Personal safety

If you suspect you're in danger at any time, call 911.

Basic tips to keep you safe

In general, you should:

  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • trust your intuition. If a certain person, place or situation makes you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately

While at home

  • install quality locks and hardware, and lock your doors and windows at all times whether you’re at home or away
  • install a peep-hole in your door, taking into consideration the height of occupants of your home and their ability to use it
  • never open the door to strangers. If the person appears to be representing a company or organization, check the person’s identity by calling the company or organization they represent. If the situation appears to be an emergency, call 911
  • have your keys ready as you approach your home so you can quickly unlock your door

While driving

  • keep doors locked, even when you’re inside your vehicle
  • park in well-lit areas
  • look inside your vehicle before you get in
  • have your keys ready before you get to your vehicle
  • if someone tries to get in your car while you’re driving, drive off as quickly as possible. If you’re unable to do so, press your horn to alert other people to your situation
  • never pick up hitchhikers

When walking

  • plan your route and stay in well-travelled, well-lit areas
  • if you're walking alone, let someone know where you are going, your route and the time you expect to be at your destination
  • if you suspect you’re being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest business and call police at 902.490.5020
  • carry a cellphone, you can call 911 even if your phone is deactivated
  • if you carry a purse, wear it under your coat
  • don’t carry large sums of money or unnecessary valuables
  • stay alert, stand tall and walk confidently. Criminals are more likely to target someone who appears inattentive or afraid
  • if you’re verbally harassed, don't respond. Keep walking and notify the police at 902. 490.5020 when it's safe to do so

When using banking machines

  • use bank machines in highly visible locations
  • protect your PIN by covering the keypad and hovering over the machine

When in an elevator

  • don’t enter an elevator if you’re suspicious of the occupants
  • stand near the floor button panel. If you feel uneasy, push the number for the next floor and exit the elevator as soon as it stops
  • don’t push the “emergency stop” button as it immobilizes the elevator, potentially trapping you inside

In the workplace

  • avoid isolated stairwells
  • if working after hours, keep office doors locked
  • ask a trusted co-worker to accompany you to your vehicle and then drive them to their vehicle/destination

At a bar or party

  • never let your drink out of your sight. If you do, get a new one
  • if you're going to drink alcohol, do so responsibly and stay with a group of trusted friends

If you're assaulted/robbed

  • don’t resist if someone grabs your belongings. Your chances of being harmed are lower if you give the criminal what they want
  • throw your wallet/purse/belongings as far as you can behind the criminal, and then run in the opposite direction screaming “Fire” to get people’s attention
  • try to get attention. A whistle or personal alarm is very effective. Scream “Fire” rather than “Help” to get people’s attention
  • report the incident immediately by calling 911 while the details are fresher in your mind and the police have a better chance of catching the offender in the area
  • If you have been physically or sexually assaulted:
    • resist washing, showering, changing your clothes or cleaning up in any way. Unfortunately, doing so may destroy important evidence
    • most importantly, remember that it is not your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You may need help and emotional support in this difficult time, whether from friends, relatives or support groups. Consider contacting our Victim Services Unit at 902.490.5300 for guidance and support
  • If your wallet is taken:
    • contact financial institutions/credit card companies to report that your cards have been stolen
    • contact Canada’s two national credit bureaus. Ask for a free copy of your credit report and review it for any suspicious activity. You may also wish to see if your credit file should be flagged to indicate that your personal information has been put at risk
      • Equifax: 1.800.465.7166
      • TransUnion: 1.800.663.9980 (for residents of Quebec: 1.877.713.3393)