Brought to you by ISU Public Safety and the ISU Safety Committee June, 2001
Secure Your Home Before A Vacation
When you are away on vacation, your home is vulnerable to a break-in. Securing your house and giving it a lived-in look are important to prevent burglaries. Having someone check the house regularly is also a good idea.
Here are some ideas for preventing break-ins when you are out of town.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked before you leave. Donít forget about basement windows, garage windows, skylights and pet entrances. Make a final check once everyone is out of the house.
- Remove ladders from sight so they cannot be used to gain entrance to second-floor windows.
- Leave outside lighting on to discourge prowlers. Set yard lighting on a timer so it will only come on at night. Consider installing motion or heat-activated exterior lighting.
- Set indoor lights and radios to come on at intervals to give the illusion the house is occupied .
- Turn your telephone down to its lowest level before you go. The sound of an unanswered phone is an indication of an unoccupied house. Never leave a message telling callers you are away.
- Maintain a list with serial numbers of all the valuable items on your property. Photograph or video tape the contents of each room. That way, you will have an accurate record in case you need to file an insurance claim.
- Tell a trusted neighbor when you are leaving and when you plan to return. Leave your itinerary and telephone numbers where you can be reached in an emergency.
- Ask your neighbors not to tell strangers you are away, and extend the same courtesy to your neighbors when they are away.
- Arrange for daily pickup of mail and newspapers. Arrange for regular lawn care and/or snow shoveling.
- Donít talk about your planned trip in stores or public places. Burglars pick up information this way.
- Donít hide a key outside - burglars know where to look.
Emergency In The Office!
Whether itís a fire in the washroom or a tornado/severe storm on the way, itís an emergency and your ISU department needs to have a plan to deal with it. Whether you know it or not you are an important part of that plan.
Each department should have a plan designed to deal with a number of possible emergencies, which may actually be part of an overall University plan. Each employee has a part to play, and it may be as simple as leaving the building and heading for an assembly point when the alarms go off.
Depending on the location, size and type of facility, your department needs to be prepared for many kinds of disasters. Here is just a sampling:
- Fire and explosion.
- Structural collapse.
- Release of hazardous chemicals.
- Gas leaks.
- Natural disasters, such as tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, and floods.
- Bomb threats.
- Violent threats or actions directed at employees.
Of course itís not possible to predict or be prepared for every disaster, but an emergency plan provides an outline for coping with a variety of situations. These plans are in place to safeguard human life, buildings, equipment and materials, both in the office and in neighboring communities.
Even if you are not part of any emergency response crew, there are certain basics which you should know to protect yourself and others. These topics should be part of your training:
- Take emergency drills seriously because they are a dress rehearsal for a real disaster.
- Know at least two emergency exits from your work area. Elevators do not count because they may not be used in case of fire or other emergencies which threaten the electrical power system.
- Find out if you are responsible for helping anyone else to escape from the building, such as a co-worker who uses a wheelchair, is blind or hearing impaired.
- Know the location of fire alarm and fire fighting equipment, such as break-glass alarms, fire extinguishers and fire hoses.
- Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and know how to report an emergency. Check your Faculty/Staff Handbook under Part 3, Section III, A. Public Safety, and B. Bomb Threats. Technical Safety should be contacted for hazardous materials training, if necessary for your department.
- All phones on campus should have a sticker which lists the emergency phone numbers. They are:
Public Safety 282-2515
Student Health 282-2330
Callers should be prepared to give their name, return phone number, and the ISU building number, which should be listed on the phone sticker.
- All bomb threats, directed towards campus facilities or events, whether received in the mail or by phone, by any department on campus, will be immediately reported to the Public Safety office at 282-2515.
- You can also find the Emergency Response Manual on our website.
Learn your role and be prepared to carry it out in case of a disaster. If you are not sure what you are supposed to do - ASK. Your life may depend on it.