Safety Tips

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If you are experiencing an emergency, dial 911.

Safety Comes First
This section is provided by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. Here you will find information about who to call for specific issues, and general safety tips for safer vehicles and bikes, vacations and holidays, and children.

Click here for information on the Sheriff's Office, Neighborhood Watch , and eCAP.

Who to Call

Cupertino Code Enforcement
Call 408.777.3182 to report violations of the Cupertino Municipal Ordinances, such as weed abatement, abandoned vehicles, trash accumulation, continuous illegal parking and graffiti.

Tips for Safer Living

Bicycle Safety for Kids

  • Always wear a helmet. It's vital to protect your head. For everyone under 18, it's the law.
  • Wear bright colored clothes that make you more visible.
  • Select a safe route to your destination, and use it.
  • Avoid busy intersections.
  • One seat = one rider.
  • Ride single file.
  • Ride on the right side of the street, along the curb (go the same direction as the cars).
  • If you are under 10 years old, ride on the sidewalk (check with your local city).
  • Ride in a straight line. Do not swerve in and out of parked or moving cars.
  • Stop and look both all ways before crossing streets.
  • Walk your bike across busy intersections.
  • Do not wear headphones while riding. (It's against the law).
  • At night, you must have a headlight as well as rear and side reflectors. A rear red light is a good idea.
  • Learn and obey all rules of the road! The vehicle code applies to bicycles just as it applies to cars.
  • Stop at all stop signs and red lights.
  • Above all, be alert and aware of your surroundings. Ride defensively.

A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.

  • Use a flashlight so you can see and be seen by others.
  • Always trick or treat with at least one other person.
  • Only go to homes that have a porch light on.
  • Stay on sidewalks where available and close to the roadway edge facing traffic where there are no sidewalks.
  • Never cut across yards or run across the street.
  • Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat. Stay on the porch.
  • When crossing a street, walk. Do not run.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or at corners.
  • Never accept food or drinks that are not commercially packaged.
  • No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult after you get home.
  • Have your parents check all of your treats before eating any of them.    
  • Throw away any treats that are home made or appear to be tampered with.

Parents with Young Children

  • Child proof your entire home.
  • Put child safety locks on all cabinets that might be opened by a curious child. These locks should be difficult enough to use so that it requires some effort
  • Move all chemicals and medicines to upper cabinets, because children are persistent and will figure out how to open the safety locks sooner than you think.
  • Remove breakables from the lower cabinets.
  • Place child deterrents on door handles to the outside, and install and use a deadbolt to outside doors. Children can walk farther than you think in a very short time.
    If they get out the door while you are distracted, you may have a difficult time finding them quickly. Remember, no one plans for his or her child to be missing.
  • Put corner guards on sharp table edges. They will be 'head high' for several years.
  • Keep children away from hot liquids. These are found not only on the stove, but can include bath water, coffee cups, hot soup in a bowl, etc.
  • Make sure that toys are suitable for young children. Double-check them for parts that can be removed before giving them to your child.
  • Be sure that throw and area rugs are on non-slip surfaces.

Car Safety

  • Children MUST be in a properly installed car seat if they are either.
  • Under 6 years of age, regardless of weight, or under 60 pounds in weight, regardless of age.
  • Children MUST be in a properly worn seatbelt if they do not meet the criteria for being in a car seat listed above.
  • Remember that the parent receives the citation, not the child. Institute a "no restraint-no ride" policy in your car.
  • Don't accept excuses for not wearing a restraint. If your child takes off the restraint, stop the car and re-install the restraint.
  • Be sure car seat is installed correctly (at least 85% are not).
  • Use child safety door locks, or lock doors in car not equipped with child safety locks.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children under 12 ride in the back seat of your car.

Water Safety

  • Children age 1 to 4 have the highest number of water safety accidents.
  • 70% of these occurred when the child was under the care of one or both parents.
  • Constant supervision is necessary when a child is around water (lake, pool, bathtub).
  • Children can drown in 1 inch of water.
  • Ensure a child cannot reach water without you knowing (use fences and gates).
  • Remove all toys from the water immediately after use (attractive to kids).
  • Drain water from portable pools immediately after use.

Stranger Danger

  • Everyone is a stranger, even those that seem nice.
  • Make children aware that some people are "bad" people and can't be trusted.
  • Develop a family code word that everyone in the family learns. Test it occasionally. Be sure that anyone who is picking up your child knows this code word.
  • Teach kids to not help strangers--find a child, find a pet, look for money.
  • Tell kids to run to a place of safety if approached by a stranger (teacher, store clerk, neighbor).
  • Teach children to go only to a store employee if they get lost in the store or mall.
  • Teach children to not open the door at home to anyone. Have them say mom or dad is busy.
  • Have kids learn to take a phone message or tell caller to call back later (don't say their parents aren't home).

Good Touch and Bad Touch

  • Teach children that their body belongs to them, no one else.
  • Tell them who is allowed to touch them (parents, doctor).
  • They should make a fuss if someone else tries to touch them privately.
  • Make them feel comfortable about talking to you about a stranger touching them.

What to Do

  • Teach kids how and when to call 911.
  • Call when feeling scared or there is a problem.
  • Don't hang up the phone, even if call was accidental.
  • Answer call taker's questions.

Personal Safety

  • Be prepared.
  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Avoid locations and situations which would make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleyways and dark parking lots.
  • Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
  • Stay in well lighted areas.
  • Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide.
  • Walk confidently and at a steady pace.
  • Make eye contact with people when walking.
  • If you carry a purse, carry it securely between your arm and your body.
  • Avoid isolated bus stops.
  • Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street. Keep walking.
  • If someone bothers you, tell someone (gas station attendant, store clerk, bus driver).
  • Have your car keys in your hand when you leave a store, don't fish for them out in the parking lot.
  • If a crime does occur, REPORT IT!!

Vacation Security

Before leaving your home

  • Have good locks on all doors and windows-and use them!
  • Video tape and engrave your valuables with your drivers license number.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside under a doormat, in a flower pot, etc.
  • Make your house appear lived in. Use timers for lights and radios. Have a neighbor or friend pick up mail, packages, and newspapers.
  • Leave your trip plans and an emergency phone number with a neighbor.

On the Road

  • Never carry large amounts of money; use traveler's checks. If you must carry large amounts of cash, do not display it openly.
  • Keep a record of traveler's checks and credit cards in a safe place.
  • Don't stop to offer assistance to stranded motorists. Go to the nearest 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. If you believe it is unsafe to get out of your car, honk your horn and flash your lights to draw attention.
  • If your car breaks down, raise the hood and turn on your hazard flashers. If someone stops to help, it is advisable that you stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or a tow truck. If you must leave your car, keep all passengers together.

Hotel and Motel Security

  • Determine the most direct route to and from your room to the nearest fire escapes, elevators, and telephones.
  • When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows. (You may want to purchase a portable door lock for travelling).
  • Use the door viewer before opening the door, ALWAYS.
  • Never leave money, checks, credit cards, or car keys in the room. Take them with you.
  • Place extra cash, expensive jewelry or other valuables in the room/hotel/motel safe.
  • Report any lost or stolen items to the hotel/motel management and the police.
  • Report any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms to the management.
  • Remember-the only way to stop crime is to get involved in crime prevention.

Vehicle Safety

Prevent Car Theft

  • Lock the trunk and/or tailgate.
  • Close all the windows tightly. This includes the vent or wing window.
  • Remove tempting items from sight. Put valuables in the glove compartment or trunk. Don't leave cameras, cell phones, or other valuables on the seat.

Park Carefully

  • Avoid leaving your car in an unattended parking lot.
  • If possible, don't leave your car in a lot that requires you to leave your car keys. If you do have to leave a key, leave only the ignition key, or a valet key.
  • Do not attach a tag with your name and address to your keys.
  • Park in well lighted areas, whether on the street or in a parking lot.

Use "Anti-Theft" Devices

  • Interior hood locks and releases
  • A second ignition switch or "kill" switch to cut off electrical current to the coil.
  • A fuel switch that prevents fuel from flowing if the key is not used to start the car.
  • Locking gas cap.
  • Steering wheel locks.
  • Alarm devices that activate immediately upon forced entry to scare away thieves.


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