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Safety Tips

In an effort to maintain law, order, and safety on our campuses, the Special Constable Service has provided the following information and tips.

Download the SAFEHawk app to call Special Constables, or 911 if your situation requires immediate emergency assistance.

Personal Safety Tips

The regions of Waterloo and Brantford are very safe places to live. Nonetheless, whether at home, on campus, or around town, everyone should be aware and consider their personal safety.

Walking and Traveling at Night

  • Plan to use the safest and most direct route when traveling to your destination.
  • When traveling at night, walk with a friend or contact the Laurier Foot Patrol for an escort home.
  • When walking at night, walk in a well-lit area and avoid dark areas, isolated areas, alley ways, and places with low visibility.
  • When walking, make sure that you are not wearing headphones or electronic devices that can distract you.
  • Avoid being intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  • When walking, appear confident and always be aware of your surroundings.

Be Weather Conscious

  • When walking around town, be careful about crossing the street (even at intersections) when roads are wet or icy, when the weather is poor, and when it is dark to avoid an accident.
  • When walking around town, be conscious of the weather and dress and prepare accordingly. Do not travel by foot unnecessarily during storms, especially if there is thunder and/or lightning.

Staying Safe On Campus

  • On campus, avoid working alone.
  • If it appears that you are followed or you feel threatened for any reason, immediately run away and scream and shout to attract attention. Be sure to immediately contact the Special Constable Service if on campus, or 911 if off campus.
  • Do not carry an excessive amount of cash and ensure your personal belongings such as purse, backpack, and clothing are always close to you.

Safety at Home

  • When at home, ensure that your doors and windows are always locked including your vehicle doors, even if you're home or just stepping out for the moment, to prevent someone from breaking in.
  • Never prop building doors open, always ensure they close behind you.
  • Keep your blinds or curtains closed, and lock your windows if you aren't nearby.
  • Look out for your neighbours – if you see something suspicious, report it immediately.
  • Ensure your bicycles are locked with a proper lock when not in use. For more on bicycle safety, see the next section.

Bicycle Safety Tips

In Ontario, bicycles are considered to be vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act and must therefore be ridden on roadways. Cyclists must obey all traffic laws, including traffic lights, stop signs, etc. To ensure you travel safely while bicycling in Ontario, follow these safety tips:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Ensure that your bicycle is in good mechanical order and safe to ride.
  • Ensure that your bicycle is equipped with a horn or a bell to ensure that pedestrians can hear you when approaching.
  • Cyclists must use hand signals to alert others when turning right, turning left or stopping.
  • Cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings and be able and willing to share the road with other vehicles.
  • Cyclists should ensure that they carry identification on them at all times.
  • Cyclists should carry a telephone for communication purposes in case of emergencies.
  • Cyclists should consider carrying a first aid kit.
  • Cyclists should always ensure that they are wearing reflective clothing for maximum visibility.
  • When cycling at night cyclists should always ensure that they have a light installed on the front of their bike including light reflectors on the front and back of the bike.
  • Ensure your bicycles are locked with a proper lock when not in use.

Theft Prevention

A theft of opportunity can be defined as a planned or unplanned theft of property (i.e. when personal items are left unguarded, this provides the opportunity).

High-value assets including small, portable items or electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets are the most sought-after items.

  • Do not leave your items unattended. This includes leaving your laptop on the desk in the library to search for a book, use the washroom, or take a quick call in the stairwell. The theft often goes unnoticed by others in the area as they only take a few seconds to commit.
  • Don't leave your property out of your view. Some items have gone missing with the owner present and not paying attention. Leave your items out of the view of others; if you are reading a book, leave your laptop in your backpack and on the desk where you will see anyone attempting to tamper with it or steal your items.
  • Don't assume that your friends or others around you will watch your property. If you must leave the area for any reason the best bet is to take your property with you.
  • Personalize your property. Add stickers, covers, engraving or other markings that will make it personal and less attractive to thieves due to lower resale value from personalization.
  • Use a cable lock attached to your laptop. Make sure that the cable is locked to something secure. You should also use security features such as passwords and encryption.

International Students

Are you an international student or a newcomer to Canada? Here's a primer on Canadian law and justice. In order to live here safely and respectfully, you should acquaint yourself with laws and safety in the country.