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Safety and Security Tips for Thanksgiving Break 2006
November 21, 2006, Volume 53, No. 13

If you are Leaving Penn for Thanksgiving Break:

Register your residence with Public Safety for Special Checks during the Break.  (See www.publicsafety.upenn.edu and go to “online forms”.)

Secure or remove all valuables (i.e., jewelry, computers, stereos, televisions, etc.).

All valuables should already be engraved with your Personal ID. Engravers are available at the Detective Unit, 4040 Chestnut Street, (215) 898-4485. 

Close and lock all windows; close all shades, drapes and blinds. Lock and bolt entrance doors to rooms or apartments.

Use timers on lights and on a radio or television to give your residence the appearance of being occupied.

Your answering device message should never indicate that you are not at home. Always use plural nouns even if you live alone (e.g., “we’re not available to take your call right now”). Don’t use your name.

Make sure that your exterior lighting works and turn all lights on. Preferably, exterior lights should be on a timer or photoelectric cell. If not, contact your landlord regarding these security devices before you leave for Break!


If you are Remaining at Penn during Thanksgiving Break:

Use one of the interior automated teller machines (ATMs). You can find a list of indoor machines on www.publicsafety.upenn.edu.

Avoid withdrawing money at night. Check the amount withdrawn only after you are safely inside your residence or office. Never display money in a crowd.

Carry only necessary credit cards and money.

Carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or side trouser pocket. Carry your handbag tightly under your arm with the clasp toward your body. Never let it dangle by the handle.

Keep your wallet or handbag closed and with you at all times. Never place it on the seat beside you, on the counter next to you or under a seat when dining.

Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you, trust your instincts. Stay in well-lighted and well-traveled areas.

Walk with your head up, shoulders back and your eyes scanning the people around you.

Use the “buddy” system or the Penn Transit System when traveling at night. From non-University exchanges, dial (215) 898-RIDE (7433) for the vehicular escort service or (215) 898-WALK (9255) for the walking escort service between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., daily.

If you are expecting guests or workers, do not open your door until you know it is the right person(s). Always ask to see identification of visitors you don’t know.

If accosted, don’t resist! Don’t panic! Get a good description, direction traveled, etc. and report the incident to the police as soon as possible.

Know the locations of Penn’s blue-light emergency telephones. Open the box, lift the receiver or push the button to talk.

Report any suspicious activities to the police as soon as you can:  Where, What, Who, When and How.

—Division of Public Safety

Know your Emergency Numbers:

Division of Public Safety
Penn Police Department 4040 Chestnut Street

On Campus: 511
Off Campus: (215) 573-3333
Non-Emergencies: (215) 898-7297/7298
Special Services: (215) 898-4481/6600
Penn Detectives: (215) 898-4485

Philadelphia Police Department
18th Police District 5510 Pine Street

Emergencies: 911
General Business: (215) 686-3180
SEPTA Police Department
Emergencies: (215) 580-4131



Almanac - November 21, 2006, Volume 53, No. 13