Category Archives for "Research"

Infographic: Fire Safety Tips

It’s easy to see why fire safety is so important, especially since most fire-related deaths are preventable. Fires can start suddenly and spread quickly. A small flame can turn into a devastating fire in under 30 seconds, so preparation is key. The following can help families prevent fires, stay organized, and act fast if the unthinkable should occur.

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1 Infographic: Halloween Safety Tips

Most children go into hypermode on Halloween while parents put their worries on overdrive -- and with good reason. Halloween warrants precautions that go beyond candy inspections. Stranger Danger and killer candy aside, parents need to make sure they're doing all they can to keep their children safe, and that includes considering the safety of costumes, makeup, and possibly a rebreather in cautionary driving. Even "walking" transforms into its own kind of monster on Halloween. Check out the stats below and help spread the word. 

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The Ultimate Guide to All Things Safety

Emergencies happen. It could be a robbery, a house fire, a flood, a car crash, or a cyber stalking. No one likes to think about disasters and accidents, or worse, have to assess the likelihood of one actually happening. But being prepared and knowing best safety practices in various scenarios can – and often does – save lives.

​The whole point of a safety plan and emergency preparation is to:

  • Know what the danger is
  • ​Get as much done as possible before something happens
  • Avoid life-threatening situations
  • Know best practices
  • Avoid the most common mistakes that people make

This guide summarizes effective, actionable steps citizens can take to properly prepare for an emergency, as well as what to do if an emergency arises, and most important, how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Share this information with family, friends, and neighbors. It’s important for families and communities to work together so that they can be aware. Preparation saves lives.

Personal Safety

Violent crime increased in many U.S. cities in the past few years. According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association, an increase in robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide in the U.S. might be shaping into a trend.

At the same time, Pew Research Center notes that many crimes are never reported. According to a recent survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only about 47% of violent crimes and only 35% of property crimes are reported to police. So, at least 30-40% of violent crimes in the U.S. never make it to the official statistics.

Under the circumstances, it comes as no surprise that Americans feel increasingly concerned about their personal safety - 57% of registered voters said crime had gotten worse since 2008.​

In the context of personal safety, knowledge is power. Knowing how to reduce the risk of violence – and how to face it – can have an empowering effect. On the contrary, not knowing what to do in a dangerous situation when there is no time to think, can cause panic and paralyzing fear.

​So, personal safety is about avoiding danger in the first place. Reduce your chances of becoming a victim by knowing how criminals single out victims, where they ambush easy prey, and what behavior can avert an incoming threat.

If danger strikes, however, there is only a fraction of a second to make the right decision. So, knowing how to act when confronting violence reduces your chances of freezing in panic.

The following personal safety tips will help you minimize the threat of violence, and be prepared to act in any situation.​

Avoid becoming a victim​

A recent study revealed that criminals are often able to spot an easy target within seconds, just by observing body language and facial expressions. The chances of someone becoming a victim of a violent crime doesn’t depend on how strong or weak some is, or whether they are male or female. It’s about confidence and composure.​

When followed by a criminal, Hollywood movies have a tendency to portray victims in a very stereotypical sort of way: they look sheepish, walk fast, and duck their heads. That is exactly the kind of behavior that signals – easy target.

​Former CIA agent Jason Hanson says the best way to prevent being attacked when followed (in a parking lot, mall, on the street, when jogging) is to:

  • Turn around and make eye contact.
  • Let the person know they’re on your radar.
  • Say loudly, “Can I help you?”, “Is there you want?” or simply yell “What?!” 

Don’t be afraid to appear odd by calling someone out for following you. An innocent person will probably think that’s odd behavior on your part, but a person with bad intentions will display guilty behavior, such as turn around and walk or run the opposite direction.​ This way, the offender realizes they picked the a target who is going to put up a fight, and that it’s much safer to simply find another victim.

How to NOT walk like a victim:

  • Turn off zombie mode. Put away smartphones when out and about.
  • Only text and check on social networks when in a safe place.​

Most crimes are opportunistic – when criminals spot easy targets. Easy targets are distracted and don’t maintain situational awareness. The greatest distraction is cell phones.

Situational awareness and self-defense tips

At home, as well as when out and about, the best way to deal with a dangerous situation is to maintain situational awareness and avoid danger… not confront it.

Safety in the home​

  • Install security systems and cameras. Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to get robbed.
  • Enable home mode alarm. It doesn’t go off when people move around the house, but it does go off when somebody opens one of the doors.
  • Keep some basic self-defense tools around. It can be a kitchen knife, a tactical pen, a pepper spray, or a gun, but it should be something familiar and easy-to-handle.​

Safety when out and about

  • Look around and be vigilant. Make eye contact with those around you to make it clear that you are aware of their presence
  • Park in well-lit areas, close to an entrance. When getting back to the car, look around the car – including underneath it and inside it, especially the back seat. If anything is off, listen to your gut feeling and don’t approach the car.
  • Keep in mind that any object can be used as a weapon. A metal nail file, a plastic credit card, a key, even fingernails and teeth can be helpful in a life or death situation.​

Safety when children are involved

  • Know where your self-defense weapons are and how to protect your children.
  • Establish a safe room. It should be a room with the weakest – or the youngest – member of the family. That way, if an intruder ever breaks in, children stay in their room and parents rush to make sure they’re safe.
  • Practice handling all your kids at once. Drop whatever you were carrying or doing – grab and pull your kids as quickly as possible, even if it’s uncomfortable or painful. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Scream and yell at the top of your lungs.
  • ​Teach your kids a code word that triggers “alarm mode.” It’s difficult to predict how a dangerous situation would develop and the best way for them to react – hide, run for help, or yell. Just make sure they know the options.
  • Make sure older children know how to protect younger siblings if/when you are on the frontline and trying to stop an attacker or intruder.

What to do when confrontation is unavoidable

  • Punch the intruder in the throat, gouge out their eyes and kick them in the groin – do all three things because one might not work.
  • Turn to Mother Nature for help. Throw sand or dust in the attacker’s eyes. Rocks and fallen branches can be used to knock them over their head. Smaller sticks can be used for gouging softer tissue like the eyes and throat.
  • Spray deodorant – or any flammable substance – into the attacker’s eyes, and couple it with a lighter for a better effect.
  • Other often overlooked weapon options include a tea pot with boiling water, a hair comb with sharp bristles, and pencils that are sharp enough to cause significant damage to the eyes or nose. A Coke can inside a sock works well too.​

Carjacking prevention

Increased accessibility of tracking sensors, kill-switches, and other car theft prevention devices have led to an increase in carjacking incidents, when criminals steal a car in the owner’s presence. And because of its violent nature, carjacking often leads to kidnapping and hostage scenarios that are far more dangerous than the car theft itself.

Simply knowing where carjackers like to ambush unsuspecting victims can be enough to steer clear of danger, so take a mental note of the following scenarios.

Common carjacking places and scenarios

  • At stoplights and gas stations – and often within sight of other drivers and gas station employees – assailants approach a vehicle and either force the driver out of the car or coerce the driver into giving them the key.
  • At a minor accident scene, carjackers steal vehicles while both drivers wait for the police.
  • In a mall parking lot, assailants steal cars while vehicle owners are placing their purchases in the trunk.
  • In front of people’s own homes, carjackers demand the keys to parked cars at gunpoint.
  • At ATMs, residential driveways, highway exit and entry ramps, as well as any place where drivers slow down or stop – assailants force the driver out of the car or coerce the driver into giving them the key at gunpoint.

How to prevent carjackings

  • Park in secure, well-lit locations
  • Avoid parking near large vans or trucks, wood areas, dumpsters and anything that limits visibility.
  • Don’t leave valuables on car seats in plain view. Put them in the trunk, or out of sight.
  • Maintain line-of-sight between your car and entrance or exit.
  • When approaching your car, be vigilant.
  • Trust your instincts. When in doubt, do not approach your car. Get help or wait in a secure place.
  • Before unlocking the door and getting inside, look closely around and inside the car, especially at the back seat.
  • Try to get inside your car as quickly as possible and lock the doors. Don’t wait for the auto-locks to engage.
  • Drive with the doors locked and windows closed.
  • Try to minimize time at intersections and parking lots whenever possible. Slow down well in advance of stoplights to keep moving slowly, as opposed to spending so much time idle.
  • Choose the center lane when possible (away from foot traffic).
  • Avoid unfamiliar or high-risk areas, especially at off-peak hours.
  • Minimize activities that take you outside your vehicle in unfamiliar places and in darkness (stopping for gas, for example)
  • Never exit your vehicle unless instructed by a law enforcement officer.
  • If a traffic accident occurs, exchange insurance and license information with another driver by pressing them against a closed window.
  • Never leave children or the elderly unattended inside a vehicle parked in front of a shopping mall or gas station.
  • Be wary of people handing out fliers, or asking for directions. Instead of getting out of the car to help a stranger whose car is broken down, call the police instead.
  • Work with your local automobile club, Neighborhood Watch groups, and other community organizations to spread the word about carjacking prevention.

How to handle a carjacking situation

  • Criminals aren’t used to somebody speaking up and being assertive since they are looking for easy targets. So, don’t do what the criminal commands. Don’t open the door for them to get inside your car. Remember – your car is your most valuable weapon right now.
  • Use the space around your car to maneuver out of harm’s way. This may mean your vehicle gets a few scratches and maybe even take more substantial damage, but your life is more important.
  • In a situation when there are multiple assailants and no room for maneuvering out of harm’s way, just get out and let them have it.
  • When children are involved, don’t succumb to threats and let the assailant in the car until you get your children out. Remain calm and speak up in a confident tone - “I’m taking my kids out first.”
  • Sometimes, adrenaline rush helps make the right decision:

​Family Safety

Local, state, and federal authorities have emergency plans to protect the public as a whole. But each family is responsible for their own safety during an emergency.

Should an emergency happen at home, work, school, or on the go – know what to do, where to go, and whom to call. All families’ need to:

  • ​Develop a family safety plan
  • Have a safety kit at home and in each automobile
  • Have a sound communication strategy
  • Know where to get emergency information in real-time (radio, mobile apps, community pages on social media)

Family safety plan

Irrespective of the type of emergency, all family members – including children and the elderly – must know the safety basics, including:

  • Where to meet in the event an emergency arises when dad is at work, mom is at the doctor with grandma, and the kids are at school. The same is true for in-house emergencies like fires and burglaries.
  • Try to establish two meeting areas inside the home, and two outside of the home for major events like earthquakes and floods. Public libraries and nearby schools are always great options.
  • Equally important is knowing where public shelters will be located, should an evacuation be necessary due to a hurricane or forest fire.
  • Where emergency exits and fire escapes are at home, school, and the office.
  • Where the safest area is in different scenarios. For tornadoes, it’s the lowest floor in an interior room with no windows. For fires, it’s the room closest to the ground with no windows. During earthquakes, it’s under a strong table.

In addition:

  • Plan safe evacuation routes, and make sure all family members are familiar with them.
  • Practice safety drills to make sure children feel confident and know what to do.
  • Print or draw easy-to-understand maps, diagrams, and checklists for every family member.
  • For young children, as well as the elderly and disabled, make sure a note with all contact details is in their pocket or wallet at all times.
  • Identify a family contact or close friend who can help. For natural disasters, pick someone outside your area who probably won’t be affected. For scenarios like an assault, home fire, or burglary, pick someone who is located nearby.
  • Keep an up-to-date list of health conditions, allergies, and medications for each family member, and carry it in a wallet or purse at all times.

Discuss:

  • What disasters can potentially occur in your area, and how to respond to each one.
  • How and when to call 911.
  • How to respond to power outages.
  • What skills your neighbors have that may be valuable in the event of a disaster (for example, a doctor next door, an electrician down the street and/or a plumber the next block over).

Communication plan

Ability to communicate in critical situations is vital, so have a sound communication strategy in place as well:

  • All family mobile phones should have emergency contacts programmed into the contact list, including family members, close friends and out-of-area contacts
  • Remember – and remind family members – that text messages often get through in situations when a phone call can’t

All children should know:

  • Their full name, home address and phone number.
  • How to dial 911.
  • How to reach family emergency contacts.
  • Family meet-up locations.
  • The odor of gas, the sound of fire alarms and smoke detectors.

Special considerations for the elderly:

  • Have a trusted neighbor or friend to check in on your elderly family member if an emergency occurs while no one else is home.
  • Install backup power support for medical equipment.
  • Update the supply kit with extra medications regularly.

Family safety kit

Every family needs a safety kit stored somewhere accessible. It’s difficult to predict under what circumstances it will be useful, but using standard safety kit calculators, families can come up with a reasonable list of items to include in their safety kit.​

What to include in your family safety kit

The safety kit can be expanded to include an inflatable boat and life jackets if in a flood-prone area. Depending on family needs, extra supplies for babies, seniors, pets, and family members with special needs may also need to be included:

  • Syringes and insulin
  • Baby food, diapers, bottles
  • Pet food, collar with the pet’s owner name and phone number, leash, carrier
  • Extra set of house and car keys

​Home Safety

​A recent report from the Injury Prevention Research Center found that more than 18,000 deaths and 21 million injuries are attributed to in-home accidents each year, with falls, burns, and firearms-related accidents being the leading causes of death and injury.

​At the same time, house burglaries affect 2.5 million homes each year, which equates to one house every 13 seconds in the United States alone.

