One of the more pleasant aspects of living in New Haven is that it often feels like a small town. However, it is an urban environment, which means that it is important to take the safety precautions you would take in a big city anywhere. “Better safe than sorry,” is an expression that means you should follow your instincts about staying safe. Although Yale University has its own patrol and the City of New Haven police force patrols the surrounding areas on foot, bike and horseback, remember that they cannot be all places at all times. Most likely you will not encounter problems in the U.S., but it is always a good idea to know and heed the following safety tips.
Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts; they are usually right. If you feel uncomfortable or that something is wrong, leave the area.
Keep your apartment, dorm room, bicycle and car locked.
Don’t walk alone at night — take a friend or two along and walk in the well-lit areas. Use Yale security escorts: Call 432-9255.
Do not take ‘shortcuts’ through back alleys or empty parking lots. Avoid deserted areas.
Do not use your passport as an ID. Keep it locked safely at home. (You may want to get a CT driver’s license or non-driver photo identification card to use as official ID).
Avoid confrontations through polite refusals. Do not engage in conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. If a stranger is overly friendly or makes a request you don’t understand or don’t trust, simply say, “I’m sorry. I cannot help you,” and walk away.
If you are offered something on the street or over the telephone and you feel uncomfortable, you can say, “No thanks,” and walk away or hang up.
Never use or enter an ATM without checking to see who is around. If you feel uncomfortable, do not enter the vestibule and do not withdraw money.
Do not carry large amounts of cash with you. It is safer to use checks, money orders, traveler’s checks or debit/credit cards.
Never open your door to someone you do not know. Official company representatives and service personnel from companies such as Southern Connecticut Gas, Federal Express, Comcast, etc. will wear uniforms and carry official identification. Ask for their ID before allowing them to enter your home.
Never give personal information (e.g. name, address, social security number, credit card number, etc.) over the telephone, or through e-mail.
Have your keys in your hand and be ready to quickly open the door of your car or apartment.
If someone approaches you, demands your money and threatens to hurt you, do not resist. Give them your money and report the incident to the police immediately.
Do not leave your books, backpack, or purse or other valuables unattended anywhere.
Yale is committed to keeping its community a safe place to work, study and live through its uniformed police patrol and a range of security and security awareness programs, including BLUE security phones found all over campus, the university transit services and escort service (2-WALK). The Yale University Police Department is a real police force that provides police services typically found in all urban communities. They are especially friendly and supportive of the Yale community, and you can help to be their eyes and ears. Don’t hesitate to contact the police to report a crime or anything suspicious, or if you have any concerns or questions. Do not be passive about security at Yale, and get to know and use the resources available to you.
It is not advisable to walk alone at night. Call the 2-WALK escort service (432-9255), at least fifteen minutes prior to departure time, anytime you wish to be escorted from one location to another, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A uniformed Security Officer, will arrive on foot, by bike, or in a white Yale University security patrol car or van to accompany you to or from any location on campus. Remember, if you don’t call an escort, they get paid to do nothing.
Yale Security Services are continually being updated and expanded so visit the Security Awareness Web site regularly at www.yale.edu/securityawareness/main.html where you can find complete details. Services offered include an affordable laptop anti-theft program (S.T.O.P.), a laptop recovery service, lockout service, battery jump start and more.
Walk around campus in the daylight to learn the locations of the blue light emergency phones. In case of an emergency, press the red emergency button and the dispatcher automatically knows your location, or you can speak with the police. A police officer will be there in one minute or less. If you have to keep moving, go from phone to phone and press the emergency button at each location, so they can track you. Some phones also have security cameras.
Why do police carry guns?
A police officer’s gun is only for protection in the most extreme situations like an armed robbery, or when threatened with a gun by someone else. International students and scholars who come from countries where officers do not carry guns may find it alarming that officers generally carry a gun in a hip holster. Most likely, you will never see an officer remove his or her gun.
In the event of an emergency (medical, crime, or fire), dial:
You can dial 911 from any phone.
Security Awareness recommends programming the following service numbers into your cell phone:
Yale University Police
101 Ashmun St
432-4400 Routine calls
2-Walk (Escort Service)
Lost ID/Night lock-out
Know where the emergency exits are and practice an evacuation plan in case of fire.
Change the batteries in your smoke dectectors in fall and early spring.
All family members should be familiar with the location, purpose and use of the building fire alarm systems and fire suppression equipment (e.g. fire extinquisher)
Call 911 if you discover a fire, and state your name, location and extent of the fire. Calmly evcuate the building in case of fire or if you hear the alarm. Do not use elevators. Remain on the scene at a safe distance to direct fire fighters when they arrive.