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At Home > On The Street > Self-Defense

Safety Tips: At Home

Always secure your home

Keep doors and windows locked, both when you are away and when you are at home. Have your key out and ready as soon as you return home and lock the door behind you once you're inside.

Don't give out keys or 'hide' spare keys.

While you may want a relative or close friend to have a spare key to your home in case of emergency, make sure that no one else has access to your keys and home. Make sure that your home (whether you own or rent) has new locks. Don't give out keys to workmen or strangers or hide a spare key in an obvious place.

Keep your curtains or blinds closed after dark so that strangers can't see in.

If you are going to be away for a period of time, ask a trusted friend or relative to visit your home and turn on lights, move curtains and blinds, and pick up mail so that your home does not look empty.

Use only your last name on your mailbox, buzzer, and in the phone directory.

That way a stranger won't know if a man or a woman lives there. They also won't know if you live alone or with roommates or a family.

If you see signs of a break in or hear an intruder, dial 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Don't enter your home if you suspect someone has broken in. If you are already in the home, dial 911 (having a phone extension in your bedroom can make this easier.)

Don't give out personal information on your answering machine or when you answer the phone.

When you answer the phone, simply say 'hello'. Don't give out your number, name, or reveal any information about yourself to a stranger, and never say you are alone in the house. If you have an answering machine or voice mail, simply state that you can't take the call - never say that you are out of the home or away. If you receive a threatening call, hang up and call the police.

For more information on keeping your home safe, see our home safety course.

Next: Safety Tips: On the Street

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