Eclipse Safety Tips

Event Safety

The Total Solar Eclipse is only a few weeks away. As you prepare for activities, the Idaho Falls Police Department reminds residents and visitors to also prepare themselves on how to stay safe.Here are a few tips and reminders:
  • Be prepared for the day’s activities. Read up on all information regarding event attendance, road closures and parking restrictions. Also check the weather conditions to ensure you are properly prepared.
  • Unfortunately, criminals don’t take events off. Be sure to lock doors and windows when away from home. Vehicles should also be properly secured.
  • Be mindful of valuables, i.e. wallets, credit cards, purse or cell phones; you are carrying with you. Don’t make yourself an easy target for theft, and only carry what you need. Keep items in your front pockets. If you carry a purse, keep it close to you (the front of the body is best). Don’t dangle it on your arm and never leave it unattended.
  • Don’t display large sums of cash and don’t carry more than necessary.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid ‘auto pilot’. Scan the area around you. Become familiar with the area around you, including locating exits. Groups should identify a meeting spot in the event people get separated.
  • Parents and guardians need to keep a close eye on children at events.
  • Due to the activities and the increased number of people in the city, traffic will move slower. Drivers should exercise patience, slow down, concentrate and make the choice to obey all traffic laws and special event parking and traffic restrictions.
  • Report any criminal activity. IFPD officers will be patrolling throughout the events. They can also be contacted by calling 911 for emergencies and 529-1200 for non-emergencies.
  • It’s going to be a long day. Be sure to memorize or write down important numbers in case you cannot use your cell phone.

Calling 9-1-1 in an Emergency

“Emergency" - A potential threat to life or property, which requires immediate response from law enforcement, a fire department, and/or emergency medical services. ** Help reduce accidental calls to 9-1-1 by only calling when you have an emergency, not storing your cell phone in a place where it could accidentally dial 9-1-1 (pocket/purse dials), and not allowing children to play with active or non-active cell phones.
  • To contact the Idaho Falls Police Department for non-emergent issues call (208) 529-1200.
  • When calling 9-1-1, stay calm and state your emergency or the agency you require.
  • Do exactly as the 9-1-1 call taker tells you during the call.
  • Listen carefully to the 9-1-1 call taker and answer all questions as accurately as possible. Speak loudly, clearly, and slowly. Sample questions would be your name, address, call back number, etc. In an emergency, help is normally on the way while you are still answering questions – believe it when they tell you help is on the way.
  • Stay on the line if it is safe to do so, and do not hang up until you are told to do so by the 9-1-1 call taker. If you must leave the phone, leave the receiver off the hook.
  • Stay calm and speak clearly. It is difficult for the calltaker to understand what is being said when you speak too fast or yell.
  • Do not hang up until the 9-1-1 calltaker has obtained all of the information that is needed.
  • If you are using a cell phone, your call may be disconnected if the signal is lost. Be sure to call back if you are cut off.
  • When calling 9-1-1 on a cellular phone, be sure to stop if you are in a moving vehicle. It is difficult to obtain all of the information needed if you are getting further from the emergency. If you are the one in need of help, stopping will allow the responders to locate you.
  • The 9-1-1 center may not cover the area you are in – they may have to transfer you to another agent
  • Eclipse Call Center Establshed

