Safety Tips

Here are a few general tips to start you down the road to increased personal safety.

Warning: Children and Pets Left in Vehicles is Dangerous and Unlawful

The City of Barnwell Police Department wants to remind all drivers of the dangers of leaving children or pets in parked cars. Each year approximately 36 children and many more pets are killed nationwide because they were left in a parked car or truck. Drivers mistakenly think that they can run in for a quick errand. Unfortunately, this may lead to tragedy. The inside of a closed vehicle can easily heat up to over 150 degrees in only a few minutes with an outside temperature of 85 degrees.  Intentionally leaving a child or animal in a vehicle is a violation of South Carolina laws and will be strictly enforced.

Unlocked vehicles left in your yard pose a threat to small children as well. Children tend to play in vehicles. Once they get in they may not have developed the capability to get out thus becoming trapped. The child could easily become a victim of the heat. One-third of the heat-related deaths nationwide occurred when children crawled into unlocked cars while playing and became trapped. So please, keep you cars and trucks locked.

If you see a child or pet left in a parked vehicle, please call the Barnwell Police Department by dialing 9-1-1. You could save the life a little child or pet.

South Carolina State Law Pertaining to Golf Carts

SECTION 56-3-115. Golf carts; permit to operate on highways and streets. [SC ST SEC 56-3-115]The owner of a vehicle commonly known as a golf cart, if he has a valid driver's license, may obtain a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles upon the payment of a fee of five dollars and proof of financial responsibility which permits his agent, employees, or him to: (1) operate the golf cart on a secondary highway or street within two miles of his residence or place of business during daylight hours only; and (2) cross a primary highway or street while traveling along a secondary highway or street within two miles of his residence or place of business during daylight hours only.

WHAT DOES THIS LAW MEAN TO YOU!
 

  1. To own or operate a golf cart on the streets of Barnwell you must have a South Carolina Driver’s License.
  2. You must get a golf cart permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  3. You must have proof of financial responsibility (insurance)
  4. No one under the age of 16 should operate the golf cart.
  5. The golf cart can only be operated within two miles of your residence or business on Secondary Roads only.
  6. You can cross primary roads but you cannot travel on them.
  7. You cannot travel on sidewalks.
  8. You must obey all traffic laws.

 If you have any questions or wish to complain about golf cart use, please call (803) 259-1838.

WARNING

If someone is injured on or because of your golf cart, you could be held civilly or criminally liable.

If a small child is injured on a golf cart due to negligence, the parent or owner could be charged with criminal neglect of a child.

BEWARE OF THE PIGEON DROP OR FOUND MONEY SCAM.

This type of scam often occurs in or around a store or business. The con artists are most often young well-dressed females working in teams of two or more. The con artist approaches an unsuspecting person, usually an elderly female. The con artist tells the targeted victim that she has just found a bag of money. The con artist may tell the victim that her boss is an attorney or accountant and that he/she works at a local store, the con artist then advises that she has to keep the money for a certain period of time before she can legally spend the money. The con artist will tell the victim that according to her boss, because there is so much money, she must find some one to give some of the money; again so it will be legal. The con artist lures the victim into going to the bank and withdrawing a large sum of money out of the victim’s account. This is done under the pretense of showing good faith money and proving the soon to be victim has enough money to live on without spending the money that was found for a period of time. The victim and the con artist go to the victim’s bank and withdraw a large sum of money. (Sometimes as much as Ten Thousand Dollars) The con artist asks the victim if she can count the money just obtained from the bank. The con artist secretly swaps the envelope with the money in it with an envelope with fake money or newspaper cut up in money size strips. The con artist and the victim pull up to where the con artist says her boss works. The con artist tells the victim to take the money into the store and show it to the con artist’s boss. The victim goes into the store and soon finds out that no such person works there. The con artist and the victim’s money are gone. All the victim has is a bank envelope full of worthless paper.

Tips to avoid being scammed
 

  1. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.
  2. Trust only people that you know. Do not trust someone just because they are dressed nice and act friendly. Con artists are trained to gain your confidence and will use any means necessary to get you to trust them.
  3. Talk to the Police or your banker before withdrawing large sums of money at someone else’s request.

The con artists that do these and other types of scams are well trained. They know how to make you feel comfortable. They travel all over the United States conducting these scams. If you fall victim to them, your best chance of getting you money back is to notify the Police immediately.

