Category Archives: Safety

Internet Safety


Parent Internet Safety


  •  Personal Information. Don’t give out personal information without your parents’ permission. This means you should not share your last name, home address, school name, or telephone number. Remember, just because someone asks for information about you does not mean you have to tell them anything about yourself!
  • Screen Name. When creating your screen name, do not include personal information like your last name or date of birth.
  • Passwords. Don’t share your password with anyone but your parents. When you use a public computer make sure you logout of the accounts you’ve accessed before leaving the terminal.
  • Photos. Don’t post photos or videos online without getting your parents’ permission.
  • Online Friends. Don’t agree to meet an online friend unless you have your parents’ permission. Unfortunately, sometimes people pretend to be people they aren’t. Remember that not everything you read online is true.
  • Online Ads. Don’t buy anything online without talking to your parents first. Some ads may try to trick you by offering free things or telling you that you have won something as a way of collecting your personal information.
  • Downloading. Talk to your parents before you open an email attachment or download software. Attachments sometimes contain viruses. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know.
  • Bullying. Don’t send or respond to mean or insulting messages. Tell your parents if you receive one. If something happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to your parents or to a teacher at school.
  • Social Networking. Many social networking websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and MySpace) and blog hosting websites have minimum age requirements to signup. These requirements are there to protect you!
  • Research. Talk to your librarian, teacher or parent about safe and accurate websites for research. The public library offers lots of resources. If you use online information in a school project make sure you explain where you got the information.




The computer should be in an open area, not in a child’s room. “You don’t want to spy on your kids or peer over their shoulder, but you want them to know you’re in the room.”

Assure your children that you know you can count on them to use the Internet responsibly. “Kids need to feel they’re trusted.”

Set clear expectations for your child, based on age and maturity. Does your child have a list of websites she needs to stick with when doing her research? Is she allowed to use a search engine to find appropriate sites? Is your child allowed to visit social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace? What sites is she allowed to visit just for fun? Write down the rules and place them next to the computer. Your child’s teacher should be able to advise you on which sites are appropriate for schoolwork and educational fun.

Use filtering software designed to help parents limit the websites children can access. Some programs have monitoring features that can tell you which sites your child visits and can even send you a message letting you know your child is online. (While such programs have come a long way since the early bug-ridden days, they are not a substitute for supervision and communication.)

Tell your child if you are using software to track her online activity. Remind him that you are not spying; you are keeping him safe. Tell him that protecting him is your job as a parent.

Stay involved with your child’s school by remaining in close contact with your child’s teachers and counselors. If trouble is brewing among students online, it probably started at school. Knowing what’s going on at school will increase the chances that you’ll hear about what’s happening online.

A growing concern with kids and the Internet is online bullying. Ask your child specific questions about whether he is being bullied at school or online. Talk about your own experiences in school with bullying, letting him know you know it goes on. Assure him that you won’t try to fix the problem, if it is happening, without talking to him first.

Parents often worry about their child being bullied, but they don’t readily consider that their child could be a bully. Talk to your child about why it is not OK to bully other children, online or in person. “Teach compassion and kindness.  From the get-go, they will know that being a bully…doesn’t feel good.”

Tell your child that people who introduce themselves on the Internet are often not who they say they are. Show your child how easy it is to assume another identity online. Don’t assume your child knows everything about the Internet. Kids are naturally trusting.

Instruct your child to never give out personal information online, including her full name, gender, age, school, address, or teams. Teach your child to be generic and anonymous on the Internet.


Stop Cyber Bullying

Should I Share

Elderly Safety

ElderlyThe Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office wants you to know that they care for the elderly in our community.  Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can reach us at (812) 427-3636 or in the case of an emergency dial 911.  Each year people find themselves the victims of fraud and identity thefts.  We receive numerous reports in our office each year from victims.  The following tips are given to ensure that our citizens don’t become a victim of crime:



When you send someone money that you do not know, you increase your odds of becoming a victim of telemarketing.

Here are some signs that you may be a victim of fraud.

  • You must act “now” or the offer won’t be good.
  • You have won a free gift but have to pay a shipping or handling fee or “Taxes” to claim it.
  • You must send money, give your credit card or your bank account information to receive goods or to get a loved one out of jail.  These requests are rarely legit.

If you hear of any of these or “similar lines” from anyone, just say no thank you and hang up the telephone.  You do not have to be nice to these people.  HANG UP.