Statistics prove home safety should not be treated lightly. The good news is the majority of house burglaries and in-home injuries are preventable when due precautions are exercised. Follow these simple, yet actionable, tips to make your home a safer place, both from the inside and the outside.

Home safety checklist

Home is traditionally one of the biggest and most important family investments, so it only makes sense to make it as safe as possible for everyone. Fortunately, home safety is not as much about investment as it is about common sense and planning. Consider following these simple precautions to reduce the chances of accidents in and around the house.​

Falls

  • Stairs and steps should be well-lit.
  • Install handrails and banisters since they provide an extra element of support when going up and down stairs, especially for children and the elderly.
  • All railings should span the entire length of the staircase and be easy-to-grab.
  • Stairs should have safety gates installed if small children are around.
  • Install night-lights to improve visibility in the dark.​
  • Keep a flashlight close to your bed.
  • Floors and stairs should be clear of clutter.
  • Keep electrical and telephone cords out of narrow walkways.
  • Improve bathtub and shower safety with non-slip mats and grab bars, and bathroom floors with non-skid bottom bath mats.
  • Replace glass shower doors with a safer, non-shatter material.
  • Consider placing non-skid pads under all rugs to decrease the chances of slipping.
  • To prevent young children from falling out the windows, install window guards with emergency release mechanisms.

Fires and burns

  • Install smoke detectors on every floor, especially near sleeping areas. Check batteries every 6 months and replace as needed.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Keep electric appliances, matches, lighters, candles, out of the reach of children and pets.​

Poisoning

  • Keep household chemicals where children and pets can’t reach them.
  • Keep a first-aid kit somewhere that’s easily accessible.
  • Learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver.​

Firearms

  • ​Keep firearms locked and unloaded.
  • Always keep ammunition in a separate place.
  • Firearms must be stored somewhere inaccessible for children and persons with mental disabilities.
  • Teach your kids gun safety – to NOT touch guns without parental supervision, never go snooping for firearms at home nor when visiting friends.
  • Consider investing in a safe biometric gun vault that comes with a fingerprint scanner. That way, firearms are quickly accessible if an intruder should ever break in, but at the same time, stored securely away from the reach of children.

Home invasion prevention tips

A security alarm and a large dog are two basic things that reduce a household’s attractiveness to burglars. Having a realistic action plan – and sticking to it if an intruder ever breaks in – is the difference between getting out of harm’s way, or not.

In addition, some small, yet meaningful, precautions can reduce the chances of a home invasion by a mile:​

  • Install a monitored security system. Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be burglarized.
  • Homes should look occupied, even when there’s no one inside. So, consider programming lamps and the TV to turn on at times when homes are normally active. Also think about leaving your car in the driveway.
  • Keep doors and windows locked, and ensure that the area around your house is well-lit.
  • Trim bushes around your house so that thieves can’t use them for cover.
  • Have a trusted friend or a neighbor check in on your house when traveling.
  • Make sure the alarm keypad is not visible through the front door. Sometimes the decorative glass of the front door makes it easy to tell if the alarm is activated or not, which can be a recipe for disaster.
  • After a stranger visits your house – for example, a plumber, electrician, or construction worker – check all windows and doors to make sure they are still locked.
  • Vet anyone who knocks on the door before opening. When in doubt, don’t open.
  • Don’t announce your travel plans on social media, and keep your photos off the Internet while traveling.​

Action plan

Given the number of home robberies that take place every year, families need to be prepared. Here’s a quick run-down of tips that’ll keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Choose a safe room, and make sure your children know where to run in the event your home is broken into.
  • Know how to communicate from the safe room – have a backup phone with 911 and emergency contacts saved in the contacts list.
  • Make sure the backup phone is charged at all times and doesn’t have a complex lock code so that if your children need to make the emergency call, they can easily unlock it.
  • Agree on a code word for house intrusion.
  • Keep a stun gun, bat, or any other object that serves as a self-defense weapon in every room. That way, if a standoff occurs, a basic self-defense weapon is nearby.
  • Make sure a few self-defense tools are in the safe room as well .
  • Know all possible escape routes (through windows, on the roof, down a fire escape ladder, or through the back door).​

What moms in particular need to know:

  • Moms, especially single, need to have an action plan since burglars often target households without a male presence.
  • Practice an intruder action plan with your kids. Teach them where to run if running is possible, and how to get help. Also teach them how and where to hide inside the house, and stress the importance of staying quiet, no matter what.
  • Practice handling all of your kids at once. Work out a way to get all of your kids out of harm’s way quickly. There is no easy solution here, and most likely grabbing the youngest children with one hand and pulling the eldest with another is the fastest way to get to the safe room.
  • Decide on the best way to face an intruder. Self-defense classes and tactics books are a good place to start

Facing an intruder

Only fight when running and hiding is not an option. Experts agree that a victim’s survival chances increase when they attempt these three steps in that exact order. ​In addition:

  • If you have children, get them to the safe room as quickly as possible. Then call the police and leave the phone on. Don’t yell that you’ve called the police and give away your location.
  • When hiding, don’t try to locate the intruder. Wait till they leave.​

If a face-to-face encounter is unavoidable:

  • Don’t freeze or panic.
  • Consider faking an asthma or heart attack. Avoid eye contact, which may be viewed as submission, and do NOT confront.
  • Despite what many self-defense schools teach, locks and grappling work in movies and sports, but not in real life. Instead, aim for the eyes, nose, groin, throat, or testicles, and scream as loud as possible. Run and hide if feasible.
  • Don’t be civilized, use your nails and teeth – bite and scratch but aim for the sensitive body parts.
  • Consider purchasing self-defense products like a stun gun, self-defense stick, pepper spray, military flashlight and a defense kit.
  • If no weapon is around, use keys, pencils, plastic credit cards, or spray deodorants and a lighter.
  • Find something to hold on to for balance and don’t let go.
  • Position yourself between your children and the intruder. Keep your kids near walls where danger won’t strike from behind.

While home burglaries have declined in recent years, it’s still important to be vigilant. Common sense and home safety best practices can – and will – make your home as unattractive to thieves as possible.

Fire Safety

Fires claim around 3,000 lives in the U.S. annually and cause another 17,000 injuries.

Children under 5 and seniors over the age 54 are at the highest risk for fire-related injuries and deaths, as well as pets since their safety is often an afterthought.

Residential fires cause 75% of all fire-related deaths. Nonresidential and outside fires, like wildfires, account for the remaining 25%.

What’s more, over 100,000 wildfires destroy around five million acres of land in the U.S. annually. Sadly, humans start 90% of them.

With statistics like these, it’s easy to see why fire safety is so important, especially since according to FEMA, most fire-related deaths are preventable. This fire safety guide can help families prevent fires, stay organized and act fast if the unthinkable should occur.

Fire safety at home

Homeowners can decrease the risk of fires significantly if they follow the following basic fire prevention recommendations based on common sense. But just fire-proofing one’s home is not enough – back up your fire safety strategy by educating your children and being vigilant at all times.

Top causes of residential fires

  • Cooking – 50.8%
  • ​Heating – 10.8%
  • Electrical malfunction – 6.4%
  • Careless or unintentional – 6.4%

The good news is that there are a few simple safeguards you can take that will significantly reduce the chances of a fire occurring in your home.

Home safety tips

  • Install fire extinguishers in several key areas of the house.
  • Know how to turn off gas quickly.
  • If a gas leak is suspected, open the windows, turn off the gas supply and call the gas company. Avoid using switches as a single spark can ignite the gas.
  • Never leave pans on the stove unattended.
  • Install smoke detectors on each floor, and check the batteries every 6 months.
  • Test smoke alarms regularly, and clean them by vacuuming the grilles.
  • Consider adding an electrical outlet where there are currently extension cords.
  • Consider using an RCD (residual current device) for electrical safety, and never overload electrical sockets.
  • Repair or replace loose and/or frayed wiring.
  • Check electric blankets regularly.
  • Regularly inspect water heaters and outside vents in home heating systems.
  • Don’t smoke in bed.
  • Never leave candles burning overnight or attempt to dry clothing over an open fire.
  • Position candles and space heaters away from curtains and furniture.
  • If children are present, surround space heaters with a nursery guard with side clips that can be attached to wall brackets.
  • Keep matches, lighters and flammable liquids well out of reach of children.​

Plan an escape

​Fires can start suddenly and spread quickly. A small flame can turn into a devastating fire in under 30 seconds, so preparation is key.

  • ​Develop an evacuation plan and practice it regularly so everyone in your home knows what to do if there is a fire. Also establish one main meeting place, as well as a backup area.
  • The best rule of thumb is to get out, stay out and call 911.
  • It only takes minutes for a house to be completely engulfed in flames, but the thick black smoke kills even faster since it’s toxic. So, get low and try to exit the house by staying below the smoke.
  • Also consider wrapping a moist towel around your head and face.

Fires and children

Over 100,000 residential fires are accidentally set by children under 5 years old. So:​

  • Teach your kids fire safety rules.
  • Visit a local firehouse and have firefighters explain the basics of fire safety.
  • Consider investing in fire safety games like KidsZone Games, Be Fire Safe! and Sparky's Arcade, since they can help explain important safety concepts.​

Also, children should know not to hide when the smoke alarm goes off, and to feel the door to know if it’s hot or not before opening it

Fires and pets

Homeowners usually don’t see their pets as a contributing factor to house fires, but pets accidentally cause over 1,000 house fires a year. So, make sure to:

  • ​Put out open fires.
  • Use flameless candles.
  • Cover stove knobs.
  • Store flammable items out of reach of pets, and never leave them unattended.
  • Crate young pets when not at home.
  • Secure wires and outlets.

Wildfire safety

It’s critically important to know wildfire safety best practices, since wildfires are devastating, fast-moving and lethal.​

Wildfires claims lives and burn millions of acres of land each year, and destroy hundreds of homes in the process. For example, a 2014 wildfire in Colorado destroyed 600 homes and 244,000 acres of land. 2017 is riddled with natural disasters. While Southern states battle storm surge and hurricanes, Western states face extreme heat and dry conditions causing widespread forest fires.

Understanding the contributing factors, safety precautions, and response tactics is important to keep families, pets, and communities safe, even if your area is not wildfire-prone. Sometimes, all it takes to face a wildfire is being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.​

Wildfire facts

  • 90% of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans. Campfires, cigarettes, arson, and the burning of debris during extremely dry weather can easily trigger a small fire that explodes in size in a matter of hours. Careless and/or uninformed actions like equipment fires from lawn-mowers, fireworks and improperly discarding of ashes can also result in massive forest fires.
  • Weather factors like drought conditions and lightning cause only 10% of wildfires.
  • A wildfire moves at 14 miles per hour, and consumes everything in its path, including plants, wildlife, homes, and human lives.
  • Megafires – those that consume 100,000+ acres of land – are increasingly common. Currently, there are 10 megafires a year in the U.S. Prior to 1995, there was an average of one.​

This US Wildfire Activity Map by Esri Disaster Response Program provides live updates on locations currently or recently affected by forest fires. It also provides direct access to other sources related to wildfires – YouTube videos, live streaming videos, and social media. If your area is prone to wildfires, be sure to bookmark this map.

Prepare your home

The following recommendations offer guidance on general wildfire safety rules, including helpful tips on how to prepare your home and property if your area is prone to wildfires.​

  • Keep a fire-free area around your home. In urban areas, the “home ignition zone” is 100 feet around the house whereas in rural areas prone to wildfires that zone extends to 200 feet beyond the home structure. According to Firewise, the primary goal here is fuel reduction, so limit the amount of flammable materials and vegetation around the house. For the remaining vegetation, increase the moisture content – water regularly and generously, especially under extreme heat conditions.
  • Control vegetation along fences – trim it, and don’t let it grow dry.
  • Clear dry leaves and other debris from porches, patios, and decks, as well as from under your porch and within 10 feet of your home.
  • Keep woodpiles, sheds, and fuel tanks away from any residential structures.
  • ​Know how to shut off utilities include gas, water, and electricity.
  • Know how to use an ABC-type fire extinguisher.
  • If your area is prone to forest fires, know your risks and prepare accordingly. Consider insurance that covers damages caused by wildfires.

Build a family emergency kit

Being prepared to survive for several days during an evacuation requires sufficient food (non-perishable), water (one gallon per person per day) and medication for at least 72 hours. 

What to include in your family emergency kit

Establish a communication plan

  • Print out a paper copy of all family members contact details, emergency contacts and other important contacts, such as medical facilities, schools, and service providers.
  • Don’t forget to include emergency contacts outside your area.
  • Make sure all family members carry a copy.
  • Post a copy in a central location in your home such as a refrigerator or a bulletin board.
  • Include a reminder in your emergency sheet that text messages get through when phone calls fail, since SMS requires far less bandwidth. Also, SMS messages can be saved and often send automatically once bandwidth is available.

Develop an evacuation plan

When drafting an escape plan, consider the following:

  • Agree on two established escape routes.
  • Have two meeting areas outside the house in case an emergency occurs during work/school hours.
  • Identify possible shelter locations in the event of a wildfire in your area.
  • Have a plan for young children, people with disabilities, and high-risk older adults who can’t get outside by themselves.​
  • For masks and respirators, consult CDC to know which ones are suitable for different age groups, as well as based on health conditions.
  • Include pets in your emergency plans, and consider developing a standalone safety kit just for pets. Never leave them behind. If it’s not safe to stay for humans, it’s not safe for animals either.
  • Make sure your pets wear a collar with an identification tag.
  • Give a set of house keys to a trusted neighbor or friend who is willing to rescue your pets in case a wildfire strikes and you’re not at home.

