Safety Tips

Image: Fire Safety at KDES

General Safety

  • Know your environment. Gallaudet is in a big city. The University and the neighboring community are not isolated from crime.
  • Do not go out alone unless absolutely necessary.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you will return home. Let that person know if you are going to be late. Also tell that person to contact the Department of Public Safety (on campus) or the Metropolitan Police (off campus) if you do not arrive within a reasonable period of time.
  • Stay in well-lit areas. AVOID ALLEYS, VACANT LOTS, WOODED AREAS, AND OTHER SHORTCUTS.
  • Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. AVOID DOORWAYS, BUSHES, AND OTHER POTENTIAL HIDING PLACES.
  • Walk facing traffic if you must walk in the street.
  • Walk confidently and at a steady pace.
  • Keep your smartphone hidden.  Exposing your smartphone may lead to a crime of opportunity
  • Wear clothing and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
  • Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers. Never pick up a hitchhiker.
  • Never carry large sums of cash or display expensive jewelry in public.
  • Avoid excessive drinking - it affects your judgment.

Trust your instincts! If someone or some situation makes you uneasy, leave, cross the street, go into a store or building, or get in your car and go home.

ATM Safety

  • Use machines you are familiar with - those on campus or inside a bank are the best.
  • Try to go with a friend if possible so that your companion can watch for danger.
  • Look around before conducting your transaction. If you see anyone or anything suspicious, leave!
  • Make sure the ATM is in a well-lit area.
  • Never walk away from the ATM machine with cash in hand.

If someone tries to rob you, don't resist. Give up your property - not your life!

Resident Safety

  • Lock the door to your room or home - when you are inside and when you leave.
  • Never brag about what you have at home.
  • Take advantage of the on-campus escort service and personal safety checks offered by the Department of Public Safety.
  • Engrave your valuables by using Operation ID, a service of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Never prop doors open.
  • Make sure you know your guests - do not allow individuals whom you know only casually to enter your home.
  • Never leave cash, credit cards, or valuables out in the open. If you have a laptop computer, lock it in a desk or cabinet when you are out.

Feel safe at home. Don't let anyone in unless you are absolutely sure of your safety.

Vehicle Safety

  • Lock your car, even if you are in it - both on and off campus.
  • Don't leave expensive property in plain view in your car. Lock items in your trunk or take them with you.
  • Consider investing in a car alarm if you have expensive stereo equipment in your car.
  • Always park in a secure, well-lit area.
  • If you see another motorist stranded on the road, do not stop to help. Flag down a police officer or notify the police in some other way.
  • If you are stranded in your car, and someone offers to help, just ask that person to call the police. Do not accept help from the police unless they are in uniform and in a marked patrol vehicle.

If a carjacker demands your car, give it up! Your life and health are more important than any vehicle.

Additional Vehicle Safety Resources

Sexual Assault

  • Try to stall for time to figure out your options. Each situation is different. Decide if you will fight, run, submit, or use some other tactic.
  • If you fight, hit hard and fast. Target the eyes or groin.
  • Tell the attacker you have sexually transmitted disease or you are menstruating.
  • Try urinating or vomiting - anything to discourage the attacker.
  • Blow a whistle and run as fast as you can.
  • Be responsible when drinking alcohol, and never accept a "special drink". Many date rapes happen when women are drinking.
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