Crime Prevention Tips
Below is a list of valuable crime prevention tips to keep students and employees safe at USF.
Residence Hall Living Safety
- Lock your door whenever you leave (even for a short amount of time). Always lock your door when resting or sleeping.
- Do not leave your wallet, purse, credit cards, cash, checkbook or other valuables in the open.
- NEVER PROP OPEN EXTERIOR DOORS. If you see a door propped, close it.
- Never allow people you do not know to "tailgate" behind you into the building! People who are authorized to be in your building should have card access or a key. Politely tell them that you cannot allow them in and that they need to contact an R.D. or R.A. on duty. If they follow you anyway, call Campus Safety and Security immediately.
- Never loan your student ID card to anyone. If you misplace it, report it to Campus Safety and Security immediately.
- Never leave your laptop, textbooks, cellphone, book bag, purse or other valuables unattended in common areas.
- Record the serial numbers of valuable objects you have in your room, and give this information to your family (DO NOT USE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY #).
- If you see a suspicious person or someone you don't believe should be in or around the building, call Campus Safety and Security or 911 immediately.
- If you are awakened by an intruder inside your room, do not attempt to apprehend the suspect; but get a description of the intruder and call 911 immediately.
Walking and Running Safety
- Run or walk with a friend. It is less likely that something will happen to you if there are two of you.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you can be expected to return.
- Carry a whistle to use in case of an emergency.
- Do you exercise outdoors? Vary your route and schedule
- Try not to overload yourself with packages or other items. Keep your hands as free as possible.
- If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body, preferably in front. If you are confronted by a thief, DO NOT RESIST! Give the thief what he/she wants and try to notice as much detail as possible regarding the individual. Call 911 immediately.
- Have your access card or key ready when returning to your residence hall or apartment.
- Always walk or jog in a familiar area, and use a well-lit path. Avoid dark or vacant areas.
If you suspect you are being followed:
- Run in a different direction.
- Run to the other side of the street.
- Yell or whistle for help.
- Run to a lighted area.
- Run to a group of people.
- Call 911.
Parking and Vehicle Safety
Vehicles in parking lots always present a target for thieves. In fact, over one million vehicles are stolen in the U.S. each year.
- Always lock your vehicle. (Nearly 20% of all vehicles stolen had the keys in them.)
- On cold mornings, never leave your vehicle unattended while running to warm it up.
- Why carry your keys when approaching your vehicle?
- So you may enter quickly.
- Believe it or not, keys can be used as a self-defense weapon.
- What to do if you see someone loitering near your car:
- DO NOT STOP.
- Walk to an area where there are other people.
- If you use a keyless entry remote, do not unlock your doors until you can see your vehicle.
- Try not to walk close to other parked vehicles and stay in the center of the access way.
- Plan your route and try not to travel alone.
- Travel and park on well-lit streets, and don't drive in unfamiliar areas.
- Keep your doors locked and windows closed.
- Look inside your car before entering; check the vehicle for a possible break-in. Assailants sometimes hide in the back seat of a vehicle.
- What not to keep in plain sight:
- Electronic Devices
- For minor accidents on USF property:
- First call 911 and wait for the officer to arrive before getting out, talking to the other driver and looking at the damage.
- Second, call Campus Safety and Security at 605-321-6400 to inform them of the situation and that you have already contacted the police.
- When returning to your dorm at night, call ahead and ask someone to watch for you while you are walking from your car to the door. You may also call for a Safe Walk or Safe Ride at 605-321-6400
Classroom and Office Safety
- Make sure to close and lock doors and windows if you are the last to leave.
- If you should be working or studying late, always make sure that the office or classroom door is locked. Remember, NEVER PROP OPEN ANY DOOR.
- Turn off all lights.
- Report any type of suspicious activity to Campus Safety and Security at 605-321-6400 or 605-331-6591.
- Do not leave items in the open that contain your personnel information (driver's license, credit card, student ID, checks).
- Do not leave your valuables such as your wallet, purse or jewelry lying on your desk.
- In case of theft, keep a list of 800 numbers for reporting stolen credit cards.
- Notify Campus Safety and Security if you are aware of any situation that may result in violence or any type of harassment.
- On harassing phone calls:
- Hang up as soon as you realize the nature of the call.
- Pay attention to any details that can ID the caller.
- Keep a log of calls received.
- Use *69 or caller ID to see if you can determine the caller's phone number.
- If a situation does occur and the police are notified, get as much detailed information as possible.
- If you are leaving late, try not to walk alone. Walk with a classmate or co-worker; you may also call for a Safe Walk or Safe Ride at 605-321-6400.