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Preventing crime in the workplace

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Besides home, the workplace is where the majority of your time is spent, and the place where you feel most safe. However, the office could be the ideal location for a crime and you could be the target. Education is the best prevention, so follow these tips to ensure that you or your co-workers don't become victims.

Security tips for parking areas

* Be watchful of suspicious persons in parking lots and parking structures. Be alert to individuals who follow you and/or watch you place items in your vehicle. Report all suspicious activity to security.

* Avoid leaving shopping bags, gifts, briefcases or other valuable items inside your vehicle where people passing by can see them.

Lock it up

* Do not leave cellular phones plugged into the cigarette lighter or placed in plain view anywhere inside of your vehicle.

* Lock the trunk and/or tailgate.

* Close all windows -- thieves have tools that can unlock vehicles through minimal open spaces.

* When you park the vehicle, remove CD player, tape decks and other valuable possessions from the car. Never leave valuables lying in the front seat of your vehicle; lock them in your trunk instead.

Securing your office

* Lock all doors when the office is empty.

* Avoid keeping large amounts of petty cash in the office.

* Report all solicitors and suspicious persons to security immediately.

* Do not allow any workers or contractors into your tenant space until they have been cleared through the receptionist.

* Question visitors who wander through your office. Legitimate guests will appreciate your offer of assistance and would-be solicitors or thieves will be deterred.

* Keep blinds closed after hours where such valuables as computers or fax machines are visible from the outside.

Employee safety and security issues

* Lock all personal items in a desk or file cabinet.

* Security vulnerability exists in many suites. Therefore, employees should be observant when they see an unescorted visitor or stranger walking through the suite. Report this activity immediately.

* Male employees tend to keep their wallets and checkbooks inside their coat pockets, which are commonly hung on desk chairs. Thieves are privy to this and act quickly. It may be hours before you realize your wallet and/or checkbook is missing, therefore, we recommend you do not keep your wallet in your coat pocket.

* Most female employees tend to put their purses in the lower right hand desk drawer. Keep purses closed, as it is easy to reach in and grab a wallet without being noticed.

* Be suspicious of unfamiliar people claiming to be repair persons.

* If you are working late, we encourage you to request a security escort to your car.

Davis is a sales and marketing manager of Universal Protection Service

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