Tips to protect your safety and well-being
To ensure personal safety, we encourage all employees to be aware of their surroundings and proactive in preventing an emergency. Listed below are several resources for employees to use in staying safe and sound while in or near their workplace.
View this video featuring King County Sheriff's Detective Jessica Santos and Deputy Jahie Miller giving a presentation on street safety in the downtown Seattle area.
- Wear clothing and shoes that are comfortable, low profile and appropriate for the weather. This may not be the most fashionable choice but it is the safest.
- Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable. Before you leave, decide what you actually need to take with you.
- If you must carry a purse, carry it very close to you preferable with the strap over your shoulder and the purse to the front of your body. Don’t dangle it from your arm.
- Never carry a wallet in back pocket of pants or jacket or sweater pocket.
- Avoid walking alone. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend.
- In the downtown core, consider asking FMD Security at 206-296-5000 for an escort, particularly during hours of darkness.
- Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways. Avoid shortcuts.
- Stick to well-lit areas.
- Consider using the tunnels between buildings, such as between the Courthouse, Administration Building, Chinook Building and Goat Hill Garage, particularly during hours of darkness.
- Walk confidently. Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
- Stay alert to your surroundings, avoid "automatic pilot".
- Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
- Avoid using headphones, engaging with your phone, studying directions or any other activity that might distract you or lessen your awareness of your surroundings.
- Keep people in front of you. Rather than standing on the edge of the sidewalk waiting for the signal light to change, consider waiting back near buildings so others cannot congregate behind you.
- Know the hours when the County buildings will be locked. Have your ID badge at the ready as you approach a locked entrance.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know who is nearby.
- Become aware of alternate routes to your location. Learn the locations of alternate entrances.
- Identify “safe havens” – stores/businesses you could quickly enter for safety, should you suspect danger.
- Don't be afraid to cross the street, enter a business, or ask for help based on a "funny feeling". You may be right!
- Consider using an alternate entrance if you sense your intended entrance may be unsafe.
- If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
- If a robber grabs your bag, resist the impulse to play tug of war. If you hang on, chances are you will be knocked down, hit, or kicked and the robber will get your bag anyway.
- If someone demands your property and displays or implies in any way that they have a weapon, hand the bag or wallet to them.
- Afterwards, call 9-1-1 and report it immediately. The sooner you involve the police, the less likely the thief will strike again.