In Your Office or Room

  • Lock your door, even if you are just going down the hall. It takes a thief 10 seconds or less to enter an open room and steal your property.
  • Do not leave messages on your door indicating that you are away and when you will be back.
  • If someone asks to use your phone for an emergency call, offer to telephone for them instead of allowing them access.
  • Do not put your address on your key ring.
  • Call the Campus Safety and Security Department at extension 4600
  • to report suspicious persons or activity.

When Walking

  • Walk in well-lit areas of the campus at night.
  • For information on a campus escort service, call the Campus Safety and Security Department at extension 4600.
  • Walk purposefully, know where you are going and project a no-nonsense image.

Protecting Your Auto or Bicycle

  • Always lock your car.
  • Lock bikes to bike racks with hardened-alloy locks and chains or U-shaped locks.
  • Do not leave tempting valuables or property visible inside the car. Lock these items in your trunk.

Protecting Yourself When Driving

  • Look into your car before getting in. Lock doors and roll up windows once inside for protection.
  • Do not stop to help occupants of stopped disabled cars. Continue driving to the nearest phone and call assistance for them.
  • Raise the hood, then lock yourself into your car if your breaks down. If someone stops and offers you help, remain in your car and ask them to phone for help. Do not worry about seeming rude.
  • If traveling a great distance and you stop at a rest area at night, attempt to park in a well-lit area. Be EXTRA CAREFUL and be aware of your surroundings and the other people at the rest stop.

Tips For Travellers

Below are tips to keep in mind when traveling. U.S. State Department travel warnings and in-country information

    • Ensure that your passport, if needed, is good for at least three or four months.
    • Make a copy of your credit card and traveler's check numbers and the telephone numbers needed to report a theft. Keep the copy in a location separate from the documents.
    • If possible, carry required prescriptions in the original containers.
    • Check with your medical insurance carrier about coverage away from your home and work. Know coverage protection for out-of-country travel.
  • Make copies of your passport photo page; put a copy in your carry-on baggage and leave a copy at home.
  • Make sure your luggage is tagged inside and out, but don't place your position or affiliation on the tag.
  • Dress casually when traveling to avoid attention; avoid showy jewelry.
  • Be alert at security checkpoints. Don't place belongings on conveyor until you can keep an eye on items being screened.
  • Try to secure a room between floors two and seven. Rooms on the bottom floor may be more susceptible to an unlawful entry. Also, some fire departments may not have the capability for rescue above the seventh floor.
  • Always check for the nearest fire stairwell, hoses and emergency telephone when checking into a hotel.
  • Avoid hanging the "Please Clean Room" tag on your door. It is an obvious sign that that you are not in.
  • Do not leave sensitive information or documents in your hotel room. Hand carry and personally protect your documents, as well as laptop computers and other valuables.
  • Stay with your luggage until it is brought into the lobby or placed in your taxi, bus or car.
  • Check your door by placing the palm of your hand on the door or the knob. If either feels hot, do not open the door.
  • Locate the nearest stairwell to your room.
  • If you cannot leave your room or the stairwells are unsafe, notify the front desk that you are in the room.
  • Stay low but alert to any signs of rescue from the street or the halls. Let firefighters know where you are by waving a towel or sheet out the window.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Look up and down the street before exiting a building.
  • Ask the bellman, concierge, or front desk personnel regarding safe and not-so-safe areas around the city to jog, dine, or sightsee. Be aware of local traffic regulations and driving habits. Joggers have been seriously injured by failing to understand traffic conditions.
  • Keep in mind that purse snatchers and briefcase thieves often work hotel bars and restaurants. Keep your purse or briefcase in view or in hand.
  • Be alert to scams involving an unknown person spilling a drink or food on your clothing; an accomplice may be preparing to steal your purse, wallet, or briefcase.
  • Always be alert for distractions that may be staged by pickpockets, luggage thieves, or purse snatchers.
  • Consider wearing a money belt or other secure storage device; waist pouches are not advised because potential thieves will know the location of your valuables.
  • Keep briefcases and purses in view or in hand when using telephones. If you're using a credit card, block the view.
  • Be cautious when entering public restrooms.


The Grinnell College Office of Safety and Security would like to remind Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff to practice good personal safety at all times. The Grinnell College community should remember to take the following safety precautions:

  • Travel with friends-stay in groups. There is safety in numbers.
  • Park vehicles and/or walk in well-lighted areas.
  • Report all suspicious activity to the Grinnell Police Department and the Grinnell College Department of Safety and Security
  • Advise friends where you are or where you will be going
  • Take advantage of the escort service provided by the Department Safety and Security by calling 269-4600. The service is provided 24 hours a day and is available for travel to anywhere in Grinnell.

Staying Alert, Staying Safe

The more aware a person is, the less vulnerable they will be.

  • Don't wear headphones while walking or jogging. If worn, it makes it harder to hear approaching vehicles or attackers.
  • If jogging, run on the left side of the road to observe approaching traffic.
  • Practice identifying characteristics of strangers - identifying features, including clothes and habits. Also practice memorizing vehicle license plates.

Crime is unfortunately present in any community and does occur on the Grinnell College campus. If precautions are taken, many incidents can be prevented. Prevention Tips:

  • Drink Responsibly. Don't do anything with alcohol or drugs that could compromise your abilities or judgment.
  • If walking (especially after dark) from place to place on campus or from a downtown establishment, travel in pairs or groups. Walk in well lit areas. Do not travel alone. Call and let friends know that you are leaving and when to expect you back. If leaving a family residence or a home of a friend, call them when you arrive safely back to campus. Pay attention and report unusual behaviors or suspicious people. On campus call Security 4600. Off campus dial 911
  • Have a plan and trust your instincts.
  • Do NOT go anywhere with someone you do not know. Never go to a secondary location with someone you don't know and TRUST.
  • If a suspicious person (or someone you know) is attempting to take you from your location ATTRACT attention: yell, scream, and do what is necessary to get others to come to your assistance. If able, take some type of action to free yourself.


CAMPUS PHONES: campus telephones are located throughout the campus. These phones should be utilized in an emergency situation, when you are in fear, or if you need assistance. ESCORT SERVICE: The Escort Service Program attempts to provide a safe, comfortable atmosphere to the students, faculty, and other staff of the Grinnell College community who do not wish to walk alone on campus during the evening hours. Campus Security Officers and Student Security members provide the escorts on campus. Any person requesting an escort can call the Information Desk at 4600.