Child Safety Tips

Idaho Falls truly is the place to be to experience this once in a life time event. However, looking for a lost child or ending up at the hospital can often turn a fun day into a horrifying memory. To make sure the day is a happy and safe for everyone, the Idaho Falls Police Department offers a few safety tips and reminders for parents:
  • Keep a close eye on children – especially young children – when attending events. Parents and/or guardians should keep their children in their line of sight at all times. Parents should hold each child’s hand when crossing streets and walking through events.
  • Keep children out of the Snake River. We’re fortunate and blessed to have a beautiful river within our city limits. But, the Snake River can be a dangerous place for children to play in or near.
  • Consider dressing your children in bright colors or distinguishable clothing. Perhaps even consider putting your children in matching clothes. Outfits play a big role in being recognizable in a crowd. Parents should also consider wearing an article of clothing or accessory that helps their children identify them in a crowd.
  • Teach your children important information, such as phone numbers, names of parents and who they should talk to if they can’t find their parent or guardian. For younger children, parents may want to have the child wearing or carrying a wristband, sticker, note card or temporary tattoo with identification information written on it.
  • Parents should designate a meeting spot during the event. This is particularly important for older children who will purposely be separated from parents. Parents should also be aware of where their older children will be, who they’ll be with and what they’ll be doing. It’s also important to check in with children periodically and designate a time for when they need to return.
  • Know where police and medical personnel will be located during this event. Point out these locations to your children. lFPD will be placed through out the city for the duration of the event.
  • Snap a photograph with your cell phone of your children on the Morning of the event. A picture is worth a thousand words and can give an accurate description of what the child looks like and what they are wearing. The better the description, the easier it is to find them.
  • In the event a child is lost, parents should contact police right away. Call 911 or quickly contact police posted nearest you or on bicycles patrolling the event. If someone finds a lost child, they should also contact police and/or bring the child to the closest Fire Station.
  • The IFPD also reminds parents they should make sure their children are dressed weather appropriate. If the weather is hot – which it will be – parents should also keep their children properly hydrated and protected from the sun.

Basic Home Security Tips

Many folks don’t give home security a passing though, beyond perhaps locking their front doors. The fact of the matter is that it really doesn’t take a whole lot of time, effort or money to secure your home. All it takes is some awareness and a willingness to follow some basic home security principles.
  • Manage your keys. Don’t give your keys to other folks, even if you trust them. When you do, you instantly double the odds that they’ll be left somewhere and picked up by someone with nefarious intent. Don’t hide one in a fake rock in your garden either, because determined criminals have figured out how to tell a fake rock from a real one.
  • Manage your front door. One of the most important aspects of home security is being picky about who enters your house. Anyone who enters your house has an instant wealth of information that could help them in a burglary. Install that peep hole!
  • Manage your garbage. While you’re more likely to see something like identity theft result from mismanaging your trash, your garbage can also invite criminals. The box that your 72-inch plasma TV came in sends a broadcast message to thieves that you have something worth breaking in for.
  • Manage your windows. Few criminals rely on the front door. Make sure your windows are locked, and consider using security glass.
  • Manage the lighting. A well-lit yard tends to shoo away burglars. Don’t give crooks a place in your yard to hide. Consider motion-sensitive lights so you don’t have to worry about being a nuisance to your neighbors or wasting a bunch of electricity.
  • Change locks if you move. If you move into a new house, you don’t know how many copies there are out there of your keys. Installing a new lock is cheap and quick.
  • Consider a home security system. Home security systems can be as complex or as simple as your budget will allow. Today, home security systems don’t cost nearly as much as you might think. Check into what it would cost to protect your home with one of these systems today.

Retail Store Shrinkage Prevention

Shrinkage, or retail theft, can have a serious impact on your bottom line. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention says more than $35 million worth of goods are stolen from retailers every day. And while all businesses are susceptible to shoplifting, some — like clothing, book and jewelry sellers — are more so. While teaching your staff to spot and handle shoplifters properly. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate shoplifting, you can certainly make it more difficult for would-be thieves to rob you. Follow these tips for store design and customer service to make your retail store less attractive to shoplifters.
  • Maximize Visibility: Keeping an eye on merchandise is the first step in loss prevention. Place shorter displays close to the register and taller displays near the perimeter of the store so all merchandise is completely visible from your perch. Use mirrors to eliminate any blind spots, and be sure to keep your store neat and tidy, so employees can tell at a glance if something is missing or out of place.
  • Share Your Shoplifting Policy: Determine your shoplifting policy and communicate it to your customers with posted signs. Posting statements such as, "Shoplifters Will Be Prosecuted," can act as an effective deterrent.
  • Have Visible Security Systems: Whether you use security mirrors, faux cameras, motion sensors or security guards, make sure your security systems are visible to customers. Knowing you have security measures in place will stave off shoplifters.
  • Lock It Up: Protect merchandise by monitoring and limiting access to display cases and dressing rooms. Requiring employee assistance with certain products provides an extra line of defense.
  • Relocate Your Register: When cash registers are next to the entry and exit points in your store, customers are forced to walk past employees when they come and go. Make sure registers are manned at all times and employees know to keep a watchful eye on customers.
  • Be Aware: Employees should be alert at all times in your store, especially during opening, closing and restocking hours. Know which merchandise is most appealing to shoplifters (hint: small and/or expensive items) and place it in prominent areas, where employees can see it.
  • Know How to Spot a Shoplifter: Certain behaviors should put your employees in alert mode. Watch for customers who appear nervous, stare at employees or other customers, wander aimlessly around the store, hang out in hard-to-monitor areas, and repeatedly leave and return.
  • Have a Presence: Greet every customer and offer help throughout the shopping process. Not only will your presence remind potential shoplifters they’re being watched, but your vigilance will give you the added opportunity to track merchandise, especially items that go in and out of a dressing room.
  • Implement a Bag-Check Policy: Don’t allow customers to bring bags and backpacks into the dressing room area, as they can be used to hide merchandise. Welcome customers to check bags with an employee before they enter.
  • Inspect All Purchases: At the register, take a minute to double-check merchandise, like purses and baskets, that can be used to store and steal additional items. Even if you’ve got a customer making a purchase, there’s still the chance an extra item or two ended up inside.

Don’t Drive Impaired

Don’t let the consequences of impaired driving ruin your day. Instead choose not to drive impaired. In 2014, nearly nine percent of all fatal and injury crashed involved an impaired driver, an impaired pedestrian, or an impaired bicyclist. Thirty-nine percent of all fatalities were the result of an impaired driving crash in 2014.Impaired driving, is not driving under the influence of alcohol, but also driving under the influence of drugs (both prescription and street drugs).
  • If you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before leaving and give that person your keys.
  • Call a taxi, sober friend or family member to get you home safely if you’re impaired
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
  • Wear your seat-belt while in your car or use a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle. These are defenses against an impaired driver.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take his or her keys and help make other safe travel arrangements.
  • Providing a lot of light, both inside and outside, usually is effective. Have each entrance point, including windows and large vents, flooded with light will discourage all but the most highly motivated burglar
  • It's advisable to arrange indoor lighting so anyone on the inside can be spotted by police patrolling the area. It's best that window displays not block the view from the street.

Tips for Deterring Vehicle Burglaries

Many people enjoy summertime. There’s better weather, longer daylight and more time to spend relaxing and enjoying the season.Unfortunately, summertime is also enjoyed by criminals as we usually see increases in criminal behavior, particularly vehicle burglaries.Vehicle burglaries is the act of anyone entering – whether through forced or unforced methods – into a vehicle without the permission of an owner. Often times the burglar is looking to steal anything of value, such as a purse, electronics or even loose change.The Idaho Falls Police Department reminds people of the importance of helping prevent vehicle burglaries from occurring.Here are a few tips:
  • Make sure all doors are locked and all windows are rolled up and secure whenever the vehicle is unoccupied. A majority of vehicle burglaries that occur in Idaho Falls happen because vehicles are left unlocked giving burglars easy access.
  • Never leave valuables – purses, wallets, electronics, money, etc. – inside an unoccupied vehicle for any length of time, even if you believe it’s a ‘safe’ location. It can take a matter of a second for a burglar to steal an item. If you must leave valuables in the car, hide them or place them in your trunk so they aren’t visible.
  • If possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Burglars are less likely to burglarize a vehicle if they have to do it in the light. If at home, park your vehicle in a garage, but remember to keep vehicle doors and windows locked and closed.