February Bulletin
February 3, 2012

Making your workplace secure

  • If you are the last to leave at night, ensure the doors to the business are locked and your area is secure.
  • Report any broken lights or locks.
  • Have building security protocols in place and insist on identification from repair persons who come to work in the office, and be extra alert while they are there.
  • Know the locations of the fire exits in your building.
  • Know the telephone numbers for security, police and the fire department.  If it is an emergency, call 911.
  • Keep track of the office keys in your possession, and store them in a secure place. Do not hand them out to unauthorized persons.
  • Shred important papers before discarding them in the wastebasket.
  • Avoid letting people know via telephone or email that your boss or fellow workers are out of town.

Safety in transit…

  • Don’t get in elevators with people who look out of place or behave in a strange or threatening way.  Report such individuals to security or the police.
  • Use caution inside of stairwells.  While they can be a good way to quickly get from floor to floor & get exercise, they can also be a place where criminals can ambush you.
  • Be extra cautious when using restrooms that are in isolated locations, poorly lit, or open to the public.
  • If you bank for your business, vary your route and times of departure. Always conceal the bank bag.

Parking lot sense…

  • Park in well-lit, heavily traveled areas if possible. If you know you are going to be staying late, check to see if there is security lighting nearby when you park in the morning.
  • Always lock your car, and do not leave any valuables visible inside the car, (lock them in the trunk or take them with you).
  • When you return to your vehicle, have your keys in hand so you can get inside quickly, (make sure you take a quick look inside the vehicle first to make sure no one is hiding inside), and then lock the door as soon as you get in.
  • If you are working late, wait to leave with  someone else, or have someone walk you to your car.

Office security

  • Keep your purse, wallet, or other valuable items with you at all times or locked in a drawer or closet. Don’t leave a purse on a desk or a wallet in a jacket that’s left on a chair or coat rack.
  • Never leave car or office keys out in the open.
  • Never leave change or cash on the desk or in a top drawer. Instead, place any cash in an envelope and put it in a drawer that you can lock.
  • If you bring any personal items to work, such as a coffee pot, or a radio, make sure they are engraved with your name or initials and that you have the serial/model number written down.
  • Check the identification of any strangers who ask for confidential information or any delivery or repair persons who want to enter any area restricted to employees. Don’t be afraid to call for verification. Be extra alert and vigilant while they are there.
  • If you notice any suspicious persons or vehicles, notify security personnel or the police. Be especially alert in large office buildings and after normal working hours.
  • When you are working in an office or classroom after normal working hours, make sure that the exterior doors and windows are secure. If you have a perimeter alarm system, leave it on for extra protection.
  • Report any maintenance/security issues immediately such as broken or flickering lights, dimly lit corridors, doors that don’t lock properly, broken windows, or broken pay phones.
  • Be discreet. Don’t advertise your social life or vacation plans and those of your co-workers to strangers visiting your place of work.
  • Keep the emergency numbers for security, police, and the fire department posted near every phone or in every common area. It’s also a good idea to write the address of the building on or near the phone.  Find out which of your employees have first aid or first responder training, and make everyone aware of how to contact them in an emergency.
  • Never write down safe or vault combinations or computer passwords.
  • Know your co-workers and look out for one another. Ask a friend to watch your desk while you’re in another room or out for lunch and volunteer to do the same.  If you are going to gone for an extended period, let them know where you are.
  • Make sure all the equipment in your office –computers, monitors, copy machines– has been engraved with an identification number and that you have the serial/model numbers written down for computers & office equipment.
  • Make sure that when you leave your desk, that you lock your computer, and that you computer is password protected to keep unauthorized users from accessing critical data.

If you are a victim…

  • Stay calm, try not to panic or show any signs of anger or confusion. If you are confronted by an armed robber, cooperate.  Don’t risk physical harm over property.
  • Call security and the police as soon as possible.
  • A good description will be vital to the police, so try to remember everything you can about the suspect.
  • Suspect descriptors that the Police will be looking for are height and weight, race, sex, age, color and style of hair, complexion, facial hair(beard, mustache, sideburns), color of eyes and eyeglasses, scars, tattoos or other unique identifying marks, speech including accent or lisp, clothing, jewelry, weapon, vehicle color and make, license number, and direction of escape.
  • Contact your local victim services agency or mental health center to help you cope with the trauma that any victimization can cause.  The Police can provide you with phone numbers and resources if needed