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Crime Prevention > Personal Safety

Safety in the Home | Safety in the Workplace | Safety on the Street | Safety While Travelling | Senior Safety | Professional Home Visitors | Protecting Yourself From Sexual Assault

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Professional Home Visitors

Some jobs by their very nature put people at a higher risk of crime than others. If your work requires you to visit clients in their homes or work alone, you should TakeAction to protect yourself.

Follow these precautions before doing a home visit:

  • Contact the client and obtain as much information about the client and location before the visit, including full name, address, phone number of the client
  • Attempt to verify that the information is correct – check the phone book, etc.
  • Check the address you intend to visit to determine if it is a potentially dangerous location
  • Telephone the client and assess possible risk factors before ever meeting in person (chemical abuse/domestic violence/criminal involvement/mental illness)
  • If the area is known to be dangerous, schedule your visit for the morning when many of those who might pose a risk are sleeping

 

Plan a Safe Home Visit

Professional Home Visitor
  • Always inform a supervisor or someone from the office that you are doing a home visit
  • Discuss any potential dangers
  • Request a partner if you feel one is necessary
  • Always leave a schedule with a supervisor with the times you expect to arrive/leave the residence
  • If possible, have the client meet you at your office or a public place for your first meeting

 

PERSONAL SAFETY DURING THE VISIT

  • Present yourself in a calm and confident manner
  • Before entering be aware of your surroundings. If you have any concerns about your safety do not enter
  • Notify the office of your arrival. Give them the address and phone number and approximate length of visit.
  • Avoid the kitchen (potential weapons - knives, pans, hot water, etc.)
  • Do not sit if the client stands
  • If possible, do not remove your shoes
  • Be aware of your surroundings - watch for dangerous objects
  • Know where doors/exits are for an escape route, and try to keep between your client and the route to safety.
  • Notify the office when you have left
  • Carry a cellular telephone if possible

PERSONAL SAFETY TIPS

  • Do not wear expensive jewelry
  • Carry a briefcase instead of a purse
  • Wear flat shoes or boots
  • Carry essential identification only
  • Limit the amount of cash you carry
  • Avoid carrying credit cards
  • Carry a personal alarm

HOME VISIT DOíS AND DONíTS

Do:

  • Appear confident and in control
  • Follow the client (do not let them follow you)
  • Stand to the side of the client
  • Leave the environment if your instincts tell you to
  • Treat the client with respect and dignity.

Donít:

  • Don't appear fearful -- it promotes the victim syndrome
  • Don't enter the client’s home if your instincts say not to
  • Don't stand face to face with a client (it makes you vulnerable to attack)
  • Don't complete a home visit with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Don't complete a home visit with someone who is inappropriately dressed

TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS WHEN CONDUCTING A HOME VISIT

  • Approach your car with keys in hand
  • Check the car interior before entering
  • Keep doors locked at all times
  • Hide purse/packages/valuables so they are not open to view
  • Keep your distance from vehicles when stopped in traffic
  • Avoid parking beside vans/trucks
  • Park in well lit areas
  • Avoid isolated areas

If you need more information or have any questions about Personal Safety for Professional Home Visitors, please contact the Winnipeg Police Service Community Relations Unit at 204-986-6322 or via email.


If you would like a Police Officer to provide a Power Point Presentation on this topic you can forward your request via one of three ways:
  • email your request to wps-communityrelations@winnipeg.ca
  • fax your request to 204-957-2450
  • mail your request to:
    Unit Commander
    Community Relations Unit
    P.O Box 1680
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Canada R3C 2Z7
Due to demand, we request you contact us at least six weeks prior to the event. Most presentations are one hour in duration and handouts are provided. The presentation is free of charge - room to be supplied by the organization requesting the presentation, with a minimum of 20 attendees.

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Last update: August 1, 2012

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