Emergency Preparedness Monthly Safety Tips

Summer Fire Safety Tips for Building Owners/Operators/Tenants:

Nearly 5,000 fires per day take place during the summer, which ranks second in fire incidence rates compared to other seasons, according to the United States Fire Administration. With company cookouts, extra wear and tear on cooling and landscaping equipment, etc. commercial buildings become more vulnerable to fire damage during the summer months.

Here are six tips to help decrease the risk of your building(s) experiencing a summertime fire and staff safe during the dog days of summer.

1) HVAC Maintenance:
Dust can settle over capacitors and other electrical components, which can cause tracking faults and create fires. Running multiple cooling units together consistently and for long periods of time can result in overloading and overheating, which also presents an opportunity for fires to start. Schedule your HVAC summer maintenance now.

2) Exhaust Fan Cleaning:
Clean out your exhaust fans regularly and clear debris out of the vents. Avoid running fans consistently for long periods.

3) Lawn Mower Care:
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule on all mowing equipment. Remember to regularly remove debris and grass clippings from cutting units, mufflers, and engines. Never refuel a lawn mower if it’s overheated.

4) Gas Storage:
Fire risk is heightened by high ambient temperatures and relief valves that open at too-low pressures. It is best to store gas cylinders upright and never indoors.

5) Grilling Safety:
If you keep a grill on site for company cookouts keep it away from your facility and any overhanging branches. Maintain a safe zone of 3 feet around the grill. Regularly remove grease and gat buildup from grills and trays below grilling components. Never leave a grill unattended no matter what.

6) Alarm Audits:
Your preventive maintenance should include fire alarm testing. Replace any old or burned out batteries regularly. A certified fire protection provider can help you streamline your fire protection program and keep track of required inspections.


Summer is coming and with it the summer vacation from school for your kids. In today's America, more and more children are unsupervised during much of the summer break because their parents, or parent, are occupied with their jobs during the weekdays. For some families, summer camps or summer day care are options that give parents peace of mind and children a fun and rewarding experience. But these options are not always accessible to all families.

Safe Kids WorldwideTM has estimated that every year 1 in 4 kids under age 14 will be injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Safe Kids also reports that 42 percent of all injuries happen between May and August. The good news is that you can help safeguard your children against many of the causes of injury through education and a few simple preventative measures.

Some Preventable Injuries

Bites and stings are not normally serious injuries, unless the person is allergic or there are many of them. Otherwise, they are a minor injury and one that may be prevented through the use of insect repellents containing DEET. It is important to note that these repellents can be toxic and should never be used on infants. The repellent should never be applied to anyone's face or hands. Using it on clothes is safest.

Ticks are another insect hazard that must be guarded against as they can be transmitters of disease. Wearing light colored clothing can help your children spot ticks before they attach to the skin. The use of DEET containing insect repellents can also help defend against ticks, but it should never be applied to the face or hands. Conducting a tick check should become a nightly routine. The Center for Disease

Control recommends you check under the arms, between the legs, around the waist, inside the navel, and don't forget the hairline and scalp. Use fine-tipped tweezers to hold the tick, as close to the skin as you can, and pull upwards. Do not twist or turn as this could cause the tick's mouth to break off under the skin. Use disinfectant on the area after removing the tick.

Playground equipment should be carefully inspected before allowing children to use it. Check that the equipment is not too hot from the sun. Make sure any ropes are secured and not frayed. The ground should be covered in a protective surface such as rubber mats, wood or rubber mulch or wood chips, never grass, asphalt, or concrete. Also, make sure your child's clothing is playground friendly. Close toed shoes and no loose clothing or clothing with strings (like hoodies) that could get caught on playground equipment.

Bike safety is of great importance as bike accidents are one of the major causes of childhood injury. Make sure your child always wears a helmet and that the helmet fits properly. Make sure the bike is a good fit as well. Have your child straddle the top bar of the bike with both feet flat on the ground. A 1 to 3-inch gap between the bar and your child's body means it's still the correct size. Teach your child to ride in the same direction as the traffic flow and obey all traffic signs.

Heat and dehydration are also major health threats that are often disregarded by children. Teach your children to recognize the signs of heat stroke (dizziness, trouble breathing, headaches, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and hot, dry skin) and signs of

dehydration (dizziness, dry mouth, cessation of sweating, irritability, lethargy, and fatigue). Remind your children to take breaks in their play on hot days and to drink plenty of fluids, especially water or drinks that contain electrolytes.

Sunburn can be very painful and can sneak up on young children without their being aware of it. Apply a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. If applying both sunscreen and insect repellant, apply the sunscreen first.

Education is your child's best defense against injury. Teach them safety rules about dealing with strangers, the dangers of fire, and general common sense behavior to keep them safe and healthy. Consider signing them up for first aid training classes.

Summertime is a golden time for children. Let's all do our best to see that their golden summers are never tarnished by preventable injury. Remember, the tips in this article are just general guidelines. Consult the resources below for more detailed information.

Additional Resources
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) website (www.cdc.gov) and the Safe Kids WorldwideTM website (www.safekids.org) both provide excellent advice for keeping your children safe and healthy. The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) offers first aid and CPR classes. The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) also offers first aid and other safety training classes. Check out these resources today to keep your children safe tomorrow.


Travel Safety Tips

Are you “leaving on a jet plane,” “rolling down the river,” boarding the “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” or just “cruising down the highway, looking for adventure?”  Now that spring is in air and summer vacations are on the mind, it’s a good idea to refresh your awareness for travel safety! Travel can broaden your knowledge and enrich your spirit. So, let’s start packing!

One of the very first things you should do is to make a thorough checklist of all the items you need to pack and to take care of before you leave. Did you remember to put a hold on your mail? Did you confirm your hotel reservation? Did you get your traveler’s checks? Have you packed any medications you might need? With so many different things to remember, it is easy to overlook something. Making a checklist will help you keep it all straight. A good traveler will verify that every item on their checklist is packed or taken care of before they set foot out of the home.

Here are a few of the many important tips available from government (like the U. S. State Department) and private sources (like the AAA).

International Travel
Traveling to a foreign land is exciting, but beware! Last year’s tourist hot spot could be this year’s tourist nightmare. Always check with the U. S. State Department for any travel advisories. Here are a few other things to remember:

  • Find out the location and contact information for the U. S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • Avoid carrying cash (use traveler’s checks or credit cards).
  • Understand the currency exchange rate.
  • Learn about local laws in the country.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of any medications you need (including extra in case of travel delays).
  • Get a letter from your physician in case you are questioned  about  your  carry-on  medication;  some countries have strict restrictions on bringing prescription or even non-prescription medications into the country without proper medical documentation.
  • Make photocopies of itinerary and travel documents.
  • Check if the country you are visiting requires an International Driving Permit.

Travel by Airline
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reminds us that safety is not just the responsibility of the airline, the pilot and crew, or the terminal attendants. Safety is a team effort that involves the passenger as well. Remember the important catch phrase, “If you see something, say something!” This applies to suspicious behavior, unattended packages, or odd noises and anything else that just does not seem right. Bring it to the attention of the flight professionals (the cabin crew or airport staff) and let them evaluate the seriousness of the situation. That is what they are trained to do. The FAA has some other recommendations for a safe and enjoyable fligh.

  • Pay attention to the flight attendant safety briefing at the beginning of your flight and read the safety briefing card.
  • Buckle up. Keep you and your family safe by wearing a seat belt at all times while seated.
  • Use an approved child safety seat or device if your child weighs less than 40 pounds.
  • Prevent in-flight injuries by following your airline's carry-on restrictions.
  • Check your airline's Portable Electronic Device (PED) policy.

If it becomes necessary to evacuate the aircraft, be sure to heed these FAA directives:

  • Stay low.
  • Proceed to the nearest front or rear exit - count the rows between your seat and the exits.
  • Follow floor lighting to exit.

Travel by Automobile
The United States is blessed with thousands of scenic and historic sites of interest and traveling by car is one of the best ways to enjoy the wonders of the U.S. You can decide which route to take and control when and where you stop and for how long. You can help to increase the safety of your journey by following the advice of the American Automobile Association (AAA). Here are just a few of those tips.

Keep your doors locked, safety belts buckled and children secure in properly installed safety seats:

  • Don’t let your gas tank fall below 1/3 tank. Pack a flashlight, blanket, and first-aid kit. In cold climates, pack extra warm clothing.
  • If you are going on a long trip, pack an emergency ration kit of water and nonperishable food items such as fruit or granola bars.
  • If stopping during nighttime travel, choose a well-lighted populated facility. Park where your vehicle can be seen.

If you have a vehicle breakdown, remember that it is usually safest to remain with your vehicle until help arrives. Some actions recommended by the AAA are:

  • Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
  • If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand away from traffic.
  • If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
  • Warn other drivers by raising the vehicle’s hood, tying a white cloth to a door handle or using reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: three devices at 100, 50, and 25 yards from the vehicle.

Three Golden Rules
These safety tips are only a few of the dozens recommended and following them will help making your travel safer. At the root of each of these safety tips are three simple rules that apply to daily living as well as to travel:

  • Plan ahead
  • Remain vigilant
  • Use your common sense. Following these three key safety rules and applying the safety tips can help make your travel experience both secure and satisfying. Have a nice trip!

Domestic and International travel tips:
The U.S. Department of Transportation also provides tips and links to other government sites (such as the TSA and the FAA).

Road travel tips:


WEATHER ALERT: How to Prevent and Deal With Frozen Pipes On Coldest Weekends Since 2004

One big headache that can accompany the single-digit temperatures is frozen water pipes in unheated basements and crawl spaces of local homes.

Here is more information from the American Red Cross: 

Why Frozen Pipes Are a Problem 

Water expands as it freezes. This expansion puts extreme pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor water faucets, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold.

In the US, frozen pipes cause significant damage every year, but they often can be prevented. Taking a few simple steps, even now, may save you the aggravation and expense.


There are three common causes of frozen pipes:

1. Quick drops in temperature 
2. Poor insulation
3. Thermostats set too low

There are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing:

  • Check the insulation of pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

If Your Pipes Do Freeze...

Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do: 

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber. 
  • If your house or basement is flooding, turn off the water valve and immediately call 911. 
  • Do not touch or use electrical appliances in areas of standing water due to electrocution concerns.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Every year, many building fires are caused by people trying to thaw frozen pipes. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. 
  • Again, if your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on and call 911. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Likely places for the water turn-off valve include internal pipes running against exterior walls or where water service enters a home through the foundation. 
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.



Weathering Winter Storms

Winter has arrived. Bitter cold, driving winds and snow have hit nearly every region of the country.

Winter storms can bring cities to a halt, snarling roadways, closing airports and disrupting services. But severe winter weather is more than just inconvenient; it can be dangerous. Car accidents account for about 70 percent of injuries and death that occur during winter storms; another 25 percent result from people getting caught out in a storm. Here are some tips to guard against the two major causes of injury and death associated with winter storms. 

Driving in the Snow

The best way to avoid a car accident is to stay off the road. If you must drive in winter conditions, prepare before you go. Make sure car lights, breaks, windshield wipers (and no-freeze fluid) and battery are in working order. Check your antifreeze and install winter tires with good treads. Maintain at least a half tank of gas for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing. Carry an emergency preparedness kit and keep your cell phone charged. Always wear your seat belt. And never drink and drive. Travel in the day, try not to drive alone and keep others informed of your route and schedule. Listen to the radio for the latest road conditions. Stay on main roads whenever possible. And don’t overestimate your ability to drive in bad conditions like sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle and dense fog. Be aware that bridges, ramps and overpasses may freeze first. Turn on your lights to see and be seen. Slow down and put extra distance between you and the car in front of you. If you need to stop, know what your brakes will do: In general, press firmly on anti-lock brakes and keep the pedal depressed (even if it begins to shake). Pump non-antilock brakes to avoid locking your wheels and causing the car to slide. If your car starts to slide, turn your wheels in the direction of the skid to straighten out. 

Caught Out in a Winter Storm

To avoid being stranded out in a storm, listen for winter storm or blizzard warnings—and stay inside when they are issued. If you are caught outdoors, find shelter as soon as possible. Stay dry and cover all body parts. If there is no shelter available, build a wind-break or snow cave for protection. Light a fire for heat and to attract attention. Eat and drink to retain energy (body heat) and avoid dehydration. But, don’t eat snow; it will lower your body temperature. Instead, melt it for drinking water. If you are stranded in your car or truck:

  • Stay inside the vehicle: Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by. Be careful; Blowing-snow distorts distances and disorientation occurs quickly. Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat. When the engine is running, open a window for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
  • Make yourself visible: Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine. Tie a colored cloth (red is best) to the antenna or door. After snow stops falling, raise the hood to signal you need help.
  • Work together: If more than one person is in the vehicle, take turns sleeping. Huddle together for warmth.
  • Eat, drink, and exercise: From time to time, move arms, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm. Avoid alcohol or caffeinated beverages. They dehydrate the body.
  • Be Prepared: The best protection against the hazards of winter storms is to be prepared. Visit these sites for additional information:
    http://www.osha.gov http://www.redcross.org
    http://www.fema.gov http://www.nws.noaa.gov

Cold Stress Illness

Prolonged exposure to cold can result in frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure. It occurs when the skin freezes and loses water. Frostbite typically affects the feet and hands. Stinging or aching followed by numbness and white or pale skin are signs of frostbite. If you suspect frostbite, do not rub the area to warm it. Wrap it in soft warm cloth, move the person to a warm area, and contact medical personell. Hypothermia is a dangerous lowering of the body’s core temperature and occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, mental confusion, slowed speech, loss of coordination, drowsiness and exhaustion. If you suspect hypothermia, get the person to a warm location and call for emergency medical help. Start warming the body slowly. Change into dry clothing and wrap entire body in warm blankets, covering the head. Warm the core first. Do not give alcohol or caffeinated beverages. Give a warm (not hot) sugary drink or warm broth instead. These procedures are not substitutes for proper medical care.


Tis’ the season for holiday spirit, and many businesses plan holiday celebrations. Whether your party is taking place at an off-site location or in the office, here are a few tips to consider to ensure employee safety for a pleasant holiday gathering.

If the party is going to take place after office hours, be aware of the night security arrangements at your building. Some offices lock doors and close stairwells, which could change emergency exit routes.

  • In planning for an after hours event or inviting outside guests, inform security in advance and request guest badges if necessary to abide by your facility’s access policy.
  • Keep balloons and decorations out of the path of motion detectors.
  • Before serving any alcoholic beverages, check with your company and/or building’s alcohol policy. If you do serve alcohol,
    1. Make sure each employee has a preplanned ride home or arrange for transportation.
    2. Ensure minors do not have access to it.
    3. Do not serve alcohol to anyone showing signs of intoxication.
  • Food poisoning should always be a concern. Make sure that there is enough refrigerator space to keep foods properly refrigerated and dispose of any foods that have been out too long.
  • Watch where you place beverages. Most offices are filled with electrical equipment and a spill could cause electrical shock or ruin the equipment and important information.
  • Before the party, you may want to send employees a list of rules and reminders for the holiday celebration.
  • Preplanning may help avoid potential disasters.

Decorating your workplace is a great way to spread holiday cheer. These simple steps will allow you and other employees to enjoy this season without injury or property damage.

  • Use a stepladder to put up decorations. Never stand on swivel chairs or desks, as they are unsteady.
  • Make sure all illuminated decorations are turned off when the office is closed to decrease the risk of fire. Do not use decorations if they have broken or frayed wires. Candles should never be used, and all decorations should be fire resistant.
  • Avoid placing holiday decorations in heavily trafficked areas and doorways. People may trip or knock them over, thus presenting additional hazards.
  • Do not hang decorations from exit signs or sprinklers. Most fire codes require that emergency signs stay visible, and the weight of decorations may cause the sprinklers to malfunction.
  • Decorations should not interfere with computers, space heaters or other pieces of equipment that need ventilation.
  • Be sure security cameras are not covered by balloons or decorations.

Tips to Keep You and Your Valuables Safe

Pedestrians can make themselves easy targets in parking lots. Usually, they don’t even realize it. The following tips can help make you safer in parking lots:

Walking in the Parking Lot

  • Stay alert and walk briskly with your head up and your shoulders back. Criminals look for easy marks, such as people who are slouched over, preoccupied or fumbling with packages.
  • Avoid texting or talking on the phone and walking so that you can see where you’re going and who is coming toward you.
  • Know your surroundings. Look around the parking lot and your vehicle for suspicious people. If you notice odd behavior, inform security or the police immediately.
  • Walk with others when possible.
  • Walk in a well-lit area.
  • Remove your headphones or earbuds while walking through a parking lot. Be aware of noises and movements.
  • Have your keys in your hand and ready to open your vehicle.

When You Get to Your Vehicle

  • Look into your vehicle’s windows and under the body before entering to ensure no one is waiting for you.
  • If someone approaches your vehicle, do not open your door or roll down your window.
  • When you get in your vehicle, lock the doors and start the engine immediately.

If There is Suspicious Activity in the Parking Lot

  • Retreat to a well-populated area and call the police or security.
  • Wait in a safe place until the police or security arrive to survey the area and let you know it is safe to go to your vehicle.
  • If you are nervous about walking to the parking lot alone, ask security to escort you.
  • If you notice someone in or around your vehicle, leave the area quickly and call the police or security. Describe as many details about the individual as you can to the authorities.


Keep Halloween a Treat for Everyone

Halloween can be scary, but in a fun and safe way. Dressing up in costumes, getting treats and carving pumpkins are all fun Halloween activities. The following tips can help make these traditions an enjoyable time for the whole family.

Halloween Night

  • Never go trick-or-treating alone. Make sure that there is an adult or a responsible, older youth accompanying young children.
  • Know the area you are going to be in. Plan where the trick-or-treating will begin and end.
  • Remind your trick-or-treaters of common Halloween rules. Do not approach houses that do not look safe or do not have a light on and do not go inside any homes. Look both ways before crossing the street and walk, do not run, to the next house.

Creative Costumes

  • Instead of masks, use face paint. Masks tend to get bumped out of place, potentially blocking vision or breathing.  
  • Check the length of your child’s costume. If it is too long, it could become a trip hazard. Also pay attention to special details on costumes, especially tails that can get wrapped around a leg or other objects.
  • Trim trick-or-treat bags with reflective tape and if your child’s costume is all black or a darker color, trim the sides of it so they will be more visible. Carrying a flashlight will also help drivers to see children better as well as help keep the trick-or-treater from walking where there are hazards.
  • Accessories need to be safe. Swords, knives and other items should be made from cardboard or a soft material.

 The Treats

  • Although it may be tempting for children to snack on candy while trick-or-treating, it is better to wait until they get home. An adult should go through the treats and throw out anything that looks as though it has been tampered with or is not in the original packaging. Pay attention to ingredients while you are sorting. Some candy may not be suitable for younger children.
  • Accept and give out candy that isn't easily unwrapped.  Candies with twist-type wrappings can be tampered with more easily than those that are sealed.
  • Try to stay in an area where you know the people handing out the treats. While most people have good intentions, do not accept home-made treats.


  • Leave the pumpkin carving to the adults. Children can participate by cleaning out the pumpkin. Painted pumpkins are a fun and creative time for kids and much safer.
  • Carve in a dry, well-lit area. You don’t want your pumpkin slipping off of a wet table and potentially injuring someone.
  • Pick your carving utensils carefully. There are special pumpkin carving utensils that have a better handle to grip on to. Do not use extra-long knives because the tip may come out the other side and hit your hand.

For more information on Halloween safety…
Halloween Safety
Center for Disease Control and Prevention


In a couple of weeks, Baltimore with be hosting the largest celebration in its history, the Star Spangled Spectacular.  From September 10th – 16th, our city will host tall ships, grey haul ships, the Blue Angels, a spectacularconcert, and notable dignitaries (including the President of the United States).  Additionally, there will be a Ravens home game on Thursday night against the Pittsburg Steelers and a 4 game home series against the Yankees.

Many of us remember the 2012 Sailabration and traffic that it brought to downtown.  Unlike with the Grand Prix, there will not be any streets shut down in the CBD for this event.  However, with the large numbers of people expected in our great city, we suggest taking extra time commuting the 11th and 12th.  Parking will be very limited due to the large crowds that are expected.

More information on the event can be found at www.starspangled200.com

As with any event that will draw extremely large crowds and national attention, security should be heightened.  We recommend sharing the following information with your team, tenants, and colleagues.  


The national "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign was developed to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities.

Police and security forces are hard at work, but public safety is the responsibility of all individuals. The participation of ordinary citizens is an integral part of our homeland security efforts. You know your everyday surroundings best - neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, parks and transportation systems, and chances are you will notice when something seems strange or out of place. Be alert for suspicious behavior including abandoned vehicles, unauthorized individuals, strange packages or unusual odors.

Additionally, all employees need to be alert for potential risks at their workplace. Strange behavior or suspicious activity should be reported to proper authorities immediately. If you see something, say something!

Who to Notify

  •   Police
  •   Security
  •   Contact your manager in the workplace 
  •   Call 866.HLS.TIPS – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  •   Call 911

What to Report

  •   Describe exactly what the suspicious activity is
  •   Precise location
  •   The number of people, ages, gender, and physical descriptions of each individual observed
  •   Date, time and duration of activity
  •   Note vehicle color, make, license plate, etc.

Homeland security begins with hometown safety. Security is a shared responsibility, and each citizen has a role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities. Your community is safer when you are engaged and alert.

For more information…

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Emergency Preparedness Committee Co-Chairs   
Phylis Seman  - Columbia Property Trust  
Michael Dunn - AlliedBarton Security Services                                                          


Transit Safety Tips

When traveling the MDTA, patrons may protect themselves from becoming victims of crime by keeping alert and following a few proven crime prevention techniques. The following information will help you in making your MDTA travels safer and more enjoyable.

Personal Safety:

  •          Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  •          Refrain from listening to music or wearing headphones while riding the transit system. (IPods, cell phones and portable radios will distract you and could make you a potential target)
  •          Avoid talking to strangers, especially in isolated areas.
  •          If carrying a purse, hold it tightly and close to your body;
  •          If carrying a wallet, keep it in a front pocket.
  •          If you are attacked, scream or blow a whistle in order to bring attention to your situation.

On Trains:

  •          When waiting for a train, stay in a central location that is occupied by other patrons (it's true     that there is safety in numbers).
  •          During off hours, ride as close to the train operator as possible.
  •          If someone bothers you, move to another seat or car and notify the train operator.
  •          If you are on a train, train operators can be contacted by using the intercom at each end of every train car. Train operators can radio messages to the Transit Police Department. The Transit Police can then be dispatched to any location.
  •          If you are on a platform or inside a station, you may use the Police Call Box to notify the Transit Police.

On Buses:

  •          Try to avoid isolated bus stops.
  •          Stand near others and in well-lighted areas, move to your bus as it arrives.
  •          During off hours, ride as near the bus driver as possible.
  •          If trouble occurs, notify the bus driver. The bus driver can radio into his/her dispatcher, who can then notify the Transit Police Department.

Walking To Your Car:

  •          Briskly and confidently walk to your vehicle.
  •          Scan the area as you walk and be aware of the people in the area.
  •          If someone looks suspicious, move away from him/her. Go back to the station and notify the station agent.
  •          Have your keys out and ready before you reach your vehicle.
  •          Once you have reached your car, quickly check the interior for any possible intruders. If clear, enter the car and quickly lock the door behind you.

Inform Your Children:

  •          If your children ride public transportation alone, please advise them not to talk to strangers.
  •          Teach them how to contact the police, train operators, station agents and bus drivers for assistance and help.

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children has published a flyer titled, "Know the Rules...When Your Child Is Traveling Unaccompanied by Bus or Train." The purpose of this publication is to guide parents and their children in a way that will help prevent negative experiences and ensure the child's safe journey from start to finish when traveling by bus or train.

Pedestrian Safety

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, walking is 36 times more dangerous than driving, and 300 times more dangerous than flying. In 2008, 69,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes and nearly 5,000 were killed.

Walk Defensively - Look both ways before crossing the street! This isn’t just a lesson for children but critical advice for all pedestrians. Motorists can run a stop sign or a red light, or make a quick turn, catching a pedestrian off guard. Use sidewalks when you can, but if that is not an option, be sure to walk facing traffic as far off the road as you can get. Do not be distracted by cell phones, PDAs or headsets.

Cross Streets at Intersections - If there are marked crosswalks, use them. Use pedestrian push buttons for crossing protection at signalized intersections. If there are no traffic control signs or crossing guards, then look in all directions and only cross when traffic has cleared. If possible, do not cross at a bend in the road.

Be Careful in Parking Lots - Many drivers do not know that pedestrians have the right-of-way in parking lots. Cars often drive both ways up and down the aisles. Take extra caution when stepping out of your car.

Be Safe When Getting On or Off a Bus - Motorists don’t always stop for loading and unloading buses. Pause a moment before crossing the street. Look in all directions. Do not step into traffic between parked cars. Drivers may not see you.

Walking at Dusk and in the Evening Hours - Walking at night increases your chances of an accident. Drivers cannot avoid what they cannot see. Wear brightly-colored or reflective clothing or shoes.

Supervise and Teach Your Children About Safe Walking - Remember that children under nine years old often lack the judgment to make safe choices when dealing with traffic. Their size also makes them difficult for motorists to see. Children should always cross the street with an adult.

Personal Safety:

  • When walking, be aware of those around you. If someone has been following you for quite a while, be suspicious.
  • Avoid walking with large bags, backpacks or luggage. These items can be a target for pickpockets and thieves. Additionally, fumbling with bags can also distract you from traffic.
  • If walking in the evening hours, try not to walk alone. Take a friend along.

General Safety Tips:

  •          If you see something suspicious or out of place, say something call the Transit Police at 410-537-7777 or notify an MDTA Employee: See something? Say something.
  •          Keep your luggage with you at all times-this helps us avoid unnecessary security alerts and delays.
  •          When waiting for a train, stand near other passengers. Do not stand near the edge of the platform. Promptly leave the platform after exiting the train.
  •          Don't purchase an MDTA pass or tokens from people on the street. They might be counterfeit.
  •          Always keep your jewelry and other valuables out of sight. Turn rings so that precious stones are on the palm side of your hand.
  •          Keep a firm grip on your purse. However, avoid wrapping the strap around your hand or wrist.
  •          To prevent others from knowing where and how much money you are carrying, purchase an MDTA pass.
  •          Please take your litter and put it in a bin when you leave the system-this helps us to keep your stations, trains, buses and boats clean and free of debris.


Learn how to ruin a pickpocket's day, being aware of their existence and taking these simple precautions can stop most pickpockets.

  •          Avoid crowding in area of doors.
  •          Use handbags that close tightly and carry them securely in front of your body.
  •          Carry wallets inside your coat or front pants pocket, and never in a backpack.
  • Avoid displaying large amounts of money in public. Use small bills when purchasing tokens.
  • If you are jostled in a crowd, be aware that a pickpocket may be responsible.
  • Beware of loud arguments or commotion. Incidents can be staged to distract while a pocket is being picked.
  • Do not get distracted, always be aware of your surroundings.


Identity Theft:

The Federal Trade Commission has published an Identity Theft Website. The website is a national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft.

Escalator Safety Tips:

  •          When on escalators, please take extra care with children. If possible, hold children when riding escalator.
  •          When possible, use the elevator with small children, strollers, pushchairs, wheelchairs and buggies.
  •          Please use caution when stepping on and off the escalator, especially when you are carrying luggage.
  •          Stand to the right and hold onto the handrail.
  •          Avoid standing near the edge of the steps.

MDTA Transit Police Department 
4330 Broening Highway
Baltimore, MD 21222

E Mail:
Deaf or Hard of Hearing: 
TTY through Maryland Relay 711 


If You See Something, Say SomethingTM

The national "If You See Something, Say Something™" campaign was developed to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper authorities.

Police and security forces are hard at work, but public safety is the responsibility of all individuals. The participation of ordinary citizens is an integral part of our homeland security efforts. You know your everyday surroundings best - neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, parks and transportation systems, and chances are you will notice when something seems strange or out of place. Be alert for suspicious behavior including abandoned vehicles, unauthorized individuals, strange packages or unusual odors.

Additionally, all employees need to be alert for potential risks at their workplace. Strange behavior or suspicious activity should be reported to proper authorities immediately. If you see something, say something!

Who to Notify

  •   Police
  •   Security
  •   Contact your manager in the workplace
  •   Call 866.HLS.TIPS – available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  •   Call 911

What to Report

  •   Describe exactly what the suspicious activity is
  •   Precise location
  •   The number of people, ages, gender, and physical descriptions of each individual observed
  •   Date, time and duration of activity
  •   Note vehicle color, make, license plate, etc.

Homeland security begins with hometown safety. Security is a shared responsibility, and each citizen has a role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities. Your community is safer when you are engaged and alert.

For more information…U.S. Department of Homeland Security


Tips to Prevent Trips, Slips, and Falls

This winter has brought us plenty of snow and ice and there is still plenty of time for more.  Not only is the exterior of our properties treacherous, what is brought in on people’s shoes making our interior walk ways dangerous. 

 Slips, trips and falls are a common cause of workplace injuries and can occur in any environment and in any industry. These incidents can occur on both elevated and flat surfaces, and can involve employees and visitors. Fortunately, many slips, trips and falls can be prevented.

Active employee participation is necessary in order to prevent any hazardous conditions that could result in slips, trips or falls. Taking personal responsibility for your own actions and proactively participating in creating a safe environment – before a problem occurs – can help reduce the possibility of slips, trips and falls. Though the responsibilities at each job site differ, the following are good general practices:

  •   Most importantly, watch where you are walking and exercise care given the conditions.
  •   Wear shoes with skid-proof soles.
  •   Correct and/or report slip, trip and fall hazards.
  •   Use proper ladders for assigned tasks.
  •   Make sure there is adequate lighting in all work areas.
  •   Conduct routine inspections of ladders, stairs, and walking and working surfaces.
  •   Immediately clean up spills.
  •   Always hold onto handrails when walking up and down stairs.
  •   Keep all work areas, passageways, storerooms and service rooms clean and orderly.
  •   Maintain clean and dry floors. Where wet processes are used, drainage needs to be maintained and gratings, mats, or raised platforms provided.
  •   Check that all floors, work areas and passageways are free of cracks and breaks, protruding nails, splinters, holes or loose boards.
  •   Keep all aisles and passageways clear and in good repair with no obstruction across or in aisles that could create a hazard.
  •   Make sure the aisles are sufficiently wide enough where mechanical handling equipment is used.

Oct 5

BOMI Course: (Accelerated) The Design, Operation, & Maintenance of Building Systems, Part II

October 05, 2018 8:30 AM to October 26, 2018 4:30 PM

Harbor East

Oct 25

The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) 2018

October 25, 2018
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Lord Baltimore Hotel

Nov 7

2018 Associate Member Panel Program

November 07, 2018
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM

The Center Club