Evacuation tips

​If authorities say to evacuate, do so immediately. If time allows, complete these simple steps to help firefighters save your house:​

  • Leave the lights turned on to increase visibility in heavy smoke.
  • Close all windows, doors, fireplace screens, and vents.
  • Remove flammable curtains.
  • Move flammable furniture away from windows and doors.
  • Connect garden hoses.
  • Fill large containers, garbage cans, and tubs with water.​

When leaving your home:

  • Roll up car windows and close air vents.
  • Drive slowly with headlights on since visibility will probably be reduced.
  • Avoid driving through heavy smoke, if possible.
  • Watch for pedestrians and fleeing animals.​

If trapped at home:

  • Call 911, and provide your location.
  • Turn on the lights to increase your home’s visibility in heavy smoke.
  • Keep doors, windows, and vents closed or sealed with plastic sheets and duct tape.
  • Move flammable furniture and curtains away from windows and doors.
  • Fill whatever you can with water.
  • Stay away from outside windows and walls.
  • Breathe through a moist cloth, and cover your head and body with moist towels made of natural materials.

Gun Safety

Gun safety is the responsibility of the owner, and no one else. It’s also not something that should be taken lightly, since the destructive potential of firearms is huge.

According to CDC, 77 minors were killed by unintentional gun discharges in the U.S. last year. However, when the Associated Press and USA Today conducted an independent review of shootings-related deaths nationwide, the results were nearly double as those of the CDC. AP found that at least 141 deaths of minors are attributed to accidental shootings for the same period.

CDC officials acknowledge their statistics are lower because of how coroners classify fatalities on death certificates. For example, coroners classify deaths in which one child unintentionally shoots another as a homicide – not an accidental discharge. They can also classify death in which a minor accidentally shot himself as undetermined since the intent – suicide or accidental discharge – is unclear.

Accidental discharge-related deaths of minors are most common among 3-year-olds. Most accidents follow the same scenario – children pick up unsecured, loaded guns in their homes and shoot themselves.

Another troubling trend is amongst 15-to-17-year-olds who are shot by another teen while playing with a gun.

Former director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Mark Rosenberg, says “it’s crazy” that the government isn’t researching more into how to prevent these accidental discharge deaths because the bottom line is – 100% of them are preventable.

At home and while carrying, follow these gun safety rules no matter what – it’s your responsibility.

Gun safety at home

Anyone who decides to purchase a gun must accept the responsibility that comes along with it. The number one way to prevent gun-related accidents is to ensure that firearms are always properly stored in the home.

Ensure that guns are stored so that they won’t be accessible to unauthorized persons. Hiding a gun in a drawer, closet or underneath a pillow does not make your house a safer place. Safe storage requires precautions and critical safeguards that create barriers to unauthorized use, including accidents.

S.A.F.E.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) suggests a S.A.F.E. strategy to gun safety:​

S – secure your firearms when not in use​

A – maintain awareness of people in your proximity and prevent unauthorized access to guns​

F – focus on your responsibility as a gun owner​

E – educate yourself and others about gun safety​

Safe gun storage

  • Firearms should be stored unloaded.
  • Good storage places include in locked cabinets, gun vaults, safes, and storage cases.
  • Gun storage must be inaccessible to children.
  • Ammunition should be locked in a separate location.
  • When removing firearms from storage, double-check to make sure they are not loaded.
  • Gun-locking devices render firearms inoperable and serve as an additional precaution against accidents.
  • Cable-style locks aren’t a substitute for safe storage. They are simply a way to discourage unauthorized access to guns by young children.​

When firearms are kept for home security

Gun owners must commit to learning how to safely use their firearms, especially if they plan on using them for home security. NSSF’s “Firearms Responsibility in The Home” brochure [PDF] might prove particularly useful for beginners. The objective here is to keep firearms somewhere where they are readily available to the owner, yet inaccessible to others. Keeping a gun to defend your family makes zero sense if that same gun puts your family at risk.

In these types of situations, consider special lockable cases that can be quickly opened by authorized individuals.

Children and gun safety

Several studies have found that gun accidents claim at least one child’s life every other day. Self-inflicted child shootings send shock waves across communities nationwide, with victims often as young as 3 years old. Yet, nearly all firearm accidents are preventable when gun owners take basic precautions.

Teach your kids

If you have firearms in the home, you need to teach your kids about them. In many cases, children find firearms because they go looking for them out of curiosity or because one of them dared the other to find it. Provided the firearms in your house are stored safely, make sure your kids:​

  • Never go snooping for guns in your home or at a friend’s home.
  • Never allow other children to go looking for guns in your home.
  • Know that if they find a gun, they are not to touch it or let others touch it, but they are to tell an adult about it immediately.
  • Never touch a firearm, even if it looks like a toy. They should always ask permission first.​

Sleepovers at a friend’s house

  • Whenever your kids are going to a sleepover at a friend’s house, ask the parents if they have a gun in the house.
  • If the answer is yes, ask how the firearms are stored, and where the ammunition is kept.
  • It doesn’t matter if it makes someone feel uncomfortable or offended. If they choose to have a gun in their home, they must respect what that entails, and be able to have a healthy conversation about it, especially with parents of visiting children.​

Use a retention holster

  • Use a retention holster to prevent small children from drawing your gun accidentally – or intentionally – from your holster.
  • Small children tend to climb their parents, so a retention holster is a must. Be it while wrestling on the floor, or running across the yard, the holster needs to protect your gun from children – and vice versa – at all times.

Carrying a gun safely

​Before carrying a gun, you should know:

  • Safety precautions
  • Federal, State, and Local laws
  • How to maintain situational awareness​

A majority of negligent discharges occur when the person handling the gun is not paying attention and doesn’t maintain situational awareness. Keeping a finger near the trigger, and not checking to see if the gun is loaded is a route to disaster.

Practice safe handling and situational awareness

  • Practice carrying an unloaded gun first.
  • Get used to its weight, and how it feels in your hand. Develop a sense of protectiveness for the area of your body where the gun is stored. For example, when choosing a seat in a restaurant, sit with your gun side away from the person sitting by your side. When hugging someone, keep your arms low so that the other person puts theirs high and has no contact with the firearm.
  • Use a good holster and a rigid gun belt. Experts suggest carrying a gun only in gear specifically designed for it. Holsters and belts are the basics. Holsters should be made of Kydex or leather and fitted to the individual gun model. Holsters made of cloth and generic one-size-fits-all holsters don’t hold a gun as they should, and should be avoided at all possible costs. Gun belts should be made of leather or nylon. Regular belts are too flimsy to hold a gun throughout the day.
  • Consider using a retention holster with a locking mechanism to protect your gun from unauthorized access and theft.​

Practice, practice, practice

  • Practice correct finger placement while drawing your gun – off the trigger. This is paramount to prevention of accidental discharge.
  • The index finger of the shooting hand should be straight during correct gun drawing.
  • Minimize unnecessary handling when the weapon is in a ready state to avoid a negligent discharge. Definitely don’t show it off to your friends at a barbecue.​

Closing thoughts

  • Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
  • Always keep the weapon’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Know how to use your gun, how to open and close its action safely, and how to remove ammunition from the gun, as well as its magazine. Give the owner’s manual a thorough read.
  • Don’t rely on safety mechanisms. Mechanical safety isn’t foolproof. Learn the intricacies of the mechanical safety on your gun.
  • Keep your firearms in good working order. Regular maintenance translates into a more reliable, safer firearm. When carried, guns develop rust even faster than when stored at home. So, clean your firearms regularly, even if they are never used.
  • Have your gun serviced by a gunsmith regularly. A qualified technician should do everything that goes beyond basic cleaning. Don’t be tempted to disassemble and reassemble a gun without proper knowledge and skills.​

Driving with a gun

​When driving with a gun, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Sit properly. Correct seating position improves your driving abilities and also makes it easier to draw your weapon, if needed.]
  • Practice your seated draw.
  • Maintain situational awareness and control your emotions. An emotional response on the road can have devastating consequences if both drivers are armed. So, whenever facing danger or confrontation on the road, try to avoid it.
  • Defensive driving is more effective – and important – than defensive gun use.
  • There’s no reason to access the gun while out and about, except for self-defense. So, put it in your holster when leaving home, and don’t touch it again until you’re putting it back in the safe box at night.
  • Sometimes, when entering restricted areas, gun owners must remove their weapon and lock it in a secured container inside their vehicle. If this happens to you, do it without distraction. Then, upon returning to your vehicle, re-holster the gun safely.

Children's Safety

The time when parents felt it was safe from their kids to play on the streets is long gone. Misguided escape attempts pop up on the news all the time as frightening accounts of kidnapped children. Horror stories of child molesters living next door and pedophiles teaching at local schools send shock waves across communities. Unsupervised use of the Internet opens up a backdoor for creeps to prey on child victims on social networks. When it comes to parenting in the 21-st century, child safety is always top of mind.​

In a world where schools teach young children how to hide from mass shooters, movies instill fears of “stranger danger,” and neighborhood watches are on the constant lookout for child predators, it’s easy for parents to project all their fears onto the outside world.

Domestic accidents like choking, falling, poisoning and drowning cause more than 12,000 child deaths and another 21 million medical visits each year, however. So, when addressing the highly nuanced topic of child safety, don’t forget safety around the house too.

Thankfully, in most cases, awareness alone is enough to prevent a tragedy. Unfortunately with children, awareness doesn’t always come easy.

Talking about safety might not be enough

One of the most important conversations parents can have with their children relates to safety. Unfortunately, talking alone isn’t always enough, and not everyone is into structured learning and safety drills. Still, preparing kids for a variety of life-threatening situations often means the difference between them getting to safety or not.​

One of the greatest challenges parents face is making sure children get the message. A quick reality check proves that conversations about safety just don’t work for many kids:​

​Unfortunately, there is no single strategy that will successfully deliver the message to every child. Visual learners need emotionally engaging videos. Logical learners grasp ideas when they understand the logic and/or physics behind events and people’s motivation. The bottom line is that parents must have realistic expectations of their children, and not expect a single conversation to address a complex issue like safety.

Ways to teach safety to children

Children learn best when playing, and teaching kids safety is particularly efficient with a playful approach. Remember not to scare children too much nor scold them for not following the rules.​

  • Play What If… games. These types of games will teach your children about the dangers they face at home, and what to do to stay safe. Act out situations that include someone getting hurt, playing with fire and electric appliances, bathing, and answering the door. You can also practice fire evacuation and intruder drills, without scaring them in the process.​
  • Go danger hunting. At home, go on a hunt with your kids to identify hazardous situations and objects like wires and electrical sockets, stairs, and windows. Challenge your children to go through the house and point out potential threats, while practicing safe habits at the same time, like covering electric outlets, hiding cords, and clearing stairs of toys.
  • Visit a local firehouse. Have firefighters give your children demonstrations about home and fire safety, and explain how to recognize dangerous substances, as well as what to do in a fire.
  • Play fire safety games like KidsZone Games, Be Fire Safe! And Sparky's Arcade.
  • Practice the Freeze! game. Play a game in which your child is lost in supermarket, and make sure she follows the Freeze rules. A lost child should stop, stay put and not go anywhere with anyone. Parents get to trace back and find her instead of everyone wandering opposite directions. Should someone offer help, the child can ask the stranger to wait with her.
  • Play the Stranger Danger game. Former CIA agent Jason Hanson recommends playing out kidnapping scenarios at home, where you teach your kids to scream, kick, bite and yell, which makes it more difficult for someone to abduct them.
  • Practice the Safety Code Word. In an emergency situation, when parents send a friend or a neighbor to pick up their kids from school or practice, kids need to remember to:
    • Keep their distance and ask for the safety code word.
    • Run away and tell a teacher or other trusted adult if the person does not know the code word.
  • Force them to learn the “White List.” Agree on a short list of five or six trusted people. If anyone outside the list asks your children to do something, the answer should be “I have to ask my Mom/Dad first.” Period.
  • Put them through tests. Some teenagers act like they listen to their parents, but when it comes to dealing with a serious situation, they do the exact opposite of what their parents told them to do. Unfortunately, social experiments prove that teens ignore safety, especially when breaking the rules to try and improve their status among peers. Some parents go as far as to ally with trusted friends to run a test on their teens and see what their actions would be in a real life situation. Many parents will find these social experiments insightful, if not troubling:

Child safety around the house

The home is where children grow and learn, as well as find love and comfort. Home injuries are a leading cause of accidental death in children, however.

In fact, a recent report published by the Home Safety Council found that in-home accidents account for almost 21 million pediatric visits per year and 12,000+ deaths. Sadly, most are avoidable through prevention and education.

Remember – adult supervision is key to child safety at home. So, it makes sense to scan your home with a magnifying glass, and safeguard it against such common hazards as slips and falls, poisoning, suffocation, drowning and firearms-related accidents.

Slip- and fall-proofing the house

  • If there are young children in the house, install baby gates across all entries to stairs and balconies.
  • Consider placing non-skid rugs in slip-prone areas.
  • Remove unnecessary clutter from hallways and balconies.
  • Lock windows and keep hallways well-lit at all times.
  • Put bright stickers on glass doors at child’s eye level.
  • Apply shatter-resistant film to glass windows and doors or install safety glass.

