Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Administration and Finance > University Police > Personal Safety Tips
Know how to contact Public Safety or the Police• Know the emergency telephone number for your University Police department. 785.628.5304• Keep the emergency phone numbers near your phones (stickers, magnets, etc.).• Program emergency phones numbers into your personal cell phone.• Learn where the campus emergency telephones (Blue Light Telephones) are located on campus and learn how to use them.• Learn where other emergency telephones are located throughout campus (chemistry labs. woodworking areas, etc.).• Ensure that you are subscribed to the campus mass notification system on campus.• Participate in any campus emergency notification, whistle, or other safety programs being offered.
Walking around campus• Familiarize yourself with the layout of the campus. Survey the campus while classes are in session and after dark to see that academic buildings, walkways, facilities, and parking lots are adequately secured and well-lighted.• Plan the safest route to your destination; choose well-lighted, busy pathways and streets.• Share your class schedule with your parents and trusted friends and give them your telephone numbers.• At night, stick to well-lighted areas whenever possible and avoid alleyways or “short cuts” through isolated areas.• Travel in groups and avoid going out alone at night.• Use the campus escort or shuttle services at night.• Know where the emergency call boxes are located on campus and learn how to use them.• If you are being followed, change direction and go to the nearest business or home; knock on the door, and request that someone call the Police. Note the description of the person following you.• Walk near the curb and avoid shrubbery or other places of potential concealment.• Tell a friend or roommate where you are going and what time you expect to return.• Stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you.• Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it; carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or your front pant pocket.• Keep your keys separate from your purse or backpack.• Don’t overload yourself with bags or packages and avoid wearing shoes that restrict your movements.• Walk with a confident stride; keep your head up and look around.• If a motorist stops and asks for directions, keep your distance from the car.In the Residence Halls• Always lock your door; even when you’re sleeping or just going down the hall.• Do not allow strangers to enter your room or your complex. Do not open your door unless you can identify the person seeking entry.• Do not let unknown individuals “tailgate;” ask who they are visiting and offer to call the University Police Department.• Do not prop any exterior doors open to allow unescorted visitors into the residence hall (pizza delivery, friends, etc.).• Report lost or stolen residence hall keys immediately to your residence hall staff.• Report any malfunctioning locks, doors or windows to your residence life staff.• Do not leave your keys lying around in your room when you are not in the room.• Do not leave messages on your door about when you will be returning to your room.• Tell a roommate or friend if you are planning to be away overnight or for a few days.• Report any suspicious persons or activities (including solicitors) in or near your residence hall to your residence hall staff and University Police.• Secure your valuables and engrave expensive items with identifying information.• Always lock your doors and windows at night, especially if you reside on the first or second floors.• Do not leave your identification, keys, wallets, checkbooks, or other valuables in open view.• Get to know your RA, residence life staff and neighbors.Motor vehicle safety• Park in well lighted areas, where your vehicle is visible; avoid parking next to vans or trucks.• Keep all items out of sight, especially valuables. Remove or place CD players/cases, etc. in the truck.• Service your vehicle regularly to avoid breakdowns.• Keep your vehicle locked at all times.• Consider “The CLUB” or an alarm system.• When leaving your car for service, remove your other keys.• Have your key ready when you approach your car. Before getting in, check inside and under your car to make sure no one is hiding.When driving• Carry a cell phone.• Never let fuel level get below ¼ tank.• Drive on well traveled streets and keep your car in gear while it is stopped. Allow at least one car length space between your car and the car in front of you so that you can escape should someone try to get into your car.• Always be aware of your surroundings and check your rear view mirror often.• Keep doors locked and windows shut and keep valuables out of sight; either covered or in the trunk.• If your car breaks down, open the hood and stay inside. If someone stops to help, do not open your window or door, but have him or her call for assistance.• If you do not know the location of your destination, ask someone for specific directions before you leave.• If you get lost, do not pull over until you find a well-lit public area, and then call the police.• If you suspect you are being followed, drive to a well-lit public area and call the police.• Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle with first aid supplies, flares, flashlight, jumper cables, blanket, etc.• Never pick up hitchhikers.• Beware of people who yell, honk, and point at your car as if something is wrong; if your car breaks down, stay inside and lock the doors. If anyone approaches to help, crack the window and ask them to call the Police. Ask uniformed people to show identification.• Beware of people who motion and ask you to stop and lend assistance; if you want to assist someone whose car has broken down, go to the nearest phone or use your cell phone and call the Police.• Beware of people who may bump your vehicle from behind; if you think you were bumped intentionally, signal the other person to follow you to the nearest police station.• If a person with a weapon confronts you and wants your vehicle, give it up. No car is worth being injured or losing your life over.
