Season’s greetings from Drexel Public Safety! This edition of Public Safety & U is focused on celebrating the holidays — safely — plus our continued effort of giving back to the Greater Philadelphia community. Check out the tips below, and learn more about how you can do your part this month. Happy Holidays!
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
While you’re checking off those shopping lists this season:
- Stay Alert: Park close to your destination. Be aware of your surroundings and belongings.
- Follow CDC Guidelines: Wear a mask, avoid touching your face, maintain distance from others, practice good hand-hygiene and follow any one-way signage in stores.
- 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.
Many of us will be shopping from 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 section of 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 it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
PVCA Neighborhood Clean-up
Public Safety is participating in the Powelton Village Civic Association’s neighborhood clean-up Dec. 5 at 9 a.m. Participants are meeting at 36th and Pearl streets, and social distancing guidelines will be in place. Please contact Drexel’s community relations officers for further details: Officer Tom Cirone, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Officer Kim McClay, email@example.com.
Annual Military Care Package Drive
Public Safety and USO are co-sponsoring this year’s Military Care Package Drive. Show your support for both active-duty and retired veterans in the community by making or supplying items for a care package to send overseas to active-duty military members (and dogs!) or by dropping off items and donations to veterans here in Philadelphia. The Department of Public Safety (3201 Arch St., Suite 350) is serving as a drop-off location between 2–4 p.m. on Dec. 5. For more information on pick-up/drop-off options and suggested care package items, please review this DrexelNow article.
Officers John Joerger, Matt Richardson, Ryan Bennett and Morgan Meehan with U.S. Navy Veteran Ronald Blakey at 3209 Baring.
Linking Up With Local Veterans
Drexel Public Safety partnered with Gloucester County “Sausage King” Vito DiGiovacchino to purchase of 400 lbs. of pork, which were used to cook approximately 2,000 sausage links. Officers donated the links on Veterans Day to veterans’ homes including 3209 Baring.
Drexel Ranked No. 5 in Campus Safety
Security Magazine ranked Drexel University No. 5 in the nation for campus safety among colleges, universities and technical institutions in its 2020 Security 500 rankings. You can view the full rankings at this link.
21CP Solutions Assessment
Drexel University recognizes the critical importance and sensitivity of policing issues to our campus community, our city and our nation. As announced in July, the University retained 21CP Solutions to conduct an external review of the Drexel University Police Department. We encourage everyone who is interested in sharing their experiences and perspectives on the Drexel University Police Department to do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. These emails will be kept confidential to the 21CP team and will help inform the final report from 21CP Solutions.
“See Something, Say Something, Do Something”
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To learn more about Drexel Public Safety visit drexel.edu/publicsafety