Season’s greetings from Drexel Public Safety! If you have time before you leave for winter break, we’d greatly appreciate your input in our annual survey to gauge the effectiveness of the services provided by the Drexel University Police Department, Public Safety Communications Center, and our security services. Your responses will remain confidential, so please be candid. You can access the survey at this link: drexel.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_24D1ClO8sUU67Pf.
We hope the tips provided below will help ensure all members of the Drexel community enjoy a safe, healthy and joyful holiday season.
AVOID THESE DECORATING HAZARDS
Nothing can ruin your holidays like a trip to the emergency room or a visit from the fire department. Remember these safety tips when working outdoors:
- Check the weather and wait it out — snow and ice can make hanging lights on rooftops dangerous.
- Ensure your ladder is firmly footed, on level ground and angled to the structure for ideal safety.
- Be aware of power lines.
- Use plastic clips — not staples or nails — to secure lights.
- Ensure all light sets are not frayed or split, and plug in all connections tightly.
When decorating indoors, keep in mind that although traditional decorations may look pretty, they can be harmful to children and pets.
- Spray-on snow contains chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled. Avoid spraying while children are nearby, and do so in a well-ventilated area.
- Vintage glass ornaments passed down from generations are fragile and can produce extremely sharp shards if broken. Some may also contain lead paint.
- Tinsel and garland can become choking hazards and cause dangerous blockages in the digestive tracts for both children and pets.
- Poinsettias, holly berries and mistletoe are all poisonous to humans and pets if swallowed.
PROTECT YOURSELF WHILE SHOPPING
Safeguard your valuables while shopping at busy retail centers.
While you’re out checking off those shopping lists and visiting busy retail centers this season:
- Stay Alert: Park close to your destination. Be aware of your surrounding and belongings.
- Guard Your Valuables Against Theft: Never leave your purse, wallet or phone unattended in a cart or on the counter. Carry your purses and wallets close to your body or zipped inside in a pocket. Lock packages in your trunk, out of sight.
- Protect Your Family: If shopping with small children, establish a meeting point in case of separation. Teach children how to seek help from store personnel or security. Before leaving the house, take pictures of your children and what they are wearing — this helps when looking for lost children.
Prefer to shop from the comfort of home? Here’s how to safeguard against theft when shopping online:
- Shop with known businesses, conducting transactions on a secure server only.
- Do not record your Social Security number or driver’s license number online, as these are not needed for online purchases.
- Make sure your computer has the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software downloaded. (Review the Information Security sectionof Drexel IT’s website for more tips and trainings.)
- Monitor credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized charges.
- Review last month’s newsletter for tips on avoiding package thefts.
BE SMART WITH SPACE HEATERS
Follow these tips when using space heaters an as an extra source to stay warm:
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Check for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use.
- Plug the heater directly into wall outlets and don’t use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place the heaters on a solid, flat surface. Never place them on cabinets, tables, furniture or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Keep them at least three feet from flammable items (paper, clothing, rugs, bedding, etc.).
- Never leave a space heater unattended, and turn if off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Never leave your bags unattended while traveling.
STAY SAFE WHILE TRAVELING
Before you leave for holiday travel:
Stop mail and cancel deliveries.
Put an automatic timer on lights.
Tell a trusted neighbor your itinerary.
Lock all windows and doors, including the basement and garage.
When traveling through airports:
Walk with confidence, keeping your head up and looking forward.
Never leave your luggage unattended.
Only use taxis and transportation services with official markings.
Mark your luggage so that it is easily identified and picked up right away
While away from home:
Carry a minimum amount of cash.
Carry your cell phone close to you.
If driving, plan your route and have your car serviced, including your tires. Always keep an emergency preparedness kit with you, and do not drive while drowsy.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
Drexel Public Safety’s Madonna Calderoni, Police Officer Logan Wells, and Linda Moran drop off donations for Preston & Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger.
Winter Coat Drive
Through noon on Dec. 13
The Department of Public Safety is helping the 16thPolice District collect donations of new or gently used coats, scarves, gloves and socks for adults and children. Donations can be dropped off to 3201 Arch St., Suite 350, or contact Linda Moran at email@example.com arrange for a pick-up from any campus location.
Drexel Police Monthly Meet & Greet
Dec. 18, 1–3 p.m.
Held the third Wednesday of every month, Drexel Police encourages everyone to stop by the Police Substation in Gerri C. Lebow Hall (first floor, near the A.J. Drexel statue entrance) to ask questions, voice concerns, find resources, or just say hello.
The R.A.D. System provides self-defense courses on the basics of hands-on defense training taught by certified R.A.D. instructors. R.A.D. manuals are provided to course participants, outlining the entire physical defense program.Sign up for our winter or spring session of RAD classes now on the Public Safety website. If you’d like to start off with a shorter less intense self-defense class, please contact Linda Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org information on our new two-hour class.
215.895.2222 or 911
To learn more about Drexel Public Safety visit drexel.edu/publicsafety.