Identity theft occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform fraud or other criminal act.  Identity thieves can obtain your information from statements that you throw away in the trash.  They can also pose as electric, phone, or cable companies and ask for your information to “pay an overdue bill” or to “verify your account”.  NEVER give out your information over the phone.  No legitimate company will ever call and ask you for this type of information.  Once they have your information, they can apply for loans and credit cards in your name.  You get stuck with the bill and they get the benefits.


If you suspect that someone is trying to take advantage of you, kindly advise them that you will have to talk to your Sheriff to see if this is legitimate or not.  They will be very convincing.  DO NOT GIVE INTO THEIR CHARM.  Call me at (812) 427-3636 and leave a message.  I will call you back to discuss the situation.  I have never come across a legitimate offer in all my years with the department.  Please do not fall victim to these criminal activities.  Once you have given money or information to them, it is virtually impossible to get it back.



Business scams are where a “company” comes to your house and offers a Great Deal on re-paving your driveway, painting a roof, fixing a shed, etc…   They will give you a low price to perform the work and get a down payment to start the job.  They inform you that they are going to get materials and never come back.  You have lost your money and the “company information” they gave you is fictitious.  Or, they give you one price to do the job and perform the work.  When the invoice is given to you, you notice that the price has gone up dramatically.  They offer some excuse as to why the price went up and you pay the high price.  Most of these contractors are not from our area and could be from several states away.  Don’t be fooled by these crooks.  If you need some work done, hire locally with someone you can trust.  If you encounter this type of scam artist in our community, call us immediately at (812) 427-3636 and report it.  Try to remember the type of truck, company name and license plate if you can get it.


These are just a few of the many types of crimes affecting our community each and every day.  Don’t be fooled by these scams.  Call us so that we can direct you in how to proceed with a incident.



Child Safety

Below are some tips to keep your child safe.  The following topics are listed with tips below for your convenience.



Top Bicycle Safety Rules

  • Always wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet to protect your head – every time you ride.
  • Use a bicycle that is the appropriate size for you.
  • Before you ride, make sure that you don’t have any loose clothing, drawstrings or shoelaces that can get caught up in your chain and cause you to fall or wreck.
  • Have an adult check the air in your tires and that the brakes are working before you ride.
  • Wear bright clothes so that others can see you on your bicycle.
  • Stay alert at all times.  Pay attention and watch for cars, people and bicyclists around you.
  • Don’t bicycle at night.
  • Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic by looking left-right-left to make sure no cars or trucks are there.
  • Learn and follow the rules of the road.

Rules of the Road

  • Only ride in the road if your mom or dad says it is OK.  Never ride in the road without their permission.
  • When riding in the road, always ride on the right hand side of the road. (same direction as traffic).
  • Ride predictably – ride in a straight line, don’t weave in and out of traffic.
  • When riding on a sidewalk – show respect for the people walking on the sidewalk.  Ring your bell to let them know you are coming and always pass on the left.
  • Look for objects in your path that could cause you to fall off of your bicycle.



Would your child know what to do if he or she got separated from you in a crowded place?  It is one of the most heart-pounding scary scenarios for parents.  Properly prepare your child for this event and give yourself some piece of mind.

Make sure that your child knows your full name, your phone number and your address.

Have the child practice calling your phone.

Teach your child to ask for help safely.

Tell your child to look for a person in uniform (police, fireman, EMT).  If they cannot find a person in uniform, then look for an adult with a child.

Tell your child to never go looking for you if they become separated.  Tell them to stay right where they are so that you can come and find them.

Practice the “What Ifs.”  Go over these tips periodically with your child, especially before heading out to a playground, park or other heavily populated area.  Sometimes a simple question and answer session can keep these tips fresh in your child’s mind.




The best way to start child proofing a home is to get down on your hands and knees for a tour. Strange as it may seem, even a home with almost nothing in it will seem dangerous from this perspective. An empty book case looks like a ladder and a table cloth looks like something to pull up on. Electrical sockets and electrical cords will suddenly take up much more of your vision, and small objects on the carpet will become much easier to see.

As you take your tour, think about how many places your child will end up in the course of the next three years. While some may believe that confining children to their rooms, or to a playpen, lessens the need for a child-safe house, the truth is that sooner or later your child will find his way to every corner of every room. The more remote the corner, the more likely it is they will be out of your sight when they find themselves there.


One of the most common causes of child death is choking. Objects smaller than your child’s mouth must be kept, always, where they cannot be reached. You must make removing these objects from floors and tables an instinctive response until your child is over three years old. Begin this process when your child is still unable to crawl because it will take months to accomplish.

Brittle, breakable and chewable objects are also dangerous to your child because they can be broken into bits and swallowed. This can result in choking accidents as well as poisoning accidents.


Another frequent cause of child death is strangulation. No visible cord or wire should be anywhere near your child until he is over four and is able to understand the danger of strangulation.

This means you may have to move table lamps and floor lamps, computers and appliances to new positions. Electrical cords must be completely unreachable. Things such as drapery cords and old-fashioned telephone coils must be shortened so they are 6 inches or less in length. Alternatively, they may be adjusted so they never come within 3 feet of the ground.


Children are hurt when they fall and when objects fall on them. A sturdy child protective barrier should be at the top of any staircase. Bookcases and chest of drawers should be weighted or attached to the wall, so they cannot topple if climbed on. Tables with table cloths are dangerous because children pull things down on themselves. Corded appliances, such as irons and curling irons, can be particularly dangerous. Make sure to put them away when you are not using them.


Thousands of children every year are burned by radiators and heaters, shocked or electrocuted by electrical appliances and drowned in water. In making your house child safe, take the time and effort to address these dangers.

Make sure electrical cords are hidden so children can’t bite them. Buy child-safe plugs to insert into electrical sockets you aren’t using. Make sure bathroom plugs are designed to short out or switch off if there’s a danger of electrocution.

Make sure all fire alarms are working. Ensure your child cannot touch the radiator, the electric heater or the hot grate of a central heating system. Make sure the fireplaces in your home are protected by child-proof grates even when not in use.  Ashes can be quite toxic to a child.

Water, ranging from mop buckets and toilets to showers and baths, are always dangerous to small children. A child can drown in as little as an inch of water.

Make sure your children are protected from other fluids as well. Childproof locks on cabinets that contain cleaning supplies and medicines save thousands of lives every year.


No child under the age of three should be left unattended and free to wander the house for even as little as five minutes. No matter how careful you have been in baby proofing your home, your child will find the one thing you left undone.

However, by taking the precautions outlined in these tips, you give your child more freedom to move around your home and you make your job of monitoring them that much easier.





Disaster Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness ChecklistIn cooperation with the Switzerland County Emergency Management Agency, the following tips are given to prepare for a disaster:


   Basic Protective Measures for All Hazards

Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate.  You should understand and plan for both possibilities.  Some basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards:

•Physical safety is a concern for all hazards and may involve sheltering or evacuating.

Escape Routes:  Draw a floor plan of your home.   Establish a place to meet after the evacuation.  Make sure children understand the drawing/meeting place.

Sheltering facts:  Choose a shelter location.  Have Emergency Supply Kit available.


•Develop a family communications plan,

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.  Complete a contact card for each family member;  keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse or backpack, etc.


 •Make an emergency supply kit to be prepared for any type of disaster.

Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual’s kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

                 Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:

                 – Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation

                 – Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

                – Medications

                – Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and

extra batteries

                – Flashlight and extra batteries

                – First Aid kit

                – Whistle to signal for help

                – Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant

                – Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

                – Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air

                – Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

                – Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

                – Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

                – Cell phone with charger


 •Learn about receiving emergency alerts.

Switzerland County Emergency Management is on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also sign up to receive emergency notifications by phone, text, or email at 

Tip Line

The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office ANONYMOUS CRIME TIP LINE is for the confidential reporting of information and non-emergency incidents to the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office.  The Tip Line number is 812-427-4427. The line has been set-up so that members of the community can report information that they may otherwise be reluctant to report.  The Tip Line is a voice mailbox with a recorded message.  A caller can leave a message containing the information that he or she wishes to share with the Sheriff’s Office.  The Tip Line is a non-emergency line.  There is no way to identify the caller or the line the caller is calling from.  A caller is welcome to identify themselves and leave contact information if they wish and are encouraged to do so if the situation requires follow-up contact.  The information left on the Tip Line will be checked frequently, and investigated as necessary.  If an incident is an emergency or requires an immediate response, the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center can be reached by dialing 911.  Nuisance type calls like noise complaints and other on going neighborhood issues should be reported when they are occurring to The Emergency Dispatch Center 812-427-3636.  This will allow the Sheriff’s Office to respond to and address these types of issues in a more timely and effective manner.

You can also report any tips online to the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office by e-mailing HERE.

