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Safety Tips During Winter Break

I received these safety tips from UMD’s Campus Housing Services. Most of them apply to our non-student residents as well.

At your home and your UMD home away from home:
• Keep doors and windows locked, regardless of whether they are upper or lower level windows/entrances.
• Before you leave your home, check to be sure that all windows and doors locked.
• Require identification from all strangers (includes delivery/repair persons and police officers). If you’re not sure of a person’s ID, call the person’s company/agency to verify.
• Never leave notes/messages on your door since they advertise that you’re away and when you plan to return.
• Don’t ever tell anyone that you are home alone.
• Use blinds and drapes for privacy.
• Ensure bushes are trimmed back to remove hiding places for potential criminals.
• Ensure your home has good interior and exterior lighting for safety and protection.
• Always have car/house keys in hand before exiting secured areas.
• Keep hands free of excessive packages/bulky items when you’re travelling to/from your home.
• Never enter your home if you see that a door or window has been forced. Get to the nearest space place and contact the local police immediately.
• Never place a key over your doorway or under a flower pot, etc. If you think you may need access to a spare key, consider leaving a key with a trusted friend or neighbor.
• Don’t display presents under the tree if they can be seen from a window.

If you will be away for all / part of the winter break:
• Stop mail and newspaper deliveries.
• Place lights on a timer to give the appearance of someone being home.
• Take valuable items such as jewelry, money, laptops, iPods, TVs, etc., with you to avoid potential theft.
• Double-check to be sure all windows and doors are locked and secured before you leave.
• Ask a friend or a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your residence while you are away.

When Out Shopping:
• Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
• Walk in well-lit, populated areas; avoid cut-through paths and short-cuts.
• Try to park in busy, well-lit areas and avoid parking beside large vehicles which can obstruct views.
• Lock your car doors and place all valuables in the trunk or under the seats.
• Avoid carrying large sums of cash. Pay with a check, debit card, or credit cards.
• Keep your purse closed and close to your body and/or carry your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.

Important Safety Resources (Program these numbers into your mobile phone)
Prince George’s County Police
911 from mobile phone
301-352-1200 (non-emergency)
www.co.pg.md.us/Government/PublicSafety/Police/

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