Preventing burns and scalds

  • Make sure your hot water heater is set to below 122°F (50°C).
  • Keep matches, lighters, cigarettes, incense, and candles out of reach of children. This will also prevent accidental fires.
  • When cooking, don’t leave young children unsupervised in the kitchen.

Preventing accidental poisoning

  • Store common medications, liquid glue, and other household chemicals like dish washing liquid and detergents out of the reach of children.
  • Use childproof locks on cabinets.
  • Lock medicine cabinets at all times, if possible.

Preventing suffocation

  • Some bedding items, blinds, cords, and packaging can cause deaths in babies and young children, so be sure to check for these items around your home and remove them if you can.
  • Make sure that plastic bags are ALWAYS out of reach for small children.

Preventing drowning

  • Make sure children can’t access pools, ponds, and rivers without adult supervision.
  • Pools should always be fenced in, and fences should have self-locking gates.
  • Never leave young children unsupervised in the bathroom, and don’t give older siblings the responsibility of watching over younger brothers and sisters when bathing.

Gun safety

  • Store firearms in a safe place, away from the reach of children.
  • Keep ammunition stored in a separate location.
  • Use a gun-locking device, which renders the firearm inoperable when it’s not in use. Also remember that a gunlock should never be substituted for secure storage.
  • Children may be tempted to go snooping for guns in the house, and possibly even invite other kids to go snooping with them. Teach your kids to stop → leave it and → tell an adult if they find a gun in the house.

Child safety outside the house

Children rely on adults in many things, and even though their innocent, trusting nature is sweet, parents need to teach children to be safe. Unfortunately, some people would harm children if given a chance. When teaching kids about stranger danger, however, it is important to strike that tricky balance and help children understand safety without making them overly scared of everyone they meet.

Teach children about strangers

Children must understand that sometimes strangers may know their names, their parents’ names, where their parents work, and/or where they live. It’s important to teach them to never trust strangers, especially if they claim to be a friend of the family. In fact, the more lucrative a stranger’s offer (find a Pokemon, get a ride home, pick up a surprise present), the louder the alarms should ring that something is wrong. Equally important is making them understand that many predators look totally normal, decent, and trustworthy, and that strangers should never be asking them for help or to go anywhere.

A lost child will have to ask strangers for help, so you’ll need to teach your children the concept of relatively safe strangers. If a police officer or firefighter is not around, a safe stranger may be a parent with children, a cashier or a security guard, a teacher, or a librarian (depending on the environment). Show your children places they can go for help, like local stores, restaurants, or family friends in the neighborhood.

Other things to teach your children should include:

  • A code word for danger that only family knows.
  • Never giving out important information to strangers on the telephone or to people beyond a trusted circle of friends.
  • Memorizing their full name, address and at least one parent’s phone number.

Recognizing danger

Parents can protect their children by teaching them how to recognize potentially dangerous situations, as well as people. Help children identify suspicious behavior, like when an adult asks them to do something without their parents’ permission or tells them to keep a secret. Children must know that it’s okay to say NO to an adult in a suspicious situation and to yell if necessary, even if they are indoors. A child who says NO when an adult tries to cross the line is not an attractive target for kidnappers and child molestors. They are looking for someone they can control and manipulate.

Common kidnapping scenarios

  • A good-looking stranger asks for help to find his lost dog.
  • A barely familiar neighbor invites your child into his house to have a snack or pick up a surprise gift.
  • A stranger claiming to be a family friend offers your child a ride home and/or follows your child by foot or in a car.
  • A car pulls over, and a stranger asks for directions.
  • A familiar person or a family friend does – or says – something that makes your child feel uncomfortable.

In addition, teach them to recognize grooming. Many child molesters first “groom” a child to test their boundaries to see what a child might do, as well as how much they can get away with. For example, “Your Mom told me not to give you candy, but that’s a boring rule. Let’s keep it a secret!” is a way of testing your children. If boundaries are not strong, the molester will continue to push until your children feel cornered and there is no other option but to obey.

Reducing the chances of kidnapping

Kidnapping happens very quickly. And what happens as the events are taking place can – and often does – determine whether a child sleeps at home that night.

Teach your children to:

  • Make noise, scream, and yell when attacked.
  • Fight back, bite, and scratch as hard as possible. In February 2017, a 16-year old girl was able to escape a kidnapping attempt by screaming, scratching and biting the attacker.
  • Aim for the attacker’s eyes and/or throat since eye trauma is very disorienting.
  • Throw sand or dust in their eyes.
  • Run in the opposite direction of a car that is following them. If the car turns around, switch directions and run for safety.
  • Trust their instincts! If they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should run for safety as fast as possible and tell a trusted adult.

Online safety & ways parents can protect their kids

Online safety should be a high priority since social networks are home to both bullying and stalking. Child molesters use social networks to find easy targets. Since most children don’t understand why they need to exercise caution online, it’s up to parents to be responsible for their safety.

Things to watch out for 

When scanning your teen’s friend list on social networks, make a mental note of common symbols pedophiles use to signal their sexual preferences:

  • A triangle inside a triangle – boys​
  • A triangle inside a triangle as if drawn by a child – very young boys
  • A heart in a heart – young girls
  • A butterfly – any gender

  • The symbol below is the Childlove Online Media Activism logo used by pedophilic lobbies to promote their "cause,” namely that sexual relationships between adults and minors should be decriminalized.

  • Sexting is common among teenagers, and is not necessarily a sign that something potentially dangerous is going on, unless there is an adult on the other end. Check out this useful roundup of sexting code words and know with whom your teen communicates.
  • Cyberbullying is more difficult for parents to identify as around half of cyberbullied kids never tell their parents. Nonetheless, the telling signs are almost always there:
    • Your child begins to avoid using their mobile device or computer, or quite the contrary, begins spending too much time gaming.
    • Your child suddenly deletes their profiles on social networks, or blocks some phone numbers or emails from their contact list.
    • Your child appears upset, angry, or withdrawn after receiving messages or emails.
    • Your child becomes more secretive about their online activities, and reluctant to discuss them.
    • Your child starts falling behind at school, becomes reluctant to go to school, and withdraws from social and family activities they used to enjoy.
    • You child may start to have trouble sleeping, as well as display no interest in eating.

There are a variety of mobile apps that allow parents to monitor their children’s online activities in stealth mode. Most kids these days know how to hide their chats and browsing history from their parents. So, parents need to be up-to-date with technology.

  • Know your children’s location at all times. Smart watches and location sharing apps allow parents to set up location sharing with their kids. Your safest bet is to go with the native Apple, Google or Samsung location sharing features rather than a third-party app like Facebook or Snapchat that might reveal too much to the public.
  • Consider installing parental control apps on home computers, laptops and tablets. These apps allow parents to blacklist certain apps, IPs, and connections, as well as set time limits for different activities like gaming and chatting.
  • Never tell a cyberbullied child to “just ignore it.” Talk about it, try to establish their trust and do not over-react making matters even worse. If possible, gather proof by making screenshots of chats and emails, and a) report it to digital providers and social networks’ support, b) to school authorities if classmates are involved, c) to law enforcement.
  • Online safety is nothing to be treated lightly as threats delivered electronically can have physical consequences. When facing a situation that requires technical knowledge you simply don’t have, get outside help to deal with it. CyberSmile Foundation and StopBullying.gov are two good places to start when looking for outside help.

Senior Safety

Wisdom, experience and an abundance of free time go hand-in-hand with aging. Unfortunately, aging is also accompanied by health issues that can transform trivial tasks into aggravating challenges.

The loss of mobility and flexibility as people age means they often have difficulty taking showers and baths, walking up and down stairs, and safely using kitchen cutlery. If mental impairment is a factor, elderly friends and family members may start wandering off, becoming disoriented or getting lost.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to grow to 55 million by 2020. Many have expressed an interest in continuing to live in their homes for as long as possible, as opposed to assisted living facilities.

On the other hand, CDC recently reported that one in three older adults fall each year, which amounts to a staggering 2.5 million seniors being admitted to the ER and over 25,500 dying as a result of a fall. More than 250,000 hip fractures are reported, with 95% resulting from falls.

Considering the troubling statistics, seniors need to take into account some common safety hazards in and around the house. Irrespective of whether elderly family members plan to continue living in their homes or in assisted living facilities, or have someone take care of them, their environment must be reviewed for potential hazards.​

Falls – both fatal and non-fatal – are by far the leading cause of injuries in the elderly. When falls occur, 30% of seniors suffer moderate to severe injuries that can cause sprains, hip fractures, lacerations, and head trauma.

Reducing the risks of falls

Simple home modifications can significantly reduce the risk of falls in older adults, including:

  • Reducing trip hazards by removing clutter from hallways and balconies.
  • Removing high, trip-prone door thresholds.
  • Adding non-slip surfaces to steps.
  • Securing loose rugs, or installing non-slip rugs for slippery floors.
  • Avoiding to use wax on floors.
  • Adding grab bars and railings in slip-prone areas, like bathrooms, stairs and porches
  • Improving lighting throughout the home.

Additional tips for safety throughout the home

Here are some additional tips for senior safety throughout the home:

  • Purchase a medical alert system. They provide two-way communication with certified operators in the event of a health crisis.
  • Install a burglar alarm.
  • Add peepholes to outside doors.
  • Keep a smoke detector and fire extinguisher on every floor. Make sure the smoke detector’s sound is loud enough to be heard.
  • Make sure hallways, stairs, and rooms are well-lit.
  • Use non-glare 100+ watt incandescent bulbs.
  • Make sure there’s a telephone in each room, and that they are placed low enough that they can be reached from the floor (in case of a fall).
  • Program phones with emergency and family numbers and post a list of these contacts by each phone.
  • Replace round doorknobs with lever-style handles.
  • Add eye-level decals or reflector tape on glass doors.

Safety tips for bathrooms

  • Add rails and grab bars in the bathroom and shower.
  • Install grab bars on the sides of the toilet.
  • Add a shower seat, if necessary.
  • Skid-proof the tub.
  • Place non-slip bath mats in the bathroom.
  • Ensure door locks must are unlockable from both sides.
  • Replace glass shower doors with shower curtains or unbreakable plastic doors.

Safety tips for the kitchen

  • Use microwaves if at all possible, since they are safer than stoves and don’t overheat.
  • If cooking on the stovetop is a must, make sure that pots are always positioned with handles pointing outward and that sleeves are pushed up.
  • Make sure there’s adequate lighting.
  • Mark ON and OFF positions on electric appliances with bright colors.
  • Consider using a kettle that shuts off automatically.
  • Store heavy objects at waist level.
  • Use unbreakable dishes.

Safety tips for the bedroom

  • Keep a flashlight, lamp, and telephone on the nightstand.
  • Keep pathways clear around the bed.
  • Use nightlights to illuminate the hallway from the bedroom to bathroom.
  • Remove casters from furniture.
  • Consider replacing electric blankets and heating pads for much-safer hot water bottles.
  • Remove cords from high traffic areas like around the bed, as well as from underneath rugs and furniture.

Medication safety

  • A compartmentalized pill boxes or an automatic medication dispenser to eliminate many potential medication mistakes.
  • Keep medicines clearly labeled and complete with doctor’s instructions.
  • Dispose of any medications that have expired by flushing them down the toilet.

Technology and senior safety

Technology is making homes safer than ever, particularly for seniors who aren’t quite ready to give up their independence in favor of assisted living. For example:

  • Door guards and GPS smart watches are great for seniors who are prone to wandering.
  • An anti-scalding device helps prevent burns for people who have reduced tactile sensitivity.
  • Wall-mounted speakers can help seniors communicate with other people in the house if there’s an accident or potentially dangerous situation.
  • A monitoring system inside the house can help families check on their elderly loved ones to ensure they are safe, as well as call for help during emergencies.
  • Trained service dogs and therapy assistance dogs are excellent companions for seniors living alone, since they provide support, comfort, and unconditional love.

Phone scams

Telemarketing scams often target the elderly because they get confused and often share personal, health, Social Security and financial information easily. Credit card fraud and identity theft are the 2 most common outcomes.

Most people have caller ID so the best course of action is simply to not answer phone calls from numbers that are not recognized. If calls from unrecognized numbers are answered, it’s important to make sure that elderly loved ones know that it’s OK to hang up if a stranger is asking for personal information.

Elder abuse

​If you have loved ones who have home health aides or live in assisted living facilities, consider installing a few stealth web cameras to protect them from abuse. Unfortunately, physical abuse is common since caretakers and sometimes even disaffected relatives take advantage of the declining physical and mental capacity of elderly friends and family members.

Common signs of physical abuse include:

  • A decline in communication, as well as personal hygiene.
  • Withdrawal from normal daily activities.
  • Bruises and scratches.
  • Weight loss, since abusive caretakers often practice food deprivation.​

Anyone suspecting elder abuse – even without tangible proof – must notify law enforcement and/or local Adult Protective Services for further investigation.

Travel Safety

​Security has been the number one concern for vacationing U.S. families in the past few years. Many Americans choose to vacation closer to home due to fears of terrorism, crime, anti-American sentiment, political unrest, and personal safety concerns. Safety anxiety even outweighs fears of epidemic hazards, as many people would pay more for a vacation with “increased security.”

Safety is a complex issue for travelers since quite a few things can go wrong and spoil a fantastic vacation. But with the right planning and packing, international vacations and domestic road trips can make an enjoyable and memorable experience.​

Safety starts at home

​What’s worse than coming home after a fantastic vacation and finding your house burglarized, devastated by fire, or flooded by a burst pipe? It is impossible to predict and prepare for all sorts of disasters that can happen to your house while everyone is on a vacation. However, the following simple steps will greatly increase your chances of returning to a safe, clean, and orderly house.

Unplug​

Basic house safety precautions should be top of mind, even if a trip is spontaneous. So, before heading out:​

  • Unplug small appliances like coffee makers, toasters, and computers.
  • Shut off circuit breakers where they aren’t needed.
  • Turn off water valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, and sinks when going on an extended vacation.​

Use common sense

​From teen vandalism to professional burglary, home invasions are often destructive and expensive. The following tips can reduce the chances of a home robbery, as well as minimize the impact if one does occur while you’re away:

  • Many people like to announce their vacation plans on social networks, which is exactly the opposite of what they need to be doing. Thieves often monitor potential targets’ social profiles for exact travel dates.
  • If no car is visible, the message is clear: no one is home. Your house needs to look habitable, so leave a car in the driveway, and keep some blinds open or semi-open (instead of completely closed). If all family cars are gone, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Put lights on a timer so that it looks like somebody is your home. Floor lamps plugged into inexpensive programmable timers are a fantastic option.
  • Install a home security system. Over 60% of convicted burglars pass on a house with a security system.​
  • Invest in extra Wi-Fi cameras so that you can monitor your house and its exterior from a laptop or smartphone. Footage is available in real-time but can also be pulled from an archive. Some systems can also detect movement and send out a text alert.
  • Remove hidden spare keys, as experienced burglars will find them. Give them to a friend or a trusted neighbor instead.
  • Keep valuables in a home safe that bolts to the floor or in a bank safe deposit box.

Plan wisely

  • ​Try to avoid traveling at night.
  • Avoid seedy areas of destination cities, especially at night.
  • Ask your hotel manager for recommendations on what is considered safe and unsafe in the area.
  • When no other indicator is available, use this as a general rule of thumb: streets and restaurants with lots of children and women are generally safe for families.
  • Don’t use ATMs at night. Try to use ATMs during the day, when there are people around.

Practice hotel safety

  • When choosing your accommodations, opt for hotels that have unmarked swipe cards instead of numbered room keys. That way, if a swipe card gets lost or stolen, thieves won’t know which room to rob.
  • Lock your hotel door for the night, including the deadbolt. Use the chain, if available.
  • Don’t leave valuables in hotel rooms when going out. Use the safe in your room or at reception desk instead.
  • Take note of hotel’s emergency exits, and fire escapes.
  • Always carry your hotel’s address when going out and about.​

International travel tips

For international travel, the CDC recommends a proactive approach, irrespective of destination. Research laws and traditions. Exercise caution if there are alerts for terrorist attacks. Check weather forecasts. The U.S. Department of State is a great resource for learning about foreign countries.​

Investigate thoroughly

A trip requires careful planning, and getting informed well in advance is key to a safe and enjoyable vacation. Get informed, research destination information, safety and security warnings and health precautions.​

  • Check for travel warnings and on travel alert pages for detailed information about your final destination.
  • For international road travel safety information, bookmark the Association for Safe International Road Travel.
  • Know cultural norms and the local laws of the host country. Check the U.S. Department of State’s country-specific guides and the UK Government’s Foreign Travel Advice pages for additional insight.
  • Study all the clauses of your travel insurance so you have a clear idea of what it covers.
  • Research CDC vaccination recommendations for international travelers, and see a doctor, if necessary.
  • Consider any recent illnesses, surgeries, or injuries and account for potential complications.
  • Address special needs of your most vulnerable family members, including babies, children, the elderly, people with disabilities or weakened immune systems, and pregnant women.​

Pack wisely

​A sound approach to crisis planning is also necessary when preparing for a vacation. Remember – a crisis that happens abroad is not the same as a crisis back at home, and lost ID or a sudden fit of asthma can very well ruin an entire vacation.

  • Make copies of all travel documents and passports, and place them in each piece of luggage. Originals can – and often do – get lost or stolen. Also make sure you have photographs of each on your smartphone.
  • Pack a travel health kit that includes medications for allergies, diarrhea, head and chest congestion, food poisoning, motion sickness, fevers, pains, coughs, and insect bites.
  • Always pack items like insect repellent and sunscreen protection, antibacterial hand wipes or hand sanitizer, aloe gel for burns, oral rehydration packets, digital thermometer, bandages and antiseptic. It’s better to be safe than sorry.​

Health safety

When vacationing abroad, exercise health precautions and avoid taking unnecessary risks. Exploring foreign cuisine and trying exotic meals is exciting, but spending the rest of vacation with a severe diarrhea is not.

  • Don’t drink tap water, even if locals say it is 100% safe.
  • Always use insect repellent and sunscreen.
  • Talk to locals about specific health issues you should know about. For example, sand fleas in some tropical countries propagate dangerous diseases.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • If food smells rotten or looks odd, it’s probably best to avoid it.​

Road trips

According to the Liberty Mutual Insurance New Beginnings report, half of Americans don’t check that basic emergency items are in the car before hitting the road. And yet, it is so easy to run a quick check of the car and make sure the first aid kit is complete and in place. After all, these basic precautions could save travelers a major headache if an emergency happens on the road.​

Emergency kits

Emergency kit for road trips should include:​

  • Review your first aid kit to make sure it’s complete.
  • Consider taking a small flashlight, alcohol swabs, Band-Aids and water bottles.
  • Pack a cell phone charger.
  • Make sure all cell phones are fully charged.
  • Also, include warm blankets and pillows.
  • Maps! GPS is not infallible, so make sure to have a detailed map or road atlas as a backup option.​

Car safety check

  • Check wiper blades. For long road trips, consider having an extra set in your car.
  • Check your GPS unit to make sure it’s in working order and has up-to-date maps.
  • Check headlights for dimness, washer fluid level, tire pressure and oil change.
  • Make sure to have a spare tire and tools to change it.
  • Consider including jumper cables and a multi-purpose tool that can be used on many parts of a car.
  • Also, check battery, belts and air conditioner.
  • If there are babies on board, check if the baby seats are properly installed.​

Plan wisely

  • Map out your itinerary with gas stations and pit stops.
  • Check out weather forecasts for your itinerary.
  • Know the laws along your route concerning phone use while driving.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before leaving. Driving while drowsy is a major factor contributing to more than 100,000 accidents annually.​

Driving safely

To make sure you arrive at your final destination safely:​

  • Use hands-free devices, and never text and drive.
  • Always buckle up.
  • Never drink while driving.
  • Use properly installed child safety seats.
  • Always remember that the middle backseat is the safest spot for children in the car.
  • Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours. Grab a snack, stretch your legs, get some fresh air – not feeling tired or sleepy doesn’t mean you’re not losing focus.​
  • Share the driving responsibilities with someone else, if possible.
  • Lock your valuables in the trunk or glove compartment.
  • Don’t wait until the gas gauge gets to E to refuel. On an unfamiliar road, start looking for a place to fill up once the gas gauge hits a quartet of a tank.

Traveling by train

Traveling by train can be enjoyable and affordable, and a few extra precautions will minimize your risk of illness, theft or injury. Rule of thumb – plan ahead, research your itinerary and destination, be punctual, keep an eye on your valuables, and avoid solitary areas.​

  • Plan your itinerary in advance and try to to avoid train changes late at night, especially if long layovers are involved.
  • Research train stations so that you’re aware of it’s a haven for pickpockets or provides covered shelter for the homeless after a certain time at night.
  • Put locks on your luggage.
  • For longer train rides, consider using straps or cords to secure your bags to the overhead racks. Bundled luggage is harder to steal.
  • Keep your tickets, documents, money, and credit cards in a money belt or pouch. Organize everything so that you’re not fumbling around for things when you need them.
  • For long layovers, find a place to sit that is well-lit but not solitary, and never leave your luggage unattended.
  • Board your train as early as possible, and check to make sure you’ve board the proper train car since not all cars may be going to your final destination.
  • While sleeping, keep your compartment locked.
  • Don’t trust strangers, and don’t leave valuables behind when going to the restroom.
  • Don’t drink tap water, and avoid accepting food and drinks from strangers.​

Traveling on cruise ships

Cruising is considered one of the safest ways to travel, but common sense and basic safety precautions will make for a much more enjoyable vacation.​

  • Attend a muster drill before going on a cruise. Knowing where your muster station is, how to put on a lifejacket, and what the alarm sounds mean is important. Most cruise ships will not leave port unless all passengers on the ship go through this exercise.
  • To avoid potential pirate attacks, skip cruises through the North Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Malacca Straits, and South China Sea.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. The leading cause of death amongst American tourists isn’t terrorism or violent crimes, but drowning and car accidents. Alcohol is a major contributing factor in both.
  • Be mindful of all drinks and don’t accept food or drinks from strangers.
  • If you become inebriated, don’t let a stranger walk you back to your room.
  • If you become inebriated, don’t let a stranger walk you back to your room.
  • If traveling solo, don’t advertise it by walking alone late at night around solitary areas.​
  • Keep in mind that not all cabin doors close automatically. When leaving, give it tightly shut and then check to make sure it’s closed. When inside, push to make sure it clicks to close. If the door has a dead bolt, use it. It’s there for a reason.
  • Don’t leave your order outside the door since it typically lists the number of people in the cabin. Call for room service directly.
  • Don’t advertise your room number to strangers.
  • As tempting as it is to leave the balcony door open at night, lock it. Also, lock it when leaving your room, especially in ports.
  • Use your room safe for storing valuables.
  • Get to know your steward.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash while on board or during shore excursions.
  • Never accept invitations to the crew quarters.

Traveling by air

Many of the pitfalls that cause vacationers a headache while traveling by air are beyond their control (delayed flights, bad weather). But many precautions can improve travelers’ chances of having a safe and hassle-free flight no matter what. The rule of thumb – stop making all-too-common blunders like getting to the airport too late, or not checking what items are prohibited on planes.​

Safety when booking​

​A safe flight begins as early as booking, so make sure to follow these recommendations and get more involved with your safety as an airline passenger.

  • Non-stop flights are safer since 79.9% of all airline accidents happen during a takeoff and landing phase.
  • When booking itineraries, don’t go for tight connections. Rule of thumb – the less time between connecting flights, the more risk is involved. So research before booking, especially when heading to unfamiliar and super-sized airports.
  • Some items, as well as medicines, may be prohibited on planes, so check the Transportation Security Administration guidelines ahead of time. If traveling internationally, check Customs and Import Restrictions for items that may not be allowed inside the borders of your final destination as well.
  • When choosing airlines, check their safety record. If the record is not good, choose another airline.
  • If possible, pre-book your seats and opt for those that are no more than five rows away from an emergency exit.
  • Also keep in mind that statistically, the rear part of the aircraft is safer and aisle seats allow passengers to get out quicker.​

Safety at the airport

Not factoring in things like check-ins, customs, and security checks, or not arriving at the airport well ahead of time is a route to disaster. So, plan accordingly:​

  • Check-in online – usually 24 hours ahead of departure, since many airlines have strict check-in cutoff times. Travellers failing to check in on time run the risk of losing their seat.
  • Account for heavy traffic when planning on when to leave for the airport.
  • Try to get to your hub ahead of time – two hours in advance of domestic flights, and three hours ahead of international flights.
  • Mind your gate – it’s not uncommon for a flight to wind up at a different gate at the last minute. So, keep an eye on departure boards.
  • Factor in security and customs checks for international flights, as these can take forever. Leave plenty of time to deal with customs and security delays, especially if connecting flight is involved.
  • This is probably self-evident, but don’t leave your luggage unattended, and don’t get drunk.

Safety on the plane

It’s astonishing how little details affect survivability. From keeping a clear head to wearing proper clothes, it’s the little things that count when it comes to flying safely.​

  • Know the location and distance to the nearest emergency exit.
  • Read the safety card, and pay attention during the crew’s safety demonstration.
  • Check to make your life jacket is where it should be.
  • Don’t take off your shoes, especially before the plane leaves the ground. If you’ve taken them off mid-flight, make sure you put them back on before landing.
  • Dress as if you were planning for an emergency – avoid traveling in sandals or high-heeled shoes, shorts, and sleeveless shirts. Instead, wear hard soled shoes and practical clothes made of natural fabric since synthetic material will melt under high heat.
  • Don’t self-medicate with a preflight tranquilizer or alcohol – this will only muddle thinking but won’t help.
  • During a flight, minimize movement around the plane, and keep seat belt fastened.
  • If chartering an aircraft, flying in a light aircraft, or bush flying, fly in daylight and good weather. Also, remember that safety records are poorer in mountainous areas. Never urge the aircrew to fly against their sound judgment.
  • Keep an LED torch when traveling.​

During an emergency or crash landing

Don’t freeze or panic, and do as instructed by flight attendants. Try to understand the logic behind every instruction.

  • Listen to the instructions of the cabin crew and follow them.
  • Leave all belongings behind. Carry-on bags slow people down and create hazards for others.
  • Don’t wait for others to move. Many people might get paralyzed by fear.
  • Smoke aboard a plane is one of the greatest dangers as it disables people quickly. So get low immediately, and grab the oxygen mask as soon as it drops. There is a reason why flight attendants instruct parents to put on their oxygen mask first, and then help their children – that’s because children will be left helpless (and most likely die) if parents get unconscious due to hypoxia.