Seat Belt Safety

Buckle Up

The state of Indiana imposed laws that require all motor vehicle passengers to wear a seat belt or be placed in a restraining device when the vehicle is in motion.Violations of these laws can result in fines of $25 for occupants 16 and older. Indiana is also one of many states running the Click It or Ticket program, an annual 5-week crackdown on improper seat belt use.

Seat belts save lives. While seat belt use has been increasing and averages 88 percent nationally, there are still groups less likely to wear seat belts:  teens, commercial drivers, males in rural areas, pick-up truck drivers, people driving at night, and people who have been drinking. Resources here include data, effective prevention, and links to national and state organizations working on this issue.

Seat Belts: Your Single Most Effective Safety Step

Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. They save lives:

  • Seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008.
  • Forty-two percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2007 were unbelted. A 2009 NHTSA study estimates more than 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented if seat belt use was 90 percent in every state.

The good news is, in 2009, seat belt use averaged 88 percent nationally, compared with 69 percent in 1998. NHTSA attributes this increase to the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, originally created by the National Safety Council as part of its Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign.


bambina con cinture di sicurezzaThe Indiana seat belt laws are different for children under 7-years-old. All passengers under 7 years of age must be in a child safety restraint appropriate for their age, height, and weight. Infants must be in an infant child safety seat, while toddlers and young children may be either in a booster seat or an adult seat belt adapter. Use of an adult safety belt is required for children ages 8 and up.

Children under the age of 16 cannot personally be held liable for not being properly restrained. The driver of the vehicle may be charged in some cases if their under 16 passenger is not properly restrained. Children age 12 and younger are also required to be seated in the back of the vehicle rather than the front seat.

Indiana also has the Indiana Buckle Up Bug program to help promote child safety restraint use. The program teaches children in grades K-3 about seat belt safety when in an Indianapolis car accident and helps encourage them to “bug” their family to follow Indiana seat belt laws as well.

 Child Safety Restraints:

The following child groups have specific child safety restraints and seat positions required for proper protections:

  • Infants under 20 lbs., up to 1 year old – infant-only, rear-facing safety seat in the back seat.
  • Children 20-30 lbs., less than 1 year old – convertible seat, rear-facing in the back seat.
  • Children 20-40 lbs., 1-4 years old – convertible or booster seat, forward-facing in the back seat.
  • Children under 4’9″ tall, 4-8 years – belt-positioning seat belt harness or high-back belt-positioning booster seat, seated in the back seat.

Before purchasing any type of child safety restraint check the product information for age, height and weight restrictions and recommendations. By using child safety restraints that are weight and height appropriate you can minimize the chances of serious injury in an Indianapolis car accident.

Vehicle Safety



  • Keep up with car maintenance – Well-maintained cars are safer cars, so make sure you change your oil on a regular basis and make sure all the parts of your car (engine, tires, belts, hoses, mirrors, windows, windshield wipers, lights, horn, etc.) are working properly.
  • Consider installing a car alarm to deter potential thieves.
  • Plan ahead – Consider the safest route and give yourself enough time to get to your destination so you don’t feel the need to speed.
  • Check the forecast to find out if severe weather is expected when and where you’re driving, then plan your trip accordingly.
  • Be prepared for emergencies – All drivers should prepare an emergency road kit and store it in the trunk of their vehicle. Suggested items include a flashlight, road flares, a first aid kit, blanket, water, road atlas and warm clothes for use in the winter season.


  • Don’t drive tired – Make sure you’re well rested and alert for your journey.
  • Avoid driving distracted – Put down the cell phone, food, hairbrush and makeup. Avoid adjusting the radio, heater/air conditioner. Stay focused on the road ahead instead of the scenic view and any accidents that might be on the side of the road.
  • Follow the driving laws – Buckle up, maintain a safe distance from other cars, stay out of the passing lane if you’re not passing another vehicle, etc.
  • Never operate a vehicle while impaired – An auto should never be operated if you drink alcohol or take drugs. Once they’re consumed, alcohol or drugs immediately impair your judgment, reaction time slows, and emotions and behavior become exaggerated. If you operate a motor vehicle while impaired, you jeopardize not only your life, but also the lives of others.
  • Be patient and considerate to other drivers – It’s important to treat other drivers as you would want to be treated. Aggressive driving, following too close and using high beams improperly are all examples of actions that can lead to serious accidents.


  • Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up, and take your keys with you. Don’t make it easy for thieves to steal your car or the items in it.
  • Remove valuable items from your car or keep them out of plain site so thieves won’t be tempted to break in and steal them.
  • Park your car in a well-lit, well-traveled area.
  • Avoid parking next to large vehicles or any objects (dumpsters, large trees or shrubbery, etc.) that someone could easily hide behind.


If you’re in an accident or your car breaks down, safety should be your first concern. Getting out of the car at a busy intersection or on a highway to change a tire or check damage from a fender bender is probably one of the worst things you can do. The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department recommends the following precautions when your car breaks down:

  • Never get out of the vehicle to make a repair or examine the damage on a busy highway. Get the vehicle to a safe place before getting out. If you’ve been involved in an accident, motion the other driver to pull up to a safe spot ahead.
  • If you can’t drive the vehicle, it may be safer to stay in the vehicle and wait for help or use a cell phone to summon help. Under most circumstances standing outside the vehicle in the flow of traffic is a bad idea.
  • Carry flares or triangles to use to mark your location once you get to the side of the road. Marking your vehicle’s location to give other drivers advance warning can be critical. Remember to put on your hazard lights!
  • In the case of a blowout or a flat tire, move the vehicle to a safer place before attempting a repair—even if it means destroying the wheel getting there. The cost of a tire, rim or wheel is minor compared to endangering your safety.

Cell Phone – Driving Safety


Abstain from talking on a cell phone while you are actively driving. Try to place calls while your vehicle is stationary.

Use a “hands-free” or speaker phone accessory. The use of a Bluetooth headset or earpiece allows you to talk while both hands remain on the wheel.  Prior to getting on the road, practice driving while using your hands-free device in an open parking lot so you know how to use it properly without fumbling. When possible, shop for the latest models of phones that feature voice activated dialing and speed dialing.

Hands-free or not, postpone conversations that are either emotional or complex. Do not make emotional calls while driving (quitting your job, breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.) as you will be focused primarily on the call rather than your driving.

If you need to answer or make a call, try and pull off the road into a safe parking area. Be alert. Do not stop in dangerous areas and be sure to keep your doors locked.

Never read or write a text message while driving. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second or two can result in a collision. Pull over to the side of the road if you must text. 

Keep your phone within easy reach. Do not leave your phone in the glove compartment or a purse where you might have to dig for it.

Make sure 911 is programmed into your phone’s memory should you need to report an accident or other emergency. While driving, use your cell phone only in the event of an emergency in which you or someone else needs help.

The Indiana State Statute prohibits a person from typing, transmitting or reading a text message or an electronic mail message while operating a moving motor vehicle unless the device is used in conjunction with hands-free or voice operated technology or unless the device is used to call 911 to report a bona fide emergency. (I.C. 9-21-8-59)

Neighborhood Safety

Neighborhood watch sign in cow paddock, ScotlandNEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY TIPS

Meet the people who live near you. Get to know their names, what cars they have and exchange phone numbers so you can call anyone in your area should the need arise.

Watch for strangers. Once you get to know the people around you, you will be better prepared to notice strangers who seem to be hanging around a lot. Seeing someone you don’t know walk down your street once is not at all unusual, but if that same person were to be lingering and going back and forth on your block frequently, they may be casing the neighborhood and looking for a home to rob.

Similarly, if you note an unfamiliar car that is spending a lot of time driving on your street, it could be an indication that criminals are looking for potential targets. Warn a neighbor if you see someone looking
at their home, and don’t be afraid to call the police to report suspicious behavior. As it is often said, the best way to avoid being victimized by crime is to prevent it from happening.

Deter criminals from choosing your home. Even a well watched neighborhood can be struck by crime. A burglar looks for the easiest target possible, so it is up to you to make your house difficult to break into. The first step is keeping exterior and interior lights on during the night. Criminals prefer a cover of darkness, and will gravitate towards a
home that has no lights on at all. If you plan to be gone overnight, you can use automatic timers on the lights so that it will look like you’re home. When you go out for the night, keep a television on, or play a radio inside the house. This will give the appearance that someone is still home, which is a great deterrent to criminals. Experts often recommend choosing a talk station for the radio to give the impression that a conversation is taking place inside. A law breaker may still attempt to break into your home if they become reasonably certain they can do so without being noticed.

Criminals have developed methods of breaking into most any home or building, but even a highly experienced law breaker will only devote a very short time to getting inside. The longer it takes for them to make their way in, the better the chances are that someone might see them and call the police. You can take steps to make it not worthwhile for a criminal choose your house by beefing up your security measures.

