Personal Safety

The most important tool in crime prevention is your mind. When used effectively and coupled with a confidant attitude and keen awareness, you can avoid dangerous confrontations with potential assailants. This will decrease your chances of becoming a victim. Conversely, a timid or fearful demeanor signals a would-be assailant that you are an easy target.

Protect Yourself
Make it a habit to protect yourself from harm by using common sense and a few standard security devices. But remember, even the most expensive security devices will not keep you safe if you do not use them. Here are some tips to reduce your chance of being victimized:
  • Answer doors and phones so a potential burglar will know your home is occupied.
  • Never tell a caller you are alone. Give the impression that someone is with you.
  • Look through the peephole to see who is outside the door. Never open it to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • Verify repairmen with their dispatchers before allowing them inside. Have a friend with you or have them call you several times; make these precautions obvious.
  • If someone you do not know asks to make an emergency phone call, do not open the door. Make the call for them.
  • Children are less cautious. Be careful about letting them answer the door or phone at an early age.
  • If you think that a forced entry has been made, do not go inside. Go to a safe place and call 911.
  • Plan escape routes and keep emergency numbers posted by your phones.
  • In apartment complexes, be cautious of laundry rooms, parking lots, and isolated areas; insist that they be well-lit; use them only when accompanied by a trusted friend or neighbor.
  • Consider installing a caller-ID system to your existing phone line.
  • Never give out information about yourself or where you live.
  • Do not indicate on your mailbox or in the phone directory that you are a female or living alone.
  • If you are confronted and must yell for help, yell "Fire!" This phrase gets the best response from bystanders. Break glass or blow a car horn -- anything to bring attention to your plight.
  • There is strength in numbers. Join with neighbors to start an effective Community Watch in your community.
  • Never carry large sums of money.
  • Carry your purse firmly near your body.
  • Avoid flashing money or expensive jewelry.
  • Avoid being in isolated areas where an assailant can easily attack you without being witnessed.
  • If confronted in an assaultive manner, remove yourself from the situation ASAP and notify the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
  • If you are the target of an armed robbery, give the robber what he wants and seek safety immediately. Remember, material possessions can be replaced, your life cannot.