Crime-proofing while traveling

Pocket theft and purse-snatching is rampant in places with lots of tourists. All over the world, Americans are thieves’ favorite targets because they have all sort of good things in their bags and wallets. Be smart, don’t stick out, keep your guard on, and be wary of strangers, especially the ones offering drinks and unsolicited help.​

  • Before leaving your hotel, double-check maps, itineraries, and schedules.
  • Don’t hitchhike. Always use official taxi services, sit in the back seat and close the windows, especially when going through crowded streets where there’s a lot of foot traffic.
  • Never walk blindly into a noisy crowd. Maintain situational awareness at all times. If anything is off, walk away.
  • At ATM’s, avoid anyone offering unsolicited “help.”
  • If you’re approached by someone wearing an unfamiliar uniform, always ask for their ID. Imposters are rampant.
  • Signs like “Watch out for pickpockets!” often prompt travelers to check to make sure they are still in possession of their valuables. This is how pocket thieves know where tourists keep their valuables.
  • Lower your tourist profile. Blend in and wear clothes like the locals. Don’t broadcast your wealth, jewelry, or political opinions.
  • Never leave your drinks unattended. Be wary of accepting beverages, gum, and snacks from strangers.
  • Be wary of new friends since human traffickers often “groom” their victims before attacking.
  • When using hotel nanny services, leave a hidden nanny cam in the room.
  • Don’t hesitate to make a scene when in danger. A healthy scream can ward off an attacker and summon help.
  • Consider wearing a whistle or a personal security alarm that emits a shrill sound.
  • Stay connected and warn your relatives back home about your itineraries and plans, but do not post this information publicly on social networks.

Traveling both domestically and internationally can be fun and exhilarating, but there are also inherent risks involved. Proper research and planning, coupled with common sense, will help ensure you stay safe as you embark on new adventures.

Internet Safety

Many Americans feel they have lost control of their private information online and worry about corporations and government agencies being unable to protect all of the consumer data they collect, according to a recent report published by the Pew Research Center. And data breaches at places like Bank of America and Equifax are proving these fears to be completely justifiable. At some point or another, unfortunately your sensitive data may end up on the dark market.

64% of Americans have personally experienced a major data breach in their lives. Of those 64 percent:

  • ​41% had to deal with fraudulent charges on their credit cards.
  • 35% had their sensitive information compromised by an institution or business.
  • 15% had their Social Security number compromised.
  • 14% had someone attempt to take out loans in their name.
  • 16% had their email hacked.
  • 13% had a social network profile hijacked.
  • 6% had someone impersonate them to file fraudulent tax returns.

Compounding this problem is the fact that individuals do a great job of exposing their most sensitive data and helping hackers because they fail to follow basic safety precautions online.

Don’t be negligent when it comes to online security, and follow these tips to safeguard your privacy and protect your online presence.

Use strong passwords

If there is one online safety precaution that millions of Internet users keep getting wrong year after year, it is the use of passwords. People reuse passwords, rotating them across profiles. They use their birth dates and local football team names as passwords, and even share their passwords with others.

After the LinkedIn breach, security scientists analyzed the dumped passwords to see how many were weak. The results were staggering – 63,588,381 weak passwords in a single data dump alone. So, start reviewing your online habits by bringing your passwords – all of them – into order.​

Here’s an example of a strong password: N{>{0Psyd7wqz|3=YXPxyGK;IscQ.?{

And here are examples of weak passwords: qwerty, 12345678, password, Facebookpass, june151960.

When it comes to password safety:

  • Use password generators and password management software to store your passwords in a secure, encrypted database with a master password.
  • Never store your passwords in a Notebook file on your desktop.
  • Don’t use personal information in your passwords.
  • Don’t recycle the same password across different accounts. If one account gets compromised, this means the rest can easily be hacked.
  • Use long passwords (at least 12 characters).​

Consider multi-factor authentication

​Multi-factor authentication (MFA) grants user access only when the user presents several required means of authentication. Usually, MFA combines two or more independent credentials – what the user knows (such as PIN, password, or pass phrase), and something the user has (security token, verification code sent via SMS). Sometimes, a third layer of authentication is added – something the user is (biometric verification as in fingerprints, eye retina).

MFA creates a layered defense, which is significantly more difficult to crack. If one layer is compromised, the attacker still has one or two layers to breach before breaking into the target database or email account.

For average users, however, MFA is rather hassle-free, as it consists of a password and a verification code sent via SMS. MFA is a must-have feature that should be enabled for all accounts holding your sensitive information – email, cloud storage, health and fitness apps, accounting software, and social networks.​

Invest in security software

​Antivirus alone is not enough anymore, so you should seriously consider investing in a variety of other programs to boost your digital security.

  • Firewalls are electronic barriers that block unauthorized access to your devices.
  • Most people rely on antivirus ignoring a slew of anti-malware suites that scan computers for known malware, which often goes undetected by antivirus programs. Malwarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy or SpywareBlaster come in free and paid offers, and significantly improve your resistance to malware.​
  • Anti-keylogger apps scramble your typing and make it impossible for someone to take a screenshot of what you are typing or track it.
  • Encryption programs encrypt your local files and store them in a safe vault that opens only with a correct password (which you set).
  • Avoid over-sharing your real email address when signing up for services online. Instead, use masked emails whenever possible. For example, masking apps like Blur allow users to create masked – anonymous - emails that are completely functional. They look like [email protected] and therefore, reveal no personally identifiable information, but redirect all incoming emails to your real email address.
  • A Virtual Private Network, VPN, encrypts and tunnels your traffic through its remote servers so that neither your ISP (Internet Service Provider) nor hackers preying on easy targets at public Wi-Fi hotspots can intercept your data.

Safe online behavior tips

​Unfortunately, a lot of opportunistic and targeted attacks are facilitated by the victims themselves. People routinely click on links in emails from unverified senders, and get addicted to sharing every bit of their private lives on social networks. They don’t double-check websites’ addresses when entering their credentials, and neglect installing important security updates on their computers and smartphones. Start improving your online security posture by following these simple recommendations.

  • Be careful with your clicks - Don’t invite trouble with careless clicking. Many of today’s digital threats come with fraudulent emails (phishing) and chat messages (social engineering). Phony free offers and online quizzes entice users to reveal personal information and click on dangerous links. Caveat Emptor: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.​
  • Protect what you share - Don’t share personally identifiable information online. Real names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, mother’s maiden names, kids’ names – impersonators and fraudsters can use this data to steal your identity.
  • Pay attention to detail - Watch out for websites that have misspellings and bad grammar, as these are typically copycats of legitimate sites. When shopping online, or visiting online banking websites, make sure the site’s address starts with “https” and not “http.” When installing mobile banking apps, make sure that you download them from a legitimate source and check the developer’s details. Many mobile banking apps have fraud clones that collect user logins and passwords.
  • Protect your smartphone - Smartphones are extremely vulnerable to online threats, as malicious apps and games crop up on app stores daily. Be careful when installing apps and games, and granting them permissions. Encrypt your smartphone, and scan your privacy settings to disable everything that is over-sharing your personal information (location tracking, connection to public Wi-Fi).
  • Be prudent with updates - Software updates aren’t just for new functionality – they fix security vulnerabilities in your programs and devices too. So, install new updates when prompted, and make sure your security software scans all of your devices weekly.
  • Backup regularly - Regular backups save a lot of time when something major goes wrong, like a hardware failure or ransomware attack. Consider having an offline backup of your critical data too.
  • Stay in-the-know - Don’t wait for major news outlets to tell you about the latest online scams. Always exercise caution instead.

Know the most common threats

​There is a common misconception that online security is rocket science, and many people tend to feel intimidated by the cyber jargon, thinking they can’t master the basics. So, many users just assume they’re too insignificant of a target for hackers to be interested in their data. Wrong. Identity theft in the U.S. is at an all-time high, with an estimated 15.4 million consumers hit by some kind of ID theft last year alone.

Ransomware attacks rise 250 percent in 2017, and U.S. is hit the hardest. At the same time, large majorities of internet users have heard about trolling (86%), hacking (95%), doxing (73%), and swatting (55%) - and 18% have experienced one of the online harassment forms personally.​

So, knowing the threats and taking safety precautions to protect your sensitive data is paramount in digital age, especially since it really is not rocket science.

Identity Theft

​Monitor your bank statements for suspicious activity and don’t share personal information online. When there are signs of unauthorized charges on your account, even small $1 transactions, contact your bank immediately.

​Monitor your bank statements for suspicious activity and don’t share personal information online. When there are signs of unauthorized charges on your account, even small $1 transactions, contact your bank immediately.​

Phishing Emails

​Phishing emails look highly credible and are designed to gather your information. A phishing email urges victims to download malware or make a transaction.

​Smart Tip: always double-check the sender’s email, and call them personally to confirm the transaction request. Never download files with .exe, .vbs, and .scr extensions.​

Ransomware

​Ransomware is malware that encrypts your hard drive. Hackers then demand ransom (usually in Bitcoin) in exchange for the password.

Smart Tip: regularly backup your data to the cloud and/or an external hard drive​.​

Cyberstalking

​Cyberstalking is currently a digital plague, with faceless pranksters destroying the lives and careers of entire families.

Stalkers often:

  • Dox – post victims’ personal information online for public access.
  • Swat – call 911 anonymously and reporting gunshots at the victim’s address.
  • Order flowers/pizzas/pool cleaning at the victim’s address, seven days a week and often at bizarre hours of the day and night
  • Hack victim’s office systems (to urge the employer to get rid of the problematic worker).
  • Camfect – hijack victim’s web cameras to snoop on them, take compromising pictures and then blackmail them.​

Smart tip: don’t engage in online squabbles with so-called trolls (people who make deliberately provocative or offensive statements with the aim of upsetting someone, or provoking an emotional response from them). Learn to identify trolls and ignore their comments no matter what.

  • Avoid posting personal data on your social media accounts.
  • Run an Internet search of your name regularly to identify if someone is spreading false information about you. If so, contact the blog/website/forum administrator to request that the content be immediately removed.
  • Change all your passwords, especially when breaking up with an abusive partner.
  • Seek outside help if you are cyberstalked.
  • Put a non-transparent duct tape over your web camera to prevent camfecting (webcam hacking that allows the hacker to snoop on the victim).

Social networking safety tips for adults

Online harassment is a common feature of online life for adults and teenagers. 41% of American adults have experienced online harassment first-hand, and 66% have seen it happen to others. Nearly half of those who’ve experienced online harassment know their harasser.

Worse, sexual predators and traffickers prey on the young on social networks and community chats. Over-sharing their personal information online, kids give stalkers, molesters, and mean pranksters the keys to their online and offline lives.

  • Look at the settings for all of your profiles, and disable everything that is “public” in them. Limit your posts to a closed circle of relatives and friends.
  • Don’t share your location via social media networks.
  • Don’t advertise you’ll be out of town through social media – burglars and stalkers will take note.
  • Don’t post full names, birth dates, phone numbers, and addresses of your family members. This information alone is enough for full-scale identity theft.
  • Don’t let potential stalkers identify your daily routines and itineraries. Don’t share your work and home addresses publicly. Don’t broadcast frequently visited places through your social profiles.
  • If you have children, don’t overshare information about them, including their routines and locations. Child molesters use social networks to profile minors.​

Protecting kids online

​Kids are more tech-savvy than their parents these days, and in most families, they can hide what they’re doing online from their parents. Parental control software is a viable option, but only when children don’t know how to bypass or disable it, or access the Internet from a different device.

Online safety education should be an ongoing process for families. Setting boundaries and rules is not enough, since it often provokes anger and resentment. Instead of trying to explain the dangers, show examples, and don’t try to sugar the pill and conceal the harsh reality. The Internet is a wild place full of child molesters, human traffickers, rapists, extremists and troubled people who like to stalk and bully others. Your children need to know this. 

  • Installing a stealth-monitoring app on your family computer, as well as your children’s smartphones.
  • Keeping children under the age of 13 from using social media networks and having personal emails addresses. Explain that they can only socialize online with the people they know in real life.
  • Setting up safety measures so that children can’t download and install software and media content without parental supervision.
  • Monitor your kids’ online activities for signs of cyberbullying.​

Combat cyberbullying

​Of all online threats affecting adolescents and teens, cyberbullying is by far one of the most widespread. Over half of teens have been bullied online, and just about the same number have engaged in cyberbullying, according to statistics. One in three young people experience threats online and over 25% of teenagers have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones and the Internet.

To combat cyberbullying:

  • Block the bully’s phone number, email, and social networking accounts.
  • Make sure your child knows not respond to bullies, ever.
  • Screenshot threats for evidence and report them to the police.
  • ​Unplug from the Internet for a while. A complete disconnect from social networks might do wonders for your child’s emotional and mental health.

Smart Home Statistics

Industry Overview: How will smart home technology impact our future homes?

Current statistics show that the smart house market will approach 40 billion USD in the US alone by 2020. Many people look to smart houses to make their lives more convenient and lower the amount of things that they have to worry about. 57% of Americans say that having smart products in their house saves them about 30 minutes per day, that's 182.5 hours a year, or roughly a week and a half. The percentage of people with smart products in their house is growing substantially with 47% of Millennials already owning some devices while 70% who already own one product are planning to buy another one.

Homebuyers: Which smart products do they want?

