City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

Safety Tips

This page is designed to provide a variety of safety tips for the community, including gun safety, home security, vacation safety, bicycle safety and more. You can always call the UA Police Division with questions.

Gun Safety

If you choose to own firearms - handguns, rifles, or shotguns - you also are choosing to take on the responsibilities that come with firearm ownership.
Make sure your firearms are unloaded and securely stored. Invest in trigger locks, gun cabinets with a lock, or pistol lock boxes. Lock up ammunition separately.
  • Teach children from preschoolers to teenagers that guns and other weapons can hurt and kill.
  • Show children how to settle arguments without resorting to words or actions that hurt. 
  • Consider removing guns, especially handguns, from homes with children or teens.
  • Look at ways other than firearms to protect yourself.
Invest in top grade locks, jamming devices for doors and windows, a dog, or a security system. Women can participate in the Women's Self Defense Class, provided by the Upper Arlington Division of Police and LifeLong Learning & Leisure.

Bicycle Safety
  • Protect your head - wear a helmet. Studies have shown that using a bicycle helmet can reduce head injuries by up to 85 percent. Select a helmet that has a snug, but comfortable fit.
  • See and Be Seen - wear proper clothing. Wear clothes that make you more visible. Clothing should be light in color and close fitting to avoid being caught in the bicycle's moving parts.
  • Go with the Flow of Traffic - the safe way is the right way. You must obey the rules of the road. These include all traffic signs, signals, and road markings.
  • Look Both Ways - be aware of traffic around you. Seven out of ten car-bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter a street or intersection, check for traffic and always look left - right - left. Walk you bicycle across busy streets at corners or crosswalks.
  • Stay Alert - keep a look-out for obstacles in your path. Watch out for potholes, sewer gratings, cracks, railroad tracks, loose gravel, and broken glass.
  • Beware the Dark Side - be caution when biking at night. If you have to ride at night, your bicycle must be equipped with a headlight on the front that emits white light from a distance of 500 feet, and a red rear reflector that is visible from 50-to-300 feet. Wear reflective clothing or materials, especially on your ankles, wrists, back, and helmet.
  • Go off road - follow designated bike routes if available. Bicycle routes are marked by special signs or lines. Bike paths are special areas reserved for bikes.
  • Fix it up - make sure your bicycle is adjusted properly. Your bicycle should be correctly adjusted to fit you; your feet should rest on the ground while sitting in the seat. Before using your bike, check to make sure that all parts are secure and working.
  • Stop it - check brakes before riding - control your speed by using you brakes. If your bicycle has hand brakes, apply the rear brakes slightly before the front brake.
  • Don't flip your bike - wheels should be securely fastened. Check wheels before every ride, after every fall, or after transporting your bicycle to be sure that they are fastened and secure. Make sure that tires are properly inflated.
Protecting Your Bicycle Against Theft
  • Always lock your bicycle securely, whether you're gone for a few minutes or a few hours. Use a U-lock, securing both wheels and the frame to a stationary object such as a post, fence, tree, or bike rack. For extra security, add a chain or cable with a good padlock.
  • Record the serial number of your bicycle and keep it with the sales receipt and photograph of the bike.
  • Mark your bicycle with an engraver to deter thieves and help the police in identifying and returning a stolen bike to the rightful owner. Use a unique number such as your social security number.
Street Safety
Basic Tips
  • Wherever you are, stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
  • Send the message that you are confident and know where you are going.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals and restaurants, or stores that are open late.