 In the City of Barnwell, over fifteen thousand dollars is known to have been stolen due to this scam in the last few years.

Internet Safety Tips

Baby-sitting Safely
 

  • Always post emergency numbers and your address by the telephone for your baby-sitter.
  • Leave a number where you can be reached and other information the sitter might need.
     

Sexual Assault
 

  • About one-third of sexual assaults occur in the victim's home.
  • About 40 percent of sexual assaults are committed by persons known to the victims such as dates, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, or even spouses.
  • Rapes also occur in the street, in school yards, and in parking lots. Be alert to your surroundings and in the people around you.
  • Call your local rape crisis center to sign up for prevention and self-defense classes.
  • Many strategies are involved with rape avoidance. Studies show a combination of screaming, physical resistance, and fleeing is most effective.
  • If you are assualted, report the crime immediately.  Although it is normal to want to, do not attempt to wash or change clothing, critical evidence could be lost.
     

On the Road
 

  • Never carry large amounts of cash: use traveler's checks. If you must carry large sums of money, do not display it openly.
  • Keep a record of your traveler's check numbers and your credit card numbers in a safe place. Have the telephone numbers to call in case your checks or credit cards are lost or stolen.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans to strangers; this includes travel routes and the amount of cash you are carrying.
  • Do not stop to offer to help a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest phone booth or use your cell phone and call for assistance.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest service station, restaurant or business and call the police or sheriff's department. If you believe it is unsafe to get out of your car, honk your horn and flashyour lights to draw attention.  If you have a cell phone, dial 911.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood and attach a white cloth to the car antenna. If someone stops to help, it is advisable that you stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or garage. If you must abandon your car, keep all passengers together. 
     

Car Safety
 

  • Always lock you car doors even when you will be gone for only a few minutes.
  • Lock your doors when driving.
  • Park in well-lighted areas, and observe your surroundings when you leave your car at night.
  • Always have your car and house keys in hand so you will not have to fumble for them.
  • Always check the back seat before entering your car.
  • Keep your car in good working condition.
  • If your car breaks down, use distress signals such as putting the hood up, putting a white flag on the aerial, or setting your emergency flashers. Remain in the car with the doors locked. Wait for the police or ask anyone who does stop to send a tow truck or the police. Be wary of accepting help from strangers.
  • If you are followed by another car, honk your horn all the way to the nearest gas station, police or fire station, or lighted home.
  • If someone threatens you while you are in your car, lock all doors, and blow the horn in short bursts to attract attention.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers.
     

On the Street
 

  • Walk confidently. Be alert. Notice who passes you and who is behind you.
  • Walk in well-lighted areas. Do not walk near bushes, alleys, etc.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that give you freedom of movement.
  • Do not overburden yourself with bags or packages that might make running difficult.
  • Carry as little cash as possible. Carry a whistle or Freon horn.
  • Hold your purse tightly, close to your body. Keep your wallet in a front or buttoned hip pocket or inside coat pocket.
  • Do not hitchhike.
  • If a car stops you for directions or information, always reply from a safe distance. Never get too close to the car.
  • If a car persists in bothering you, cross the street and walk or run in the opposite direction.
  • If you feel someone is following you, turn around and check. Proceed to the nearest lighted house or place of business.
  • If you feel you are in danger, do not be afraid to scream and run.
     

Safety for Senior Citizens
 

  • Have social security or retirement checks sent directly to your checking or savings account.
  • Beware of get-rich-quick scams or persons who ask you to give them large sums of money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of good deals on expensive home repair or home improvements.
     

Telephone Safety
 

  • Do not give information about yourself to strangers over the telephone or admit that you are alone.
  • Consider listing your name and number in the telephone book without your address. Also, list only the initial of your first name.
  • Keep all emergency numbers near the telephone.
  • Hang up immediately on obscene phone callers.
     

In an Elevator
 

  • Check the elevator before entering. Wait for the next elevator if you are suspicious of any occupant.
  • When riding in the elevator, stand near the control panel. If accosted, press all the buttons, including the alarm.
     

