The following pointers are mostly common-sense safety tips that you may already take when, for example, walking to your car late at night.
If you are concerned for any reason the first step is to tell your immediate manager. They will help you assess the risk and, if necessary, create a realistic personal security plan, which may include notifying Police.
Security at work
Who are your colleagues?
Getting to know your colleagues is an easy way to ensure that any strangers who gain access to your workplace are easily identified.
Beware of ‘ghosting’ – when a person follows behind a staff member and gains access to secure areas by slipping through gates or doors before they close.
On large sites, it is impossible to know everyone, so stay alert and if you see someone unfamiliar check they have a visible ID card. All staff are able to challenge an unknown person and ask to see proof that they are allowed to be there – but make sure it is safe to do so. If you are alone you should call for back-up or find a colleague before you challenge someone.
Security outside of work
Out and about
- Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
- If you are walking at night, stay on brightly lit, well-used streets as much as possible. If you must take a poorly lit route, walk near the kerb or well away from shrubbery, dark doorways and other places of concealment. Be ‘alert’ (take out your headphones) and avoid shortcuts.
- Don’t leave anything in view in your vehicle that could associate you with your workplace.
- Park in well-lit areas and always close your car windows and lock the doors.
- Park where you can drive away easily, e.g don’t park in driveways where your access could be restricted.
Security at home
The suggestions below are ideas you may like to consider in relation to safety at home. You may already be doing many of these.
Family Safety Plan
Think about developing a safety plan for emergency situations that is agreed upon by all members of the household. Every plan will be unique to the circumstances, but here are some
important things to consider:
- What will you each do in the event of an emergency?
- How and where will you meet up in the event that the home is no longer safe?
- How will you contact each other in case of an emergency? If you can’t contact someone, who or where will you leave a message?
- What will you need to do for members of the household with a disability or special requirement?
- What will need to be done for pets, domestic animals and livestock if the home is no longer safe? Who will be responsible for collecting children from school if you need to relocate in a short amount of time?
- Who could help you or where could you go if you need to relocate in a short amount of time?
getthru.govt.nz (external link)has some great information and resources on this topic.
- Always check who is at the door before opening it (consider having a door chain or security peep-hole installed) and never open the door if you are suspicious in any way.
- After dark, close the curtains so people can’t look in.
- Check all doors and windows are secure before going to bed, leaving the house (even if you are only popping out for a minute) or going to a different part of the house.
- Keep a strong ‘courtesy’ light by the front and back doors at night.
- If you go out at night, prepare for your return by turning on outside lights. Some inside lights should also be left on.
- Keep a check on your house keys and never leave one outside in an obvious place (e.g don’t leave one under the mat or in the letter box).
- Arrange fixed times for trades people to call. Check their identity and never leave them in the house on their own.
- Check parcels/deliveries before accepting them.
- Trim bushes or trees that are close to the house.
- Talk to children and teenagers about staying safe (e.g how to open the door or answer the phone).
- Be wary about giving personal information out on the phone, especially if you don’t know the caller. It’s better to take a name and number
and call back if you are suspicious in any way.
- Make sure children and other family members know to be careful when answering the phone.
Anonymous calls – telephone threats
Anonymous calls and telephone threats are usually intended to lower your morale. Your natural reaction when hearing a hostile voice is one of anger/fear and to cut off the conversation. However, the caller may provide clues to their intentions or specific threats and if possible, you should try to keep them talking:
- Try to identify the voice by age, sex, accent, peculiarities, etc
- Listen for background noise, which may provide valuable information, e.g music, machinery, animals, industrial noises, railway station sounds etc
- Write down the details of the call immediately
- Contact the Police without delay.