Make your home a fortress. Burglars look for any easy entrance to a home. A pet door, busted window or unlocked point of access will let them get in quickly. Walk around your house and examine it to make sure there are no vulnerable points that law breakers can use to force their way inside. Fix broken windows, busted locks, and any other part of your house that is not secure immediately. Never leave a spare key under the doormat or in the mailbox.

Security windows are designed to not be breakable, so installing them will make your home more of a stronghold. You can even purchase bullet proof glass for extra security. These items can get expensive, so a good alternative is to install a second lock on the window. You can find them at any retail location that sells hardware products, and they do not cost much.

Other areas to reinforce with extra locks and deadbolts are the front and back doors. A criminal may take the time to break or disable one lock on a door, but they will think twice about messing with one that has multiple security devices. Glass sliding doors can also be better secured with a security bar. A solid bar will prevent a door from being opened, and it cannot be moved from the outside. You can also find steel pins that lock into place at the bottom of a sliding door to make it impossible to open.

Utilize an alarm system. Hiring the services of a professional security company that will install an alarm in your house will be reassuring, but can also be very expensive. People who can afford it may want to pay extra for the peace of mind it comes with. Not only will your home be monitored at all times, criminals will also be discouraged from attempting to break in when they see the signs and window decals that inform them of the alarm.

Of course a burglar will not know if you don’t really have an alarm in place. People who can’t afford to install a home alarm company can still buy signs and stickers that announce that they have one. Place a
sign in your yard and the decal on your window to give the appearance that you are guarded by a security service. You can also purchase other warning signs such as Vicious Dog an NRA sticker to make
criminals think you have attack animals or guns on the premises.

When you leave your home, do you lock the doors and make sure the windows are closed … every time? Even if you will not be gone for long it is important to thoroughly secure every part of your home.

Hide valuables. It only takes a few minutes for a break in to occur. In fact, most criminals move as quickly as possible to avoid the possibility of being caught. Someone could come home at any time, so they work fast to collect your valuables and get away.

Burglars know where to look for items of value in any home. They will target key areas such as dressers, desk drawers, jewelry boxes and bathroom counters. Before leaving, they will also look in common
hiding spots like under the bed or mattress, inside the toilet tank, in the back of the refrigerator or freezer and under rugs that may conceal a hidden compartment with a secret stash of valuables. Some people think that keeping their things in a small safe will make them secure, but if the invader can pick it up and carry it with them, they will.

One of the best possible hiding spots for your most beloved treasures is within a diversion safe that is designed to look like a standard household product like shaving cream or a soda can. The look and weight of these products are duplicated exactly, so a burglar who is looking through your home will never spot them. Of course the goal is to ensure that people do not break into your home at all, so always remember to lock your doors and windows. Do it without fail, every time you leave the house.



Shopping Safety


Stay alert.  Remember to always pay attention to your surroundings.  If you see anything suspicious, call 911.

Park your vehicle under or near security lights. Do NOT park in remote areas. 

Lock the car. Keep doors locked and windows closed when leaving your vehicle. Remember to turn off your lights and take your keys.

Hide your packages from view. Store packages in the trunk of the car when possible. Otherwise, place your packages as low as possible in the back seat underneath a blanket to conceal them from view. Never leave them visible inside the vehicle. 

Never leave personal items inside your vehicle in plain sight. This includes money (including loose change), credit cards, cell phones, purses and GPS units. Police advise you to remove the GPS unit and, if necessary, take it with you. That includes even the suction cup, if it can be removed.

Always keep your shopping bags in eyesight. Never let anyone “watch” your bags while you are shopping.

Use credit cards safely. Beware of identity theft and keep receipts safe. Write down credit card and PIN numbers and leave a copy of them at home.  When your shopping is completed, check your credit card balances against your purchases to track any unauthorized purchases to your cards. Many credit card companies offer fraud protection against fraudulent credit card activities involving your credit cards. You should be aware that debit cards do not have the same protections as credit cards.

Buy reputable gift cards. Shoppers should only buy gift cards from reputable retailers, not online auction sites. Gift cards bought from online auction sites are more likely to be counterfeit or obtained through fraudulent means. Always keeps the original receipt with the value of the gift card purchased in case there are any problems with the card when it is redeemed.

Educate your children.  Teach kids what to do if you get separated. (The best option is to instruct your child to look for a security guard, police officer, or go to the customer service desk where people are trained to help.)

Communicate. Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone. Let them know if you change your schedule.