It’s that time of year again! Daylight Savings time is here, which means our evenings will become darker much earlier. Activities around campus, however, will continue far past nightfall. Activities that used to occur in the daylight will now occur in the darkness: going to your vehicle after work, walking home from class, attending a campus meeting or event. Take a moment to review these safety tips:
Contacting Law Enforcement
• Know the emergency telephone number for the campus (Public Safety 843-953-5611) or dial 911 if off campus
• Keep the emergency phone numbers in your cell phone. If you regularly use an office phone, keep emergency numbers nearby (stickers, magnets, etc.).
• Learn where the campus emergency telephones (Emergency Call Boxes) are located on campus and learn how to use them.
• Ensure that you are subscribed to the campus mass notification system (Cougar Alert) on campus.
• Participate in any campus emergency transmitter, whistle, or other safety programs being offered. Public Safety offers free whistles to students wishing to participate in the Whistle Alert Program.
Walking Around Campus
• Familiarize yourself with the layout of the campus. Survey the campus while classes are in session and after dark to see that academic buildings, walkways, facilities, and parking lots are adequately secured and well-lighted.
• Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy pathways and streets. To identify recommended routes of travel at night, see the Campus Night Map
• Share your class schedule with your parents and trusted friends and give them your telephone numbers.
• At night, stick to well-lighted areas whenever possible and avoid alleyways or “short cuts” through isolated areas.
• Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night.
• Use the safety escort system offered by Public Safety, or the Cougar Shuttle at night.
• If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home; knock on the door, and request that someone call the Police. Note the description of the person following you.
• Walk near the curb and avoid shrubbery or other places of potential concealment.
• Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and what time you expect to return.
• Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.
• Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it; carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or your front pant pocket.
• Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.
• Don’t overload yourself with bags or packages and avoid wearing shoes that restrict your movements.
• Walk with a confident stride; keep your head up and look around. Female students are encouraged to enroll in R.A.D. program. It is a free women’s self-defense class offered several times throughout the semester.
• If a motorist stops and asks for directions, keep your distance from the car.
Everyday, law enforcement agencies take crime reports from victims of thefts of property from their vehicles as well as stolen vehicle reports. Though nothing can prevent you from ever being a victim of such a crime, there are things you can do to lessen the odds of your being victimized. Many thieves are opportunists and will look for the vehicle that is unlocked or the one that may be locked but has valuables left inside. Even if your vehicle is locked and alarmed, if there are valuables in sight (even covered up) a window may be smashed to gain entry. This all can occur in a matter of seconds.
• Secure your valuables and engrave expensive items with identifying information.
• Always lock your doors and windows at night, especially if you reside on the first or second floors.
• Do not leave your identification, keys, wallets, checkbooks, or other valuables in open view.
• Never leave the keys inside the vehicle.
• Make sure that all windows are up all the way before locking your vehicle.
• Lock your vehicle even if you are only going to be away from it a short time.
• Make sure your vehicle alarm is activated whenever you exit/lock your vehicle.
• Do not leave valuables, (i.e. purses, wallets, cellular phones, cameras, laptop computers etc.) inside your vehicle, even if it is locked.
• Even if your vehicle is locked and alarmed, do not attempt to “hide” valuables under the seat or under an item of clothing in the vehicle.
• Report any theft from your vehicle immediately to your local law enforcement agency. It is up to you whether or not you chose to report this to your insurance company.
• If you observe anyone acting suspiciously in the area of a vehicle, report it immediately to Public Safety at 843-953-5611