Many buyers (⅗) of smart home products buy for the ability to monitor their house via their smart phone. They'll also buy cameras and video doorbells, carbon monoxide and fire alarms, and smart lighting. The market for these products is growing as more people switch to having smart technology in their homes. 63% want smart locks and alarms, 63 % want smart thermostats and fans, 58% want smart lighting, and 56% want carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights.

Homeowners: How "smart" does a home have to be?

Even though the demand for such products is growing, many homebuyers do not expect smart technology to be in place in old homes (new construction, yes). Over half of current homeowners (54%) plan to buy such products to increase the resale value of their house. However, not everyone is willing to pay extra for smart products, but are fine if they're already in place. Some people (37%) who don’t already have such products in their house do not think of themselves as early adapters to the technology.

Home Security: Can a smart home be outdone?

One of the biggest fears about this technology is if the house be hacked. There are many access points through which hackers can get into your system and access it via the internet. However, a majority of smart house systems require that the user be connected to the wifi at the house, so the hacker would have to be in range of the wifi signal. Another deterrent is that hackers have not found a way to make money off of hacking different smart house technologies.

To avoid hackers altogether, there are some simple things you should not do when connecting your smart devices. You should avoid having multiple devices connected to the same service and not allow public wifi. The best ways to keep your house safe is to use different kinds of authentication for your devices, always conduct security updates for new and old devices, and make sure to have malware protection.

Smart devices will be ubiquitous in the future. In order to be ready for the change, make sure you know more about the different smart house devices available for your home, the different ways they can benefit you, and the security measures that you can take in order to make the transition to smart house devices smoother.

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11 Top 100 Safest Cities in America, 2017

One question that everyone has on their mind when moving to a new city is: Is it safe? Not only does this affect your decision to move to a place, it also affects the way you feel after you have settled down. Your health and wellness can be impacted by how comfortable you are when moving to a new place. In order to feel secure, citizens need to know that they will be alright no matter where they go in town whether they go to a public place or commuting to and from home.

According to the FBI, violent crime has been decreasing over the past 10 years (down by 16.5% from 2006 to 2015) while property crime rates continue to gradually fall by 2% per year. Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) has shown that police have improved their methods for monitoring troubled areas and having more outreach. These methods help to prevent crime and encourage people to work to become model citizens.

At the same time, renovations of old buildings have brought life back to once dangerous areas by providing new shops and family entertainment options. The more entertainment and attractions a city has the more the need for more development and property values to rise.

By focusing on safety, people looking for a new city feel more welcome. They look for a place to establish themselves, raise a family, and improve their lives.

UPDATE 8/2/2017:  When this report was first released, incorrect data (crime and property rates per 100,000 people) was listed next to each city. This has since been removed and you may now find the correct numbers at the bottom of this page along with more information about our methodology. 

100. Amherst Town, New York

The most populous suburb of Buffalo with 120,207 resident is Amherst. Along Ellicott Creek, Amherst State Park is a great place to hiking and see wild apple trees. There is also Audubon Town park which has many walking and bike paths. For sports fans, the University at Buffalo Stadium holds football, soccer, and track and field events throughout the year. The open air museum Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village contains historic buildings such as one room schools and barber shops and 50,000 objects from when the city was founded in 1818 until today.

99. Sunnyvale, California

Sunnyvale is located in Silicon Valley with a population of 152,443. The area is home to the headquarters of big tech companies such as Yahoo! and Lockheed Martin. To the north, California’s Great Adventure provides an ideal location for families to ride roller coasters or hang out in a water park. There are also over 450 acres of parks including Washington Park in the downtown and Bayland Park, home of the yearly Linux Picnic. For gamers, the Digital Game Museum covers the history of gaming with artifacts from the different eras.

98. Pflugerville, Texas

14 miles northeast of downtown Austin and 15 miles of the Colorado River is Pflugerville. The area is home to more than 15 parks with over 30.5 miles of trails for its 56,240 residents. Pfluger Park hold the annual German Festival as well as concerts for music in the park. To cool off, there is a public pool at Heritage Park which also hold a farmer’s market. Lake Pflugerville provides plenty of space for fishing, canoeing, and swimming as well as a beach area and picnic tables.

97. Folsom, California

A place “Distinctive By Nature with a population of 76,183 is Folsom. On the north side of the city, there is Lake Folsom which offers fishing and camping. The city also has 32 miles of bike trails including the American River Bike Trail that goes all the way to Sacramento. The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary is a great place to view animals and take classes. As for history, the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park displays the advanced industrial machinery used to run this hydroelectric power plant that was used to power Sacremento.

96. Frisco, Texas

Located east of Lewisville Lake, Frisco is a community of 152,678. The area is home to many sports complexes including the Dallas Cowboys headquarters and training facilities. Toyota Stadium is a great place to catch a FC Dallas game. There are also interesting museums from the National Videogame Museum to the Museum of the American Railroad. Having been declared “Tree City USA”, the many parks in the area provide many sporting facilities and amphitheatres.

95. Union Township, New Jersey

Formerly known as “Connecticut Farms”, Union Township is home to 58,005 people as well as one of the first English settlements in New Jersey. There are many historical sites in the area such as the Caldwell Parsonage, a museum to the Revolutionary War. Kawameeh Park provides a lot of sports fields and is the home to the Union Watersphere which used to be one of the largest water towers in the world. There are also many walking trails and bike paths along the Elizabeth River

94. Cupertino, California

At the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains with 61,162 residents is Cupertino. The Fremont Older Open Space Preserve provides over 700 acres for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Stevens Creek County Park has a water reservoir that has fishing and boating as well as many areas for a picnic. On De Anza College, The Fujitsu Planetarium is one of the most modern planetariums in the world while the Flint Center holds symphonic concerts and Apple product releases. Memorial Park is a great place to watch outdoor movies in the summer and visit the Cupertino Veterans Memorial.

93. Leesburg, Virginia

Leesburg has a population of 51,254 and is located 33 miles northwest of Washington D.C. near the Potomac River and Catoctin Mountain. The area holds a lot of events such as the Leesburg’s Flower and Garden Show to the Classic Car Show. For fans of history, there is Morven Park, the home of a former governor which features an mansion with unique furniture and an equestrian area. Hikers and Joggers can go for a long run along the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail which goes for 45 miles. In addition, Ida Lee Park provides a great place for a morning run and swimming.

92. North Port, Florida

North Port is located in Sarasota County with 61,148 residents. Being along the Myakka River, there are many green spaces in the area including the Myakka State Forest. Deer Prairie Creek Preserve provides around 70 miles of trails and many chances to view a variety of wildlife. The Warm Mineral Springs is a natural sinkhole that is filled with warm, fresh water. In the city, there are more than 5 big parks to choose from from the Garden of the Five Senses to Highland Ridge Park.

91. Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania

The largest suburb in Erie County with a population of 54,123 is Milcreek Township. Within the city limits, Presque Isle State Park has 11 miles of beaches and plenty of restaurants and hidden areas to explore. On the isle, the Presque Isle Lighthouse has a museum and a beautiful view of Lake Erie. The “Gateway to Presque Isle” also has Waldameer Park which provides waterslides and rollercoasters. To the south, the Ashbury Woods Nature Center and Park provides day camps, nature hikes, and baseball fields.

90. Santa Clarita, California

The third largest city in Los Angeles with 211,132 residents is Santa Clarita. The area provides a lot of recreational centers like the one in Canyon Country which offers a bike and skate parks and many swimming and diving pools. There are over 3000 acres of open space and 32 miles of off street trails in the city. Central Park is in the center of the city and has many sports fields and picnic areas. Outside the city, Six Flags Magic Mountain provides many roller coasters such as X2 and Twisted Colossus as well as a water park.

89. Mansfield, Texas

Mansfield is a small town located between Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington with a population of 63,684. The Katherine Rose Memorial Park is a scenic park that offers sports courts, picnic pavilions, and a rose garden. For night time entertainment, the Farr Best Theatre provides a variety of concerts and live performances. The city also holds a variety of festivals annually such as the Hot Beats and Cold Brews Festival, the Hometown Holiday Parade, and St. Paddy's Pickle Parade. Just outside the city, Joe Pool Lake is the ideal location for boating, kayaking, fishing, and more.

88. Eastvale, California

Along the Santa Ana River, Eastvale is a place with “Community, Pride, Prosperity” for its 57,808 residents. This once rural area still holds onto a lot of green space near the river with Riverwalk Park also having a disc golf course alongside hiking and biking trails. Harada Heritage Park provides a large skate park and sports fields for the younger members of the community. Located in the middle of the city, Providence Ranch Park is the perfect place for a picnic or a walk in the morning or after work.

87. Placentia, California

Placentia is a community of 52,753 that is known for its quiet neighborhoods. The area is home to historic houses such as the George Key Ranch which is located on a citrus farm and the A.S. Bradford House. Just to the north, the Fullerton Arboretum has over 4000 different species of plants and a museum. There are also a wide variety of smaller parks in the area that feature playground and picnic areas.​

86. Bolingbrook, Illinois

Being just 28 miles south of Chicago, “A Place to Grow” in Illinois is Bolingbrook. The state’s second largest village, with 74,356 residents, is full of places to view wildlife. The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve contains a waterfall and is home to the Argonne National Laboratory. The Hidden Oaks Nature Center is a great place to view a variety of animal such as coyotes and great horned owls. For recreation, there are plenty of parks, aquatic centers, and more than 10 golf courses in the area.

85. Cedar Park, Texas

Cedar Park is a suburb of 66,724 just 16 miles southeast of Austin. The H-E-B Center at Cedar Park provides a variety of entertainment options from sporting events to live concerts. For fans of science, the Texas Museum of Science and Technology has many different types of exhibits and displays touring exhibitions. There are also many parks in the area including Twin Lakes Park which is located in the center of the city with many trails and picnic areas.

84. Sterling Heights, Michigan

The second largest suburb of Detroit with a population of 132,255 is Sterling Heights. There are many automobile plants located in the area as well as the General Motors Heritage Center which features all makes and models from GM’s history. For lovers of the outdoors, the Clinton River Park provides many trails along the river for viewing nature. With all its outdoor areas and automobile history, Sterling Heights really tries “To Strive on Behalf of All”.

83. West New York, New Jersey

Just across the Hudson River from New York City is West New York. With 53,207 residents in 1 square mile, it is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. There is still green space Donnelly and Old Glory Park. The area is most famous for the “Miracle Mile” which contains many retail and commercial stores. There are many parades that also take place along the “Miracle Mile” including the Cuban Day Parade, Dominican-American Parade, as well as the Memorial Day Parade.

82. Medford, Massachusetts

​Along the Mystic River just 3.2 miles Northeast of Boston with a population of 57,742 is Medford. The area provides a variety of historical sites from the Amelia Earhart House to Isaac Royal House. Tufts University provides a variety of educational and cultural activities year round. The song “Jingle Bells” was written in the area and there is a marker on high street to commemorate it. To the north and south of the city, there are nature reserves, such as Middlesex Fells Reservation, that provide hiking and biking trails.

81. St. Clair Shores, Michigan

Located just 13 miles Northeast of Detroit on Lake Saint Clair is St. Clair Shores. Known for its beaches, it provides many beachfront activities at various parks, such as Veterans Park, for its 60,116 residents from playground and picnic areas to bocce ball and shuffleboard courts. The area has an annual annual Memorial Day Parade which showcases local sports teams and marching bands. In addition, locals can visit the Nautical Mile for all their shopping and dining needs.

80. Murrieta, California

“The Future of Southern California” is the City of Murrieta. Families who live in the area can enjoy the Mulligan Family Fun Center’s go karts, mini golf, and arcade. The area also provides a variety of parks for its 109,495 residents like the California Oaks Park which has a swimming pool, sports fields, and a youth center. Just outside the city, there is the Santa Rosa Plateau that has a variety of hiking and biking trails. The Warm Springs Park and Reserve offers a variety of wildlife and hiking trails and is located in the center of the city.

79. Oak Lawn, Illinois

Oak Lawn is a southwestern suburb of Chicago with a population of 57,112. There are over 22 parks in the area that provide sports facilities, playgrounds, and walking paths. Once such place is the Wolfe Wildlife Refuge which offers walking and biking paths. The redeveloped downtown has a variety of shopping options as well as the new Metra Train Station. For young ones, the Children's Museum in Oak Lawn offers a variety of exhibits, performances, and interactive rooms.

78. Maple Grove, Minnesota

A city “Serving Today, Shaping Tomorrow” is Maple Grove. Its 68,297 residents can visit the Elm Creek Park Reserve to see the museum at the Historic Pierre Bottineau House as well as hike and view wildlife. The area is also home to a variety of retail stores at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes. In the middle of the city is the Central Park of Maple Grove which offers many play areas for children alongside a pond. Fish Lake has a variety of outdoor activities from swimming and fishing in the summer to snowshoeing in the winter

77. Port St. Lucie, Florida

With a population of 176,364, Port St. Lucie is “A City for All Ages”. The Savannas Preserve State Park Environmental Education Center stretches along 10 miles of the city and offers canoeing, hiking, and fishing as well as many photography opportunities such as Hawk’s Bluff. For family gatherings, the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens is a beautiful venue that also has many places to sit and relax. The area’s many parks like the Jessica Clinton Park that offers many sporting facilities like tennis courts and baseballs fields as well as a lending library.

