Spring is knocking and as the good weather settles in, we will soon be spending more time outdoors! In fact, during the long winter months, we have a tendency to stay in the warmth and comfort of our own homes. Therefore, here are a few tips to know (or to recall) when we use public spaces and public transportation:

When walking on the street:
• I rely on my instincts and intuition (fear, chills). If I feel uncomfortable in a given place, I simply leave. Better be safe than sorry!
• I use busy streets instead of shortcuts, and this to increase my possibilities of receiving help in case of an emergency.
• If I believe I’m being followed, I pick up my pace and cross the street. If the situation persists, I go into a store for help or call 911. It is false to believe that if I’m armed, I’m safe: This can actually turn against me.
• If I call 911 from a public phone, it’s free, I can be located easily no matter where I am and the
appropriate emergency relief will be sent.

What I bring with me in my purse and wallet:
• I don’t bring my entire life in my bag: only what is needed for a day or two (money, prescriptions, credit card…). In addition, I leave all important documents, such as my social insurance card, my passport, my permanent residence card at home in a safe place. I bring them with me only when needed.
• I wait until I get home to review my papers (bank and credit card statements, etc). In order to prevent fraud and identity theft, it’s better that I destroy all unneeded personal documents.
• When using the subway or bus, I pay attention to how I carry my bag. I never put valuable objects or money in my bag, as it could easily be targeted by experienced thieves, particularly when such places are noisy and crowded.

When I use the ATM:

• I am discreet when entering my PIN number. I never leave my PIN information in my bag or wallet: I memorize it!!
• As much as I can, I try to vary the times, days and places I use the ATM, as a means to avoid people with bad intentions who might know my routine.

When I use public transportation:
• I localise the transparent emergency box (with a hand sign on it) on the wall of the subway platform: it could be useful in case of an emergency. The red phone allows me to contact a subway employee. The breaker switch allows me to cease the electrical current (in case of a fall) and the fire extinguisher allows me to put out a fire.
• Inside the subway wagon, I can find a phone to contact the subway driver and the emergency breaks in case of an extreme crisis.
• If I am a woman, I can benefit from a free service that allows me to increase my feelings of safety: “Entre deux arrêts” permits me to get off the bus if my home is located between two bus stops.
I simply let the bus driver know in advance. This service is offered at night fall.

For more information on public transit go to: 
http://www.stm.info/en

Please contact Tandem CDN/NDG if you have any questions concerning public safety.