Home Security Tips
 

  • Secure all outside doors with deadbolt locks. Outer door should be solid core wood (1 3/4 inches thick ) or metal.
  • Place a metal or wooden rod in the track of sliding glass doors.
  • Use secure locks on windows. Hardware is available that will allow windows to be partially opened during warm weather, yet maintain security.
  • Have good lighting at all entrances.
  • Install a viewer in your door.
  • Make sure you know who is at the door before you open it. Do not rely on chain locks. Insist on identification from repair and sales persons. If in doubt, call their company to verify their identity.
  • Do not admit persons asking to use your telephone. Offer to make the call for them.
  • Know your neighbors, and work out a mutual watch and warning system to prevent burglaries and other break-ins.
  • Identify your belongings by engraving your driver's license or Department of Motor Vehicles identification number on your possessions.
  • Close and lock doors and windows when you leave your home.
  • If you come home and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry, do not enter. Call the police for assistance.
  • Use automatic timers to turn on lights on and off to give the appearance you are at home.
  • Stop mail and other deliveries when you leave for vacation.
  • Do not hide spare keys. Give your keys to trusted neighbors.
  • If you live in an apartment or condominium, be attentive and careful if you are alone in the laundry room or garage.
  • Have the locks re-keyed when you move into a new home.

  Home Security Checklist

Use this as a guide as you check your home for safety measures. Boxes marked No indicate areas where you could take action to improve your home’s security. These are just some steps that you can take to decrease the likelihood that you or your home is targeted for a crime.   A printable copy of this checklist is available.  Take a look also at this resource Guide to Securing Homes.

Exterior Doors:

Yes

No

All doors are locked at night and every time we leave the house - even if it's just for a few minutes.

   

Doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad.

   

Doors feature wide-angle peepholes at heights everyone can use.

   

If there are glass panels in or near our doors, they are reinforced in some way so that they cannot be shattered.

   

All entryways have a working, keyed entry lock and sturdy deadbolt lock installed into the frame of the door.

   

Spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.

   

Garage and Sliding Door:

Yes

No

The door leading into the home from the garage is solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock and deadbolt.

   

The overhead garage door has a lock so that we do no rely solely on the automatic garage door opener to provide security.

   

Garage doors are all locked when leaving the house.

   

The sliding glass door has a strong, working key lock.

   

A dowel or a pin to secure the sliding glass door has been installed to prevent the door from being shoved aside or lifted off the track.

   

The sliding glass door is locked every night and each time we leave the house.

   

Protecting Windows:

Yes

No

Every window in the home has a working key lock or is securely pinned.

   

Windows are always locked, even when they are opened a few inches for ventilation.

   

Outdoor Security:

Yes

No

Shrubs / bushes are trimmed to so there is no place for someone to hide.

   

There are no dark areas around our house, garage, or yard at night that would hide prowlers.

   

Every outside door has a bright, working light to illuminate visitors.

   

Floodlights are used appropriately to ensure effective illumination.

   

Outdoor lights are on in the evening, whether someone is at home or not; or a photocell or motion-sensitive lighting system has been installed.

   

Our house number is clearly displayed so police and other emergency vehicles can find the house quickly.

   

Security When Away From Home:

Yes

No

At least two light timers have been set to turn the lights on and off in a logical sequence when we are away from home for an extended time period.

   

The motion detector or other alarm system (if we have one) has been activated when we leave home.

   

Mail and newspaper deliveries have been stopped or arrangements for a neighbor/friend to pick them up have been made when we go away from home for a period of time.

   

A neighbor has been asked to tend the yard and watch our home when we are away.

   

Outdoor Valuables and Personal Property:

Yes

No

Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are all locked with high-security, laminated padlocks.

   

Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are locked after every use.

   

Grills, lawn mowers, and other valuables are stored in a locked garage or shed, or if left out in the open, are hidden from view with a tarp and securely locked to a stationary point

   

Every bicycle is secured with a U-bar lock or quality padlock and chain.

   

Bikes are always locked, even if we leave them for just a minute.

   

Firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks.

   

Valuable items, such as television, stereos, and computers have been inscribed with identifying number approved by local police.

   

Our home inventory is up-to-date and includes pictures. A complete copy is kept somewhere out of the house.

   

Crime Prevention Tips Provided by: National Crime Prevention Council and the City of Barnwell Police Department

Did you know that most cell phones can be used to call 911 even if you are not a subscriber to any service plan?  All that is required is that the phone have a charge on the battery.  You should call your original service provider to make sure the phone you have has this service.

 Feel free to contact the City of Barnwell Police Department for more safety tips.  Our number is 259-1838. 

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