume vehicles see you. Look both ways before you cross the street.
PERSONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS RESOURCES
- Do 1 Thing - Free Emergency Preparedness Program
- The Ready Campaign
- Michigan Personal Preparedness Guide
- Lightning: What you Need to Know (PDF)