Here are some tips on personal safety and security when you are at home and away from home in various situations. They are simple, common sense suggestions that will help keep you from being an easy target for a criminal. Also included are things to do if you are threatened or are a victim of stalking or domestic violence.
Additional tips on home security, vehicle security, vacation safety and security, senior safety and security, preventing crimes against businesses, preventing fraud and identity theft, reporting crime and suspicious activities, reporting suspicious activities for terrorism prevention, reporting disorder and other problems, obtaining crime information, dealing with homeless people, and starting a Neighborhood Watch program are available in the Crime Prevention and Education section of the SDPD website at
The following situations are considered: inside a home, answering the door, answering the phone and talking to strangers, and returning home.
Inside a Home, Apartment, or Condo
• Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are at home or are just going out “for a minute.”
• Keep your garage door closed.
• Install dead-bolt locks on all doors.
• Install a screen security door for additional ventilation.
• Don’t give maids, babysitters, or others working in your home access to your home keys or alarm codes.
• Re-key or change all locks when moving into a new home.
• List only your last name and initials on your mailbox or in a phone directory.
• Don’t give your name or whereabouts on your answering machine message. Never say you aren’t home. Just ask the caller to leave a message.
• Consider installing a home alarm system that provides monitoring for burglary, fire, and medical emergencies.
• Leave outside lights on after dark or have outside lights controlled by a motion detector. Keep porches and all entrances well lighted. Check bulbs regularly.
• Keep drapes or blinds closed at night but leave some lights on.
• Leave drapes or blinds partially open during the day.
• Never dress in front of windows. Always close the drapes or blinds.
• Know your neighbors and keep their phone numbers handy.
• Have a friend or neighbor check on you daily if you are home alone.
• Try never to be alone in the laundry room or any other common area in an apartment building.
• Call the SDPD CRO (Community Relations Officer) in your neighborhood to arrange for a free home security survey. And ask about starting or joining a Neighborhood Watch program in your area. SDPD division addresses and phone numbers are listed at the end of this paper along with the address and phone number of the SDPD storefront or satellite office in your area and contact person there.
• Call 911 if you hear or see something suspicious. Examples of suspicious activities are listed on the page entitled Reporting and Providing Information about Crimes and Suspicious Activities in the Crime Prevention and Education section of the SDPD website at