safety tips - FAQ


NOTE: The following safety tips are provided as a community service and are to be used only as guidelines, along with common sense, to help prevent crime. If you have specific questions that are not covered here, please contact the Foothill-De Anza Police Department at 650-949-7313 for more information.

Safe Walking Tips

  • Add Foothill-De Anza Police Department's ten-digit emergency number to your cell phone (408-924-8000).
  • When walking, avoid dark, vacant, or deserted areas.
  • Avoid wearing headphones when walking in order to be more aware of your surroundings.
  • If you think you are being followed, move to a well-lit building or area and attract the attention of others. Keep looking back, so that the individual realizes you are aware of his/her presence. Try to remember as many physical details of the individual as possible, so you can describe him/her to the police.
  • Carry a personal alarm or an emergency whistle.
  • Don't carry large sums of cash or expensive jewelry on your person.
  • If you carry a purse, hold it close to your body.
  • There is safety in numbers — always try to walk with a group of two or more.
  • Walk with confidence, with your head held high. An assailant will usually target someone who seems vulnerable.
  • Walk facing traffic.
  • If you observe suspicious activity, report it to the Foothill-De Anza Police Department at 650-949-7313.
  • If you feel uncomfortable walking to your car by yourself, request a Foothill-De Anza Police Escort to accompany you to your car by calling 650-949-7313 or by dialing extension 7313 on any campus phone.

Safe Driving Tips

  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • Have your keys in hand when walking to your car so you can open your door quickly.
  • Check the backseat before getting in your car.
  • Lock your doors and keep your windows rolled up.
  • Have a cell phone or change in your car to make emergency phone calls.
  • If your car breaks down, call or have someone else call for assistance. Stay in your car and don't let anyone in.
  • If you think someone is following you, change direction immediately and drive to a high-population area. Call the police while driving to the nearest police station.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car (basic tool kit, flares, flashlight with extra batteries, jack, jumper cables, aerosol tire inflator, tow rope, bottled water, snack foods, etc.).
  • Keep your valuables out of sight by storing them in your glove compartment or trunk. It takes a thief 30 seconds to break into your car and only 10 seconds for you to lock your valuables in your trunk.
  • Never hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.
  • Stop for gas earlier in the day when there are more people around.
  • Travel on well-lit, populated streets.
  • Don't talk on the phone or text while driving – it can wait!

Theft Prevention Tips

  • 75% of thefts on campus are crimes of opportunity – don't leave your valuables (textbooks, iPods, laptops, backpacks, purses, etc.) unattended.
  • Write your name in ink in all of your textbooks.
  • Record the serial numbers of your valuables.
  • Mark your items with identifying names, numbers, etc.
  • The Foothill-De Anza Police Department has a 24-hour dispatch line designed to allow individuals to report suspect information, stolen property, or information that may assist the FHDA Police Department in furthering their investigations. If you have any questions, please call 650-949-7313.

Identity Theft Prevention

Anyone can be a victim of identity theft. Thieves can use your name, birth date, Social Security number, and credit card numbers to commit crimes and ruin your credit, which may take years to restore. Follow these tips to help reduce your risk of having your identity stolen:

  • Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Always keep it in a safe, secure place at home.
  • Be aware of anyone who is standing near you when you are writing a check or entering your PIN number.
  • Check your credit report often. You might want to consider signing up for a credit alert service that will let you know if there is suspicious activity regarding your bank account.

Do not share any personal information via email or over the phone with anyone you are not familiar with.

  • If you receive an email from a stranger, never open any link attached to the email. You could be susceptible to both a virus on your computer, as well as having your computer hacked and personal information disclosed.
  • Install firewall software on your computer.

If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

  • Contact the Fraud Department of one of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and have them place a "fraud alert" on your file.
  • Close the accounts that you know or think have been subjected to tampering.
  • File a police report detailing the identity theft. Obtain a copy of the report and submit it to your creditors as well as other parties who may need proof of the crime.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's identity theft website.

Suicide Prevention

Get help & support for suicide. If you’re in emotional distress, suicidal crisis, or if you believe that someone else is in danger of suicide and you have their contact information, contact your local law enforcement for immediate help. There are psychiatric CRISIS HOTLINES (24 hours daily) available for immediate support:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
  • Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis: 855-278-4204
  • Crisis Text Line: text “CONNECT” to 741741
  • Visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website

What can I do to stay safe on campus?

The Police Department provides a number of services to help educate the campus community in how to avoid being a victim of a crime. Printed information is available at Police Stations on both campuses on various topics, free of charge. An attempt is made to stock the most current publications. 

​​However, if a campus user has knowledge of a particular publication not in stock that could benefit a substantial campus audience, an attempt will be made to obtain the item upon request. Police personnel are always available to answer questions and make suggestions regarding campus security issues.

  • Walk in pairs or groups; avoid isolation
  • Be alert; project confidence; look people in the eye
  • Stay in well-lit areas away from potential hiding places
  • Know where you are and where places of refuge are
  • If followed, go toward well-lit areas where there are people
  • Walk on the left, facing traffic, so vehicles can’t easily approach you from behind
  • Wear clothing and shoes that enable you to move fast
  • Carry only lightweight objects
  • Wear or carry items like jewelry and cash that are minimal in value and don’t attract attention
  • Avoid approaching strangers in vehicles for any reason
  • Carry a whistle or other noisemaker
  • If you think you are in trouble, do anything to attract attention – Scream! Break glass! Sound a horn!
  • Consider carrying pepper spray or other lawful self-defense equipment
  • Carry a cell phone
  • Develop and maintain excellent physical condition within individual age and health limitations
  • Well-maintained aerobic condition can serve you well if you are forced to run or fight for your safety
  • Learn self-defense/martial arts if so inclined.

What if I do become the victim of a crime?

If you are the victim of a crime, do not tamper with the crime scene and do not delay in calling the police. The sooner the police are called the better our chance of solving the crime. If you happen to see something suspicious, do not hesitate to call the police with a description of the persons, their vehicle and what they are doing. This may save a fellow student or staff member from suffering the frustration associated with being a victim. Remember it is a team effort. The police are here to serve and assist you, and we need your help to maintain a safe campus that is conducive to learning.

Blue Light Emergency Phones

At Foothill College, De Anza College, and the Sunnyvale Education Center you will find several blue phones located within each campus. The phones may be identified by their signature bright blue light as well as emergency signage. The blue light phones serve as a way for anyone to quickly and easily report an emergency, suspicious activity, or request police services.

Where can I find a blue light emergency phone?

Blue light phones can be found all across each campus. Typical places to find a blue light phone is in front of common areas, on campus grounds (tall blue pole with a blue light on top), wall mounted to the exterior and interior of some buildings, near parking areas and within parking structures. Furthermore, every elevator on campus is equipped with an emergency phone, which has the same functionality as a blue light phone.

How do I use the blue light emergency phones?

You can activate a blue light phone by pressing the "Call" button and listening for an operator response. If you are in an emergency situation where you cannot wait near the blue light phone for a response or you cannot speak, you can still press the call button and Foothill – De Anza PD will still be notified and dispatched to that location.