Road rage• Do not take your eyes off the road.• Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver.• Stay cool; don't react to provocation.• Distance yourself from drivers behaving erratically.• Do not make obscene gestures.• Use your horn sparingly.• Keep to the right except to pass; don't block passing lane.• Do not switch lanes without signaling.• Avoid blocking the right-hand turn lane.• Do not take more than one parking space.• If you are not disabled, don't park in a disabled space.• Be careful to not allow your door to hit the car parked next to you.• Do not tailgate.• Avoid unnecessary use of high beam headlights.• Do not become distracted by a cell phone, CD players, GPS system, etc.• Do not stop in the road to talk with a pedestrian or other driver.• Do not expose neighboring cars or others with loud or inappropriate music.• Assume other drivers' mistakes are not personal.• Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn't.• Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and get out of the way.• Lower your stress by allow plenty of time for the trip, listening to soothing music, etc.• Understand that you can't control the traffic, only your reaction to it.• If you are followed, either drive to the nearest police station or call 911 on your cell phone.• Finally, if you are tempted to drive irrationally, ask yourself: "Is it worth being killed? Is it worth going to jail?"Safe walking, jogging or running• Plan your route in advance and walk/jog/run in familiar areas.• Go with a known companion if possible.• Carry identification.• Don’t wear jewelry or carry cash.• Avoid secluded or dimly lighted areas.• Avoid going after dark.• Always face the traffic.• If you’re being followed, cross the street or change directions; keep looking back and get a good description of the person.• If you’re still being followed, go to the nearest house or business and call the Police.• Wear bright colors to improve your visibility.• Change your route and schedule.• Avoid bushes where a person could hide.• Take a key with you; do not leave your house or room unlocked; someone could be watching to see when you are not home.• Carry your cell phone, a whistle or shrill alarm to summon help.• Do not wear headphones/earphones for an IPod, walkman, etc.If you are attacked• Go with you instincts, but be realistic about your ability to fight off someone; your instinct may be to run, scream, kick, hit or bite.• If a weapon is displayed, don’t resist. Give up your property and save your life.• Do what you are told and don’t make any sudden moves.• Try to remember as many details as possible and alert Public Safety or the Police as soon as possible.• Your goal should be to escape safety and survive; cooperate if you think that resisting may lead to further harm.• Remember every situation is different; you are the only one who can decide the appropriate course of action.• Constantly play the “what if” game to think about what you would do in a particular threatening situation. This will help prepare you to respond instinctively when a threat is encountered.• After an event, never feel guilty about what you did or did not do.Bicycle safety and protection• Use a bike light when riding a bicycle at night.• Wear a helmet at all times when riding a bicycle.• Obey all traffic laws; you must stop at intersections; pedestrians have the right of way.• Pay attention to your surroundings; warn pedestrians when you are passing them.• Take extra care when passing parking lot exits or driving through parking lots.• Give proper hand signals when turning or stopping.• Before leaving a lane, give a hand signal. Leave the lane only when safe to do so.• Secure your bicycle with a heavy duty U-lock or chain. When possible, lock at least your front wheel and frame to a bike rack or other stationary object.• Do not park your bicycle in a doorway, on stairs, or blocking any handicapped access. Use a bike rack.• Engrave or permanently mark your bicycle with an identifying number and record that number with University Police.Cyber security• Never give your password to anyone.• Change your password frequently.• Do not allow others access to your email account.• Monitor your access time; by keeping track of when and how long you were on a computer system, it will be obvious if someone has gained access to your account.• Be wary of anonymous “re-mailers.”• Do not put personal information or photos on your web page and do not give personal information that can identify where you live to social networking sites.• Never leave your computer/laptop unattended.• Engrave markings on your computer.• Shop online only with companies that you know; check with the Better Business Bureau if unsure.• Use a secure browser that will encrypt or scramble purchase information or pay with a money order or check.• Update your virus software regularly, or when new versions are available.• Do not download files sent to you by strangers or click on hyperlinks from people you don’t know.• Make certain that all your personal information is deleted from your computer prior to disposing of it.• Monitor your children’s internet access and consider installing blocking software.Describing a suspect or a vehicleDateTimeLocationDirection of TravelWeaponSuspect Information:Male/FemaleAdult/Juvenile/Approximate AgeRaceHeight/WeightHair ColorEye ColorMustache, beard, sideburns or other facial hairTattoos, scars or other identifying marksGait, limp or amputationsClothing:HatGlassesShirt type/colorPants type/colorShoesAutomobile Information:Make/ModelColorYearBody style (2-door, 4-door, convertible, truck, etc.)License plate numberDistinguishing features (spoiler, racing stripes, tinting, damage, etc.)
Everyday living• Take a self-defense course. If female, see if a Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) course is offered.• Keep emergency numbers near your phone. Better yet; remember them!• Lock all doors and windows every time you leave your room/apartment/home, even if you plan to be gone for just a minute.• Keep house and car keys on separate rings.• Do not lend your keys to service/maintenance people you do not know well.• Always ask service/maintenance people to identify themselves before allowing them to enter your room/apartment/home.• Get to know your neighbors so you can help each other.• Do not keep large sums of money, jewelry, or valuable items in plain view in your room/apartment/home.• When out of town, set radios, lights, and televisions on timers.• If you are living off campus, leave spare keys with trusted neighbors, not under a doormat or in a flower planter.• Try to avoid entering elevators occupied by strangers. If you are waiting for an elevator with a stranger, stand away from the door to avoid being pushed inside. Get off on the next floor if you feel uneasy. Hit the alarm button if you are accosted on an elevator.• Please report any broken or malfunctioning locks to the facilities department.On foot• Avoid dark, vacant, or deserted areas; use well-lit routes.• Avoid walking/jogging/running alone, especially at night. Ask a friend to go with you. Call Public Safety to accompany you around campus during evening hours.• Dress in clothes and shoes that will not hamper movement.• Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid wearing headsets that impair your ability to detect and respond to potentially dangerous situations.• Report suspicious activity or noises immediately.• Carry a noise-making device with you at all times, and use it if you suspect you are in danger. Move to a lit area or building and raise a commotion. Call 911 or activate the emergency phones, located at various areas on campus
If you sense trouble
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