76. Bayonne, New Jersey

Bayonne is on a peninsula and across the bay from New York City with 66,582 residents. It is home to the Bayonne Bridge which is the 5th longest steel-arch bridge in the world. The To the Struggle Against World Terrorism is a memorial to 9/11 from Russia that provides a scenic view of New York City and beautiful sculptures. For fans of learning, the Bayonne Public Library has over 99,000 items and was one of the Carnegie funded libraries, and the Bayonne Community Museum offers a glimpse into the area’s unique history.

75. Castle Rock, Colorado

Located between Denver and Colorado Springs with a population of 57,699 is Castle Rock. It consists of 27% open space and 75 miles of trails. The Castlewood Canyon State Park was forged from the remains of Castlewood Canyon Dam and offers rock climbing walls and a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities. The Castle Rock Historical Museum is a building that shows how the areas has changed over its 150 year history.

74. Ankeny, Iowa

The city “Bringing it all together” with 55,984 residents is Ankeny. Located near Saylorville Lake, the area offers a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and fishing. The area is also home to the High Trestle Trail that goes for 25 miles from Ankeny to Woodward. Ankeny also has an annual Summerfest which provides plenty of food and entertainment options while locals can eat and shop at the Historic Uptown Shopping District year round. If people want to know more about the history the area, they can checkout the exhibits at Ankeny Area Historical Society.

73. Diamond Bar, California

Named after the “diamond over the bar” branding iron, Diamond Bar is in eastern Los Angeles County and has a population of 57,085. In the center of the city lies Sycamore Canyon Park which offers BBQs and picnic tables as well as exercise stations and nature trails. For tennis and basketball fans, Ronald Reagan Park offers courts available until 10 at night. Just outside the city is Powder Canyon which has trails for hiking and horseback riding.

72. Irvine, California

Home to the University of California, Irvine, Irvine has many forms of entertainment year round. The annual Irvine Global Village Festival showcases the diverse foods and cultures that reside in the area. Its 258,198 citizens have around 50 parks to explore in the city. The William R. Mason Regional Park has 300 plus acres of areas for hiking and biking as well as volleyball and golf. The Apple Irvine Shopping Center has the Irvine Spectrum Ferris Wheel which offers a unique view of the city while kids can play roleplay at the Pretend City Children's Museum.

71. Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Eden Prairie is 12 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis and is a place to “Live, Work, Dream” for its 63,835 residents. This pastoral area is home to many golf courses including Olympic Hill Golf Club to Bent Creek Golf Club. The Purgatory Creek Park Pavilion is located nearby a variety of restaurants and has trails for an after meal walk. The Wings of the North Museum offers a variety of aircrafts that celebrate aviation's history. Just outside the city is Valley Fair which is open during the summer months and has over 75 rides and attractions.

70. Fairfield, Connecticut

Fairfield is along the Gold Coast of Connecticut with a population of 61,762. Fairfield University provides plenty of entertainment from Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts which has the 740 seat Quick Center to Bellarmine Museum of Art’s displays of local artists and touring exhibitions. Also at Fairfield is the Connecticut Audubon Society Center offering 6 miles of nature trails and nature center. There are 5 beaches located along Long Island Sound as well as Lake Mohegan which has hiking and a view of the Cascades.

69. Bismarck, North Dakota

Home of the North Dakota State Capital and the second most populous city in North Dakota with 70,873 residents is Bismarck. For the history of the area, the North Dakota Heritage Center’s museum exhibits artifacts from the area’s geologic history as well as items from the early people’s culture. The Dakota Zoo offers spacious areas for the 600 animals to move around and class for kids. Kids can also enjoy Super Slide which has a ferris wheel alongside mini-golf, go-karts, and other concessions.

68. Chino Hills, California

Bordering Los Angeles county with a population of 77,515 is Chino Hills. It is located right by Chino Hill State Park which is undeveloped yet offers a variety of activities from biking and hiking trails to picnicking areas in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. English Springs Park has basketball and volleyball courts as well as gazebos and picnic areas. As for architecture, there is the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir which is hindu temple with artifacts brought from India and other items handcrafted there.

67. Georgetown, Texas

30 miles from Austin is Georgetown. Georgetown is known for its victorian architecture which houses some of its 62,264 residents. The area is home to unique Inner Space Cavern, which was discovered in 1963 and has three different levels of paths from novice to “wild”. Cedar Breaks Park is a scenic park on the North Fork San Gabriel River offering camping as well as plenty of trails to explore the area. In downtown, there is San Gabriel Park which offers a golf disc course as well as plenty of areas for having a picnic.

66. Plymouth, Minnesota

Plymouth, the seventh largest city in Minnesota with a population of 76,192, is located 15 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. The area is home to Senator Amy Klobuchar as well as Medicine Lake. Medicine Lake has two parks, East and West Medicine Lake, which offer a variety of activities from fishing and sailing to a playground and biking/walking paths. There is also the smaller Parkers Lake Park which offers ice skating in the winter to swimming in the summer. Bicyclists can also connect to the rest of bicycle paths via the Luce Line Trailhead.

65. Canton Township, Michigan

Canton Township is just west of Detroit and is home to 89,628 residents. “Michigan’s Community of Vision” is home to Heritage Park which is a perfect place for running and biking as well as having a splash park to help families cool off during the summer. Cherry Hill is bringing back the historical character of the area by renovating the architecture of what the city was like 100 years ago with the Village Theatre as one of its main attractions.

64. Parma, Ohio

The largest suburb of Cleveland is Parma with a population of 79.655. The area is home to a Polish Village, which holds many holiday parades and a variety of family owned businesses, as well as a Ukrainian Village which is known as one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the city. The West Creek Reservation is perfect for a hike or learning more about nature at the nature center. As for history, the Phillip Henninger House gives a glimpse of what life was like for the early settlers.

63. Lakewood Township, New Jersey

Lakewood Township is located in Ocean County with 95,743 residents. For recreation, there is Lake Shenandoah Park which offers play areas for kids as well as many boating activities. Ocean County Park is also located on the lake and offers places to picnic and hiking trails. To the west, there is Lake Carasaljo which offers an amphitheatre as well as a playground and is located near Georgian Court University.

62. Waltham, Massachusetts

Also known as “The Watch City”, Waltham was a contributor to the American Industrial Revolution. A variety of museums are placed throughout the city with the Rose Art Museum displaying art works from the 1960s and 1970s to the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation having interactive exhibits that show the area’s industrial past. The 63,590 locals can also enjoy the Storer Conservation which has plenty of hiking trails and a museum.

61. Gilbert, Arizona

Just Southeast of Phoenix with a population of 247,324 is Gilbert. The area is home to a variety of parks from Freestone Park offering a rec center and mini amusement park to Emerald Park’s disc golf course. There is also Water Tower Plaza which has a many restaurants and a splash pad for kids. Many historic buildings are near downtown from the early 20th century such as Liberty Market and Gilbert’s First Jail House which were established when the area was also known as the “Hay Capital of the World”.

60. Simi Valley, California

Surrounded by mountains and hills, Simi Valley is 30 miles outside of Los Angeles with 127,472 residents. The area is home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library which contains historical artifacts about the 40th president as well as his burial site. There is also a lot of film and TV historical sites in the area such as Corriganville Movie Ranch where many TV shows were shot in the 50s. The Strathearn Historical Park also offers a variety of buildings from its Native American, Spanish & pioneer roots as well as places to hold events. For culture, Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village displays folk art made from garbage from local landfills.

59. Centennial, Colorado

Centennial has the “Spirit of the Past”. It is located near Cherry Creek State Park which offers a variety of boating activities from paddle boats to sailing and around 35 miles of trails for biking, horseback riding, or hiking. For the younger members of the family in the city of 108,846, there is the Centennial Center Park which offers a children’s water park as well as Lollipop Park, offering kiddie rides and a funhouse. There is also Dove Valley Regional Park which contains a variety of sports facilities from volleyball courts to soccer fields.

58. Waterford Township, Michigan

Waterford Township is located in the center of Oakland County and has 73,500 residents. The area is known for the 3,745 acre Pontiac Lake Recreation Area which offers a variety of outdoor activities from camping to horseback riding and also a shooting range. For fishing, locals can go to Lotus and Maceday Lake. For recreation, there is also Bay Court Park which offers a playground as a picnic area or they can go to Drayton Plains Nature Center to enjoy seasonal events as well as a enjoy nature.

57. Thousand Oaks, California

The population core of the Conejo Valley, Thousand Oaks has 129,976 people residing within its borders. Many animals also call this area home from mountain lions to many types of snakes to over 170 bird species with Wildwood Regional Area being the perfect place to catch a glimpse of these intriguing animals. Nearby is the scenic Paradise Falls which offers hiking trails as well as places to birdwatch. The Chumash Indian Museum offers archaeological artifacts such as 2000 year old cave paintings.

56. Brick Township, New Jersey

Brick Township has a population of 76,097 and is located alongside the Barnegat Peninsula. The area is home to Jersey Shore which boasts a variety of entertainment options from food stands to water and amusement parks. There are also many locations for boating enthusiasts from Swan Point State Natural Area to the Metedeconk River. For recreation, people go the Brick Township Reservoir or the Windward Beach Park which offers a beach, playgrounds, and an outdoor pavillion.

55. Old Bridge Township, New Jersey

Located in Raritan Bay, Old Bridge Township’s 67,298 people have a beachfront recreation. Old Bridge Waterfront Park offers a playground as well as a fishing pier along its 1.3 mile trail. There is also beachfront access at Laurence Harbor Beach. The biggest natural area in the city is Cheesequake State Park which is home to Hooks Creek Lake and freshwater and saltwater marshes, perfect for wildlife viewing or fishing. Even the band Metallica has history with the area recording demos for its first album in Old Bridge.

54. San Clemente, California

Home of Nixon’s Western White House, San Clemente is a beachfront city with a population of 65,755. The area has a long surfing history with many surfing media magazines having offices near the ocean as well as many surf board manufacturers in the area. There is also Casa Romantica which is the home and gardens of the founder of San Clemente and offers many cultural programs for all ages. There are also a variety of parks in the area from Bonita Canyon Park to Verde Park.

53. Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey

Franklin Township in Somerset County offers a variety of parks and recreation for its 66,831 residents. The area is along the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park which runs for 22 miles. It also has access to Colonial Park, a recreational area with golf courses, gardens including the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden, and nature hikes. There are also many historical houses in the area from the Franklin in offering a tavern and hotel to the Van Wickle House offering a variety of events throughout the year.

52. North Bergen Township, New Jersey

North Bergen Township is located right next to Manhattan with 62,928 people living within its borders. The area contains the 167 acre lakefront James J. Braddock North Hudson County Park which offers many recreational options from 45 different sports facilities to a dog run. There is also the Edgewater Branch, an idyllic hiking area with history from the area’s railroad and mining past. Having the close proximity to NYC, there are many shows filmed there from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit to Meat Men, a show about the local business Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors.

51. Bowie, Maryland

Bowie is a place of “Growth, Unity, and Progress”. With 58,304 residents, the city provides a of historical locales from horse racing history at the Belair Mansion and Stables to African American history at the Don S. S. Goodloe House. Nearby the Belair Mansion is the Foxhill park which features the man-made Woodward Pond while Allen Pond Park offers walking and hiking trails along with 6 baseball fields. Fans of railroads can also visit the Bowie Railroad Buildings.

50. Peabody, Massachusetts

Peabody is a New England city located along the north shore with a population of 52,650. “The Leather City” used to be famous for its leather production and is home to various historical sites. It located next to Salem which is home to the Witch House and Witch Dungeon Museum. Both locations offer a variety of activities from tours of famous locations as well as reenactments of the famous witch trials. The area’s most famous resident is George Peabody, a famous entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has a museum dedicated to his honor in the George Peabody House Museum.

49. Lake Forest, California

Lake Forest, city of 80,798 residents, is in Orange County. The area is a hiker’s dream with a variety of landscapes to choose from. There is Serrano Creek Park which holds many types of trees to the rugged terrain of Red Rock Canyon. Surrounding the canyon is Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park which offers biking as well as equestrian trails. For culture, the city holds an annual concert in Pittsford Park and Heritage Hill Historical park offers 4 restored buildings from the late 19th century.

48. Novi, Michigan

Novi is a diverse city with a population of 59,233. The area is a watershed that has a lot of places for recreation from the Lakeshore Park offering a variety of hikes and swimming to Mae Power Park’s baseball fields. Novi also has a yearly Japan Festival which is the largest in the state of Michigan. For young ones, there is Paradise Park which offers laser tag, an arcade, and go karts as well as offering a pizza cafe.

47. Edison Township, New Jersey

The “Birthplace of Modern World” is Edison Township. Its most famous resident was the inventor Thomas Edison for whom the town was named after. The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum contains a museum dedicated to his discoveries as well as a tower surrounded by Menlo Park. There is also Roosevelt Park which offers an ice rink and lake fishing alongside sporting facilities and an outdoor theatre. For more culture, people can go to the Clara Barton District to check out various coffee shops and stores for its 102,281 residents.

46. Tinley Park, Illinois

Tinley Park is located south of Chicago and is home to 57,403 people. This family friendly locale has plenty in store for the whole family from the games and rides Odyssey Fun World to the lazy river at White Water Canyon Park. There is also Midlothian Meadows which offers a forest preserve and lots of nature trails. Tinley Park has the Hollywood Casino Theatre which features touring musical acts and seats 28,000 people.

45. Meