Personal Safety Tips
Four ways to increase your personal safety are:
- Reduce or eliminate opportunities that may make you a target.
- Increase awareness in places you’re most comfortable.
- Trust your instincts regardless of feeling embarrassed.
- Prepare your schedule daily with safety in mind.
- Use well-populated and well-lit streets. If you suspect you’re being followed, stay away from deserted blocks and head for an area where people are or head in to the nearest open store and inform them you’re being followed.
- Carry handbags, portfolios or briefcases in a manner that will allow you to let go of the item being held. Straps placed across your shoulder, around your neck or wrapped around your wrist have caused injuries to people because they could not free themselves from the item during the purse snatch.
- If someone attempts to take/snatch your handbag let go of it, especially if there is a weapon involved.
- When dining out, the only place for your handbag is on your lap and not on the back of the chair, as the handbag becomes an easy target for a thief.
- Never carry a wallet in a rear pocket, use a front trouser or inside coat pocket.
- Minimize the amount of money, credit cards and valuables you carry by only taking items that are necessary for your day. Divide money between handbags/wallets and your pockets.
- Carry your keys on your person separate from your identification.
- Travel in pairs or groups.
- Never leave a drink unattended in a puclic place.
- Be aware of suspicious people near the entrance.
- Use well lighted, well populated ATM’s.
- Avoid ATM’s that have unlocked/unsecured doors or are directly out on the street.
- Block bystander’s view when doing your transaction. Use mirrors positioned at the ATM to see behind you.
- Put your money away and take your card and receipt before exiting an ATM.
- Your card is exclusively for your entry only; do not allow anyone to follow you in without having a bank card themselves.
- Make sure the door closes behind you.
Remember safety is everyone’s responsibility!
Statistics show that 68% of all room thefts occur in unlocked rooms, when the occupant has stepped out for "only a minute". When you encounter suspicious behavior (a trespasser, theft, damage, etc.) in your room, immediately contact security even if it turns out to be a false alarm. It is better to be safe.
- Always lock your door. Never prop your door open. Although you may be inside your room, you may not be aware that your valuable items are in total view near the door.
- Do not leave notes on your door stating that you are not home and times you will be gone. This will definitely attract would-be thieves.
- Do not give out your keys to anyone!
- Pay special attention to security precautions at all times, especially during breaks.
- Get acquainted with your neighbors on your floor as soon as possible. Every resident has a role to play in security. Part of that role is to know who belongs on your floor and who does not.
- Never allow another residents’ visitor to visit your room without being accompanied by their host.
- Recognize strangers and never let down your guard.
- Immediately report to either your Resident Advisor and/or EHS if you are uncomfortable with the visitor(s) your roommate has signed in.
- Be assertive where security is concerned. You have both rights and obligation in this regard. You have the right to expect security to consistently challenge you and everyone when entering the building. You have the right to expect fellow residents to follow good security practices and to do things which protect your interests.
VisitorsIt is essential that you are aware that the residence in which you reside is a shared community. Be fully aware that by inviting strangers into this community you are placing your roommate and/ or neighbors at a potential risk.
- Always ensure that your roommates are familiar with your visitors.
- Never leave a visitor alone in your room.
- Never allow your visitor to travel unescorted throughout the building.
- Ensure that your visitor properly signs in with security. Your guest might be required to leave a valid photo ID card that will remain at the security desk until the visitor leaves the premises.
- All residents are required to carry their EHS ID/Key at all times.
- In the event that a stranger tries to gain access into the building, immediately notify Security.
- Keep your electronic key card ready in hand as you approach the building. As you gain access into the building/room, ensure the door is properly closed behind you.
For more information on public transportation safety, please visit www.mta.info.
- When traveling on the New York City transit system, try to purchase a MetroCard in advance in order to avoid using money when traveling late at night.
- While waiting for the subway, stand in the yellow area marked "Off-Hours Waiting Area" or near the token booth outside the turnstile until the train enters the station.
- Ride in a crowded car of the train, or ride in the car with the conductor. It is usually the 5th car.
- Sit in the center of the car, away from the doors to avoid a purse or chain snatch. Stay Awake!
When traveling by taxicab, make sure the Taxi driver's photo is visible and always request the shortest destination route and a receipt.
NYC manages two different types of taxis:
- Yellow cars that you can hail anywhere in NYC and have a meter.
- Borough Green Taxis can only be hailed above east 96th street, Brooklyn, Queens, and have a meter.
- Borough Limo Taxis have standard pricing as they do not have a meter. Great for long distance trips and can be radio-dispatched.
Under no circumstances should you ride in a taxicab that does not appear legitimate and try to use taxis that are radio-dispatched. All legitimate taxi cabs will have a license plate that begins with a T and is followed by a series of numbers.
Stay Awake and alert.
Metropolitan or Neighborhood Areas
- When traveling alone or accompanied by others, ensure that your personal items are secure.
- Never open your wallet or purse in a potentially dangerous situation.
- Please avoid anyone asking for money.
- Although the neighborhood appears safe during late hours, always use precaution.
- Use well populated and well-lit streets. If you suspect you’re being followed, stay away from deserted blocks and head for an area where people are or head into the nearest open store and inform them you’re being followed. Call the Police.
Acts of Terrorism
Unfortunately for all Americans, life has forever changed after September 11, 2001. Educational Housing Services’ priority is the safety and well-being of those who live with us and our Department of Public Safety works closely with and obtains information from the New York Police Department on a continuing basis. In the highly unlikely event that an act of terrorism was to occur on any of our EHS residences we would rely on police, fire and the Office of Emergency Management for guidance and resources.
New York City has essentially been operating at the United States Department of Homeland Security national security alert level orange since 9/11/01. Should an incident away from the residence cause a change in the security alert level or other action, EHS will relay the appropriate information that impacts our buildings through established channels of communication such as Security Alerts, emails, facebook or meetings.
Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior such as unanticipated deliveries, people asking directions to sensitive areas such as utility rooms or HVAC systems, or people asking questions regarding security force capabilities.
- Do not accept packages from strangers or leave personal belongings unattended.
- Report unusual behavior and suspicious packages to the Department of Public Safety by dialing (212) 977-7622 x 3624.
- If you receive a telephone call regarding a suspicious package or explosive device, get as much information from the caller as possible and relay the information to the Department of Public Safety.
- In the event of a chemical or biological attack, follow instructions as whether to remain inside or to evacuate. In most instances, you will be instructed to remain in your residence, school or other shelter. If the appropriate response is evacuation, please follow the security alerts/announcements instructions.
If evacuation from the residence becomes necessary, it will likely involve many more people outside of Educational Housing Services, and we will work closely with emergency responders to maintain safety for our staff and residents.
Fire Alarm Procedures
If you ever see fire or smoke, or smell smoke, do not hesitate to pull the fire alarm nearest your room. It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with all applicable fire safety procedures. Falsely activating a fire alarm is against the law. Residents will be evicted and are subject to punishment to the fullest extent of the law. As a resident, you are strongly advised to maintain fire/theft insurance. You can usually add your possessions to your parents' homeowner's or tenant homeowner's insurance policy through a rider.
If the fire is in your room:
- All persons are to vacate the room immediately in the safest possible way. If you are able to, please do the following:
- Call 911 after you exit the building.
- Do not try to extinguish the fire by yourself.
- Close all windows and open shades. Turn on lights.
- Take your identification and keys with you.
- Close all room doors.
- Pull Fire Alarm station, if possible as you exit.
- Alert other people by knocking on their doors or yelling on your way out.
- Use the nearest stairway to exit, NEVER use the elevator.
- Learn your locations evacuation plan and know your pre-determined path for exiting from the building
- Assemble across the street and maintain absolute silence so instructions can be heard.
- Wait until the appropriate officials indicate that you can re-enter the building.
If the fire is not in your room:
- If you cannot safely exit your room or building, call 911 and then provide them with appropriate information (name, address, etc.).
- Stay inside your room and listen for instructions from safety personnel unless conditions become dangerous.
- If you must exit your room, first feel your room door and doorknob for heat. If they are not hot, open the door slightly and check the hallway for smoke, heat or fire.
- If you can exit your room safely, follow the instructions above for a fire in a room.
- If you are unable to safely leave your room, seal the floor in your room with wet towels or sheets and seal air ducts or other openings where smoke may enter.
- Open windows a few inches unless flames and smoke are coming from below.
- Do not break any windows.
- If condition in the room appears life threatening, open a window and wave a towel or sheet to attract the attention of firefighters.
- If smoke conditions worsen before help arrives, get down on the floor and take short breaths through your nose.
Fire Warning System
Kerry Rose Sprinkler Act
Educational Housing Services is committed to providing a safe environment for the entire community and to that end we would like you to know what fire safety devices are located in our residences. This advisement complies with the “Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act” (A.5715-a/s. 4180-B). These are the fire safety systems you will find in the New Yorker Residence; fire sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, CO detectors, heat detectors, fire alarm pull boxes, emergency lights, public address system, and emergency exits. The fire extinguishers are checked to ensure that they are in working condition in accordance to the law. There will be at least one fire drill per semester.
Residents are provided with the Fire Safety Evacuation Plan for their location behind their room doors and in our Code of Conduct. It is important that you know the location of these fire safety devices and immediately report any device that is in need of repair or has been tampered with. Remember fire safety is everyone’s business and together we can lessen the threat of fire.
Educational Housing Services requires occupants to evacuate only as directed by the building’s specific Fire Safety Plan in the event of fire alarm activation. An alarm will sound on the fire floor, the floor above the fire and the floor below the fire floor. The occupants of these areas should immediately use the exit stairs to descend to a floor level that is at least four floors below the fire floor, and await further instructions over the loud speaker.
All other floors/areas will receive an alert signal and these occupants should stand-by for further instructions. Persons in these locations are not required to evacuate the area until told to do so by the Fire Safety Director, if required.
Residents should follow the building’s Fire Safety Director’s directions and procedures at all times. If you have any questions regarding EHS’ Fire Safety Plan, please contact the Public Safety Office at 347-272-1271 or email us at [email protected].
How to Avoid an Accidental Alarm
- When using a microwave, oven or stove use lower time intervals and continue to reheat your food until it is ready, as opposed to leaving something in for long periods of time which may cause a fire or excessive smoke.
- If you are making popcorn, please make sure that you are watching it very carefully.
- Never leave the food warming area unattended while you are cooking food.
- Be certain to keep all other items that can catch fire away from the cooking surface.
- Cook only when you are ALERT – not when you’re sleepy, drowsy from medication(s) or after alcohol use.
- All residences are smoke free environment, please smoke outside the building.
- Remove all prohibited items (toasters, hot plates, grills) from your room.
Severe Weather Conditions
In the event of a storm there is a possibility of flooding rains, high winds, downed trees (on houses, cars, power lines) and widespread power outages. The severity of the impact will be determined by the storm’s exact path and intensity which may only be known a few days before the event.
If an evacuation becomes necessary, you will be instructed via Public Address System to assemble in the lobby area of your location and will receive further instructions by Security Officials. Please listen to announcements made by the Security Staff. You should bring a “TO GO” bag along with any item you want to bring with you. Consider that you may be in the meeting area for an extended period of time. Bring items that would occupy you without the possibility of power (games and books are a couple of suggestions). Also, we encourage you to take the stairways and would appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Other Important Information:
- Please listen for announcements.
Do not take the elevator in case of emergency.
- Keep your cell phones and electronics charged.
- Please listen to staff members.
Please be cautioned that we could experience leaks. As a proactive measure, please pick up all items off of the floor. Make sure your windows are tightly shut, blinds are down, and move all items away from windows. Please report any issues to an EHS Staff member.
For more information about New York City preparations, please follow www.nyc.gov.
Emergency To Go Bags
We recommend that all our residents prepare an emergency To Go Bag. A To Go Bag should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels. Below are some recommendations on this “To Go Bag”:
- Should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Make sure it is ready to go at all times of the year.
- It should have copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, birth certificates, deeds, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
- Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
- Bottled water and nonperishable food, such as energy or granola bars.
- Flashlight: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespan. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.
- Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries.
- List of the medications you take (if any) and their dosages. Medication information and other essential personal items. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
- First Aid Kit.
- Lightweight raingear and Mylar blanket.
If you wish to buy a Go Bag you can do so by going to the American Red Cross website and search “Emergency To Go Bag”.
Important Phone Numbers
Emergency Phone Numbers
In case of a police or medical emergency, dial 911
During Office Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00am to 10:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 8:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am to 6:00pm
Student Life Office: 212-994-8815
Please note, office hours may vary. Do not leave a message in an emergency.
After Office Hours:
24 Hour Emergency Building Contact
Front Desk Security: 212-971-0101 ext. 5107
Emergency RA on duty: 917-697-9610
Front desk security will alert on-call staff member in residence. Please only use these numbers in an emergency situation involving a current resident.
Local Police Station
NYPD Midtown South
357 W. 35th Street, New York, NY, 10001
Director of Public Safety
Email: [email protected]
NYC Crisis Resource:
Lifenet is a free, confidential for New York City residents in crisis.
NYC Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR):
311 or 212-306-7450
NOW NYC Hotline: