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Safety Tips

Personal safety and property security are everyone's responsibility at FMU. The FMU Campus Police Department urges all members of the University community to participate in making our campus as safe as possible. If you develop good security habits, you can assist us in safeguarding your property and University property.

Although the Francis Marion University campus is relatively crime free, and University Police officers patrol the area frequently, it is still vulnerable to some criminal activity. The most likely crime sites are the student housing complex, campus buildings, and the campus parking  lots.

If a crime is going to occur, the offender must have three things to accomplish the task: desire, ability, and opportunity.

There is not very much you can do about the offender's desire and ability. However, you can take steps to control the offender's opportunity.

The following are some general safety measures that could prevent you from becoming a crime victim. If you observe unusual, suspicious or criminal behavior, call FMU Police immediately at 661-1109.



Personal Safety Suggestions

 

  • You should never walk alone! Walk in groups to class and to and from parking lots. However, if you must walk alone, have a plan and choose open well lighted and well traveled areas. Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace.  Consider using the Campus Escort Service.  Call 661-1109 for an escort to your destination.

  • When walking, you should walk facing traffic. Be cautious of drivers that stop to talk to you. Never get into a stranger's vehicle. Never hitchhike.

  • BE AWARE of your surroundings! Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what offenders look for in a victim.

  • Always tell someone where you'll be and what time you expect to return.

  • Do not wear headphones while walking or jogging.

  • Do not read while walking or standing on the street.

  • Clogs, high heels, and tight skirts are hard to run and fight in. Capes, scarves and long necklaces are easy to grab. Consider modifying your clothing.

  • Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • If you are being followed: cross the street, change directions, keep looking back so the person knows you can't be surprised. Enter a residence hall, library, etc. Go to a well-lighted populated area and ask for help. Notice as many physical details as possible, so you can describe the person to the police.

  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS: If something "feels wrong", something probably is wrong .

  • If you feel you are in danger, attract attention anyway you can. Don't be reluctant to scream and run. Don't be afraid to loudly call attention to what the assailant is doing ("Help!" "Get your hands off me!"  "This man is bothering me.", etc. ).  

  • Never work alone in an office or classroom on campus at night. Use the buddy system.  If you are alone in an office or classroom keep the door locked, always ask who is knocking before opening the door and never prop open locked exterior building doors.  Let Campus Police know where you are and when you intend to leave. 

  • Always report the incident or suspicious persons to University Police at 661-109.

In Your Room or Apartment

 

  • Always lock your door when you leave the room, even if you will be gone only for a minute or just "going down the hall for a moment".  It takes about eight seconds for someone to walk into an open room and remove an item.

  • Lock doors and windows when you are alone or sleeping.

  • Do not prop open doors to your building; this potentially puts everyone at risk.

  • Keep emergency numbers near your phone.

  • Do not leave messages on your door, or voice mail, etc., indicating you are away or when you will return.

  • Report suspicious persons on your hall to your RA or Campus Police. Never let a stranger into your room.

  • Be cautious of telephone surveys and NEVER give out any personal information to persons who call you. Never give your phone number to a stranger.

  • Never leave purses, wallets, jewelry and other valuables unattended in laundry rooms, kitchen areas or around a swimming pool.

  • Make a list of your valuables with a description and serial numbers and keep it on file in your room. Write your name on or in textbooks to reduce theft.  Consider enrolling your property in Operation ID.  Contact Campus Police at 661-1109 for more information.

  • Keep ATM cards, credit cards, etc. in a safe place. Do not leave them lying out in the open. Never leave them on a dresser near your door. It takes less than 10 seconds to look into your open room and steal items from a dresser near the door.

  • If someone is prowling outside your residence or loitering in the vicinity of your building or room, turn on several lights, call Campus Police (1109 or 911) and Residence Life staff.

  • Never light candles or use open flames in your room.  This is prohibited by Housing Policy and has been linked to campus fires on a number of occasions.

  • Do not enter your home or apartment if you find a door or window open, or if it has been burglarized.

In Your Vehicle

 

  • Always keep your car doors locked, especially at traffic signals.

  • Always close all windows, especially the vent window, lock them and activate the anti-theft device when you leave your car.

  • Control your keys. Keep your car keys and house keys on separate rings. Never have an identification tag such as a miniature license plate or nameplate on your key ring. Never hide an extra key in or on the car, criminals know where to look for extra keys.

  • Never pull up to the bumper of the car in front of you in traffic.  Leave yourself room to drive off if confronted by someone while stopped.

  • Keep your purse, tapes, valuables, etc. out of sight when your vehicle is parked. Always lock your vehicle so entry to the trunk cannot be made from the inside. Secure all valuable in the trunk of your car or remove them.  Leaving expensive items in full view invites theft.

  • Never leave the title or registration in the car. Thieves can use these important documents to sell the car or impersonate you if challenged by the police.

  • Never pick up hitchhikers. If someone approaches your vehicle and attempts to enter it, blow the horn and/or drive away.

  • Stay alert while approaching your car in a parking lot.  Be aware of your surroundings and have your keys ready before you get to your vehicle. Look in your vehicle before you get in.

  • At night, park in well-lighted area and in lots more frequently used by others.

  • If you are confronted with an armed assailant, the decision to comply or resist is a personal decision based on the circumstances. Remember that any property you possess is not as valuable as your life.

  • Report all suspicious persons or activity to the Campus Police immediately at 661-1109.

Off Campus 

 

  • Any monitoring of crime off campus is done by the agency of jurisdiction where the crime took place; however, we work closely with other local police agencies and offer any assistance available.

 
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