Safety Strategies in Your Home

In Your Home

Don't Advertise living alone

  • use initials on the mailbox and in the phonebook; add a dummy name.
  • if alone when the doorbell rings, call out "I'll get it John" as though someone was with you

The house should always look and sound occupied:

  • use timers to turn lights on at night
  • use the porch light
  • play the radio
  • use an answering machine to answer the telephone or call-forward the phone to a neighbor or friend.
  • have a man record the greeting to your answering machine
  • notify a neighbor if you will be away -- ask them to collect mail, papers, etc.
  • don't pin notes on the door
  • keep a bathroom light on at night

Essential hardware

  • keep doors and windows locked
  • install and use a peephole and dead bolt locks
  • change locks after previous tenant has left
  • never hide a key-- give one to a friend
  • if a key is lost -- change the cylinder rather than just having a new key made
  • never put your name and address on your key ring(if you must use some identification use a business address or a relative/friend)

Use of telephone

  • have a telephone near your bed
  • post emergency numbers near the telephone in large, clear letters so they can be read without glasses
  • never reveal personal information on the telephone, such as your plans, that your are alone, your schedule, name, address, or any personal information.
  • report any series of obscene calls to the police
  • blow a whistle into the receiver
  • rap the mouthpiece and say, "Operator, this is the call I wanted you to trace."
  • hang up quickly
  • get "Caller ID"
  • have a friend check on you at specific times and have a verbal code to indicate trouble.

General Information

  • Know the locations of fire stations, all-night stores and buildings with security guards or other sources of help in your neighborhood and along your regular travel routes. Become acquainted with your neighbors and know who to go to for emergency help.
  • When visiting someone call ahead and let them know you are leaving and when you should arrive.
  • If accosted, yell "FIRE!", not "Rape!" or "Help!"
  • When being brought home, have a friend or the taxi driver wait until you are inside and safe. Have your key ready in your hand as you approach your door.
  • Do not let strangers into your home. If someone needs help offer to place a call for them. If they refuse and withdraw-- call the police and report the incident immediately.
  • Let someone know if you are working late and have them call to check on you at regular intervals.

Source: Council Against Rape (Adapted From: Warner, C.G, Rape and Sexual Assault Management and Intervention, Aspen Systems Corp, Aspen Co., 1980.)