Holiday safety tips from security director

Each year at the holidays, Baylor Director of Security Butch Roberson offers important tips to help Baylor students and employees stay safe – both at the workplace and at home.

“The holidays are upon us, and it should be a happy and joyous time. Unfortunately, it is also a time when many crimes are committed – at work and elsewhere. Often, this happens because people forget to secure personal property and valuables in the proper manner,” Roberson said.

He offers the following tips:

  • Never leave your identification, wallet, purse, phone, laptop or other valuables in your work area unattended. Take them with you or secure them.
  • Protect your personal information and passwords.
  • Take ownership of your work area. If you detect unknown person(s) in your work area, ask them who they are looking for or if you can help them. Never assume a stranger wandering around is a staff member. If you do not like the response you get, contact security immediately.
  • Do not post vacation times or itineraries on office doors or bulletin boards.
  • Do not let strangers into the buildings. Remember, as an access card holder, you are responsible not only for your safety, but also the safety of your co-workers.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables with you, especially when you are out shopping. Carry only what you need.
  • Try not to overload yourself with packages or other items. Keep your hands as free as possible.
  • If you carry a purse, keep it close to your body, preferably in front, and keep it closed or zipped. Pickpockets love open purses!!
  • Always try to park in visible, well-lit areas.
  • Do not leave packages or valuables visible inside your car. Remember: LOCK your car, TAKE your keys, and HIDE your belongings.
  • When you approach your parked vehicle, visually check the areas around the vehicle for suspicious persons or activity. If you observe anything suspicious, walk to where there are other people and call security or the police.
  • If you think you are being followed to your vehicle, enter through the front passenger door. This allows you unobstructed entry, allows you to easily lock the doors and insert your key into the ignition and start your vehicle. It also gives the appearance that someone else is with you or waiting in the vehicle, which could give you that extra second you need to secure yourself inside your vehicle.
  • Use extreme caution when using ATM machines. Look for suspicious persons or activity before you roll your window down. If you do not feel safe, keep your windows shut and doors locked and drive away. Then alert the police.