On Foot

  • Stick to well-lighted, well-traveled streets.
  • Don't flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
  • Carry a purse closely to your body. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Try to use ATM machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don't approach the machine if you're uneasy about people nearby.
  • Don't wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
  • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
  • If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house. If you're scared, yell for help.
  • If you have to work late, make sure there are others in the building and ask someone to walk you to your car or transit stop.
  • Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there's enough gas to get you where you're going and back.
  • Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you're coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots and underground parking garages.
  • If you think someone is following you, don't head home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or other open business to get help.
  • Don't pick up hitchhiker or hitchhike. 
Home Security
Check the Locks
  • Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed dead bolt lock. Key-in-the-know locks alone are not enough.
  • Sliding glass doors can offer easy access if they are not properly secured. You can secure them by installing commercially available locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam the door. To prevent the door being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole.
  • Lock double-hung windows with key locks or "pin" windows by drilling a small hole into a 45-degree angle between the inner and outer frames, and then insert a nail that can be removed. Secure basement windows with grilles or grates.
  • Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.
  • When you move into a new house or apartment, re-key the locks.
Check the Doors
  • All outside doors should be metal or solid wood.
  • If your doors don't fit tightly in their frames, install weather stripping around them.
  • Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains break easily and don't keep intruders out.
Check the Outside
  • Thieves hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night.
  • Keep your yard clean. Prune back shrubbery so it doesn't hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window.
  • Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
  • If you travel, create the illusion that you're at home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different area of your house throughout the evening. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house.
  • Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. And don't let your mail pile up! Call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up.
  • Make a list of our valuables, Take photos of the items, list their serial number and descriptions. Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables through Operation Identification.
  • Ask UA Police to do a free home security survey.
Consider an Alarm
Alarms can be a good investment, especially if you have many valuables in your home, or live in an isolated area or one with a history of break-ins.
  • Check with several companies before you buy so you can decide what level of security fits your needs. Do business with an established company and check references before signing a contract.
  • Learn how to use your system properly! Don't "cry wolf" by setting off false alarms. People will stop paying attention and you'll probably be fined. 
  • Some less expensive options - a sound-detecting socket that plugs into a light fixture and makes the light flash when it detects certain noises, motion sensing out-door lights that turn on when someone approaches, or lights with photo cells that turn on when it's dark and off when it's light.

Vacation Safety
Secure Your Home Before You Leave
  • Make sure your home looks lived in, not empty. Stop mail and cancel all deliveries or ask a neighbor to make daily collections. Hide empty garbage cans. Leave shades and blinds in normal positions. Put an automatic timer on at least two lights
  • Leave a key with a trusted neighbor.
  • Store valuables in a safe deposit box.
  • Tell a trusted neighbor your departure and return dates. Supply an itinerary with phone numbers where you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Stop into the Police Division's administrative offices at 3600 Tremont Road, to provide details about your travels and who should (or should not) be in your home while you are on vacation.
  • Lock all windows and doors. 
  • Test your smoke and burglar alarms.
On the Road
  • Carry little cash. Use traveler's checks and credit cards. Keep a record of their number in a separate and safe place in case they are lost or stolen.
  • Keep a careful eye on your plane, train, boat or bus tickets.
  • If driving, plan your route carefully. Have your car serviced and tired checked before leaving.
  • Don't advertise your plans to strangers
  • Always lock your car when it's parked. Keep valuables out of sight.
  • Don't advertise that you are a tourist.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest phone booth and report the problem to the police or sheriff's office.
  • If you stop overnight, remove bags and other valuables from the car and take them inside.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit.
Motels and Hotels
  • Use all locks when occupying or leaving your room.
  • Know who's knocking before you open the door.
  • Keep extra cash and valuables locked in the hotel safe deposit box, not in the room.
  • Locate fire exits, elevators, and public phones. Plan the best way to get out of the building in an emergency.
  • Leave the television on when leaving your room to make it appear occupied.
  • News &
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News & Notices

  • 911/Dispatching Consolidation Updates
    At the February 13 City Council Meeting, Council voted unanimously on a Motion directing the City Manager to proceed with the consolidation of 911/dispatching services with Dublin's Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center.
  • Register for ALERT Franklin County
    With mosquito season fast approaching, register for ALERT Franklin County so you can receive mosquito spraying notifications to your phone and email. Customize your account for messages from Police, Fire, Public Service and more.
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