Safety Tips

Basic Street Smarts
  • Don't leave your valuables unattended, even if it is just for a moment. Purses, book bags, jackets, cellular telephones and laptops all make quick easy targets for thieves.
  • Wherever you are on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, waiting for a bus or subway stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
  • Send the message that you're calm, confident and know where you're going.
  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.
  • To help protect your property, use the Protect Your Property form from Campus Safety.
On Foot
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live and try to avoid secluded streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, alleys or other areas that are not well-lighted or well-traveled.
  • Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.
  • Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand, and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about people nearby.
  • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
  • If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant or lighted house. If you're scared, yell for help.
  • Have to work late? Make sure there are others in the building, and ask someone - a colleague or friend - to walk you to your car or transit stop. Remember, the Safety and Security Department can provide you an escort any time of day.
In Your Car
  • Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there's enough gas to get where you're going and back.
  • Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots and underground parking garages.
  • If you think someone is following you, don't head home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station or other open business to get help.
  • Don't pick up hitchhikers. Don't hitchhike.
Bike Theft Prevention
  • Always lock your bike (to a fixed, immovable object) at school, on the street, or even in a residence hall.
  • Keep a record of your original purchase receipts and any bike serial numbers.
  • Identify and mark you bike. Engrave, tape, paint and other means are helpful ways to personalize your bike and keep a photo of your bike on record.
  • Wear a helmet.
Office Theft/Safety
  • Keep your purse, wallet, keys and other valuable items with you at all times or locked in a drawer or closet.
  • Check the identity of any strangers who are in your office. Ask whom they are visiting and if you can help them find that person. If this makes you uncomfortable, inform management about your suspicions. We also recommend that you immediately contact the Safety and Security Department at 563.589.3333.
  • Always let someone know where you'll be, whether it's coming in late, working late, going to the photocopier or mail room, or going out to lunch or a meeting.
  • If you bring to work personal items such as a coffee pot, audio equipment, or calculator, mark them with your name or initials and an identification number.
  • Report any broken or flickering lights, dimly lit corridors, doors that don't lock properly, broken windows or other safety concerns. Don't wait for someone else to do it.
Home and Apartment Security
  • Check your locks and doors and do not leave accessible windows or doors unlocked, even if you are leaving for just a few minutes.
  • Install outside lights and keep them on at night even when you're not home. If you travel, create the illusion that you're home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your house throughout the evening.
  • Maintain shrubs so that they don't hide doors or windows. Trim tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window.
  • Leave shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions, and don't let mail pile up. Call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up.
  • Make a list of your valuables - DVDs, VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos or videos of the items, list their serial numbers and description. Check with campus security about engraving your valuables through Operation Identification.
  • If something looks questionable - a slit screen, a broken window or an open door - don't go in. Call the police from a neighbor's house or a public phone.
  • Alarms are recommended if you have many valuables in your home or live in an isolated or high crime area.