Sheriff Wayne Ivey On Business Travel Safety
By Brevard County Sheriff // February 25, 2014
CRIME PREVENTION TIP OF THE WEEK
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – This week our Crime Prevention Team would like to focus our Crime Prevention Tip on “Business Travel Safety.”
Regardless if you are traveling on business or with your family during vacation, we want you to take every effort to avoid being the victim of a crime or from being injured in an accident.
One of the best ways to avoid hazards while traveling is to properly plan you trip from beginning to end. By planning the trip in advance, travelers can make every effort to travel safely and eliminate potential risks that are often overlooked.
Below is a list of great ideas that can help you and other business associates travel to your destinations comfortably, and most importantly, return home safely:
• Always allow extra time to avoid being rushed or having to hurry to make your flight.
• Never leave valuables or pertinent information in your vehicle. Secure your GPS, Insurance Cards, or other items in the trunk to provide extra protection.
• Make sure to maintain full awareness of your surroundings so no one can get close to you without being seen from a distance.
• Always carry your purse, briefcase, or electronic devices such as cellular telephones close to you so that criminals can’t grab them and run.
• Never leave your bags unattended so they could be stolen or compromised.
• Watch for staged mishaps such as being “accidentally” bumped into or having something spilled on you to distract you for theft. Any similar incidents should immediately create concern to check your possessions.
• Limit the number of items you have to place in the basket during screening. When possible, please place the items in your carry-on or briefcase so you have less of a chance of forgetting them or having them stolen.
• Never leave valuables in checked luggage, but instead maintain them on your person or in a carry-on.
ON THE ROAD
• Prior to departure know your travel route and when possible, use a GPS styled device to aid. I prefer the GPS device to be the style that is built into the vehicle or one that is positioned on the dash rather than using the GPS in your smartphone that requires you to be distracted from the roadway when in use.
• When parking at a restaurant or store, try to park in well lighted areas and when getting fuel, try to use the gas pumps on the inside lanes so that the attendant can see you. Using the gas pumps on the inside lanes also helps to avoid being the victim of credit card fraud from a credit card skimmer.
• Keep valuables and luggage stored in the trunk area of your vehicle when possible to avoid having you possessions stolen during a car burglary. If you have an SUV consider installing a small safe in the rear portion of the vehicle that can securely hold valuables or firearms.
• The best way to avoid breaking down when traveling is preventive maintenance on your vehicle. Even the best of preventive maintenance will not prevent a flat tire, so please consider having a nationwide automotive service so you don’t have to try and change a tire on the side of the road.
AT THE HOTEL
• When checking in make sure that no one is standing near trying to “shoulder surf” your credit card information.
• Never ride the elevator with the “stranger who makes you feel uncomfortable!!” Since we don’t know exactly who the we have to worry about, try not ride the elevator with anyone whom you don’t know!!
• Make sure your room has a deadbolt and recognize that the door chain or “swinging” door lock offer very limited protection levels. A very affordable “door wedge” styled device fits easily into your travel bags and has a built in audible alarm that alerts you to someone trying to enter your room.
• Ask the Hotel Staff about areas to avoid and how to safely arrive at a restaurant or shopping area.
• Never open your door for room service or other knocks until verifying the person at the door. Calling the front desk is a very effective measure to verify if someone is suppose to be at your room for service.
• Always protect your room keys and never leave them unattended at the pool or while having breakfast in the lobby. Keep them secure and always take them with you when you leave to safely shred at home.
• Valuables should be secured in the room safe and not just hidden in the room. Computers, cash, credit cards, firearms, and other devices can easily be stolen if left unsecured. I know I keep harping on it, but a safe securely mounted in the rear of your vehicle is a handy tool to protect your possessions.
And of course, if you have a Concealed Carry Permit, please make sure to visit usacarry.com or other similar sites to see which state’s permits are honored in your travel areas.
I hope these crime prevention methods offer an increased level of protection to you and your family when you travel for business or pleasure. As always, please share our Weekly Crime Prevention message so we can help prevent everyone from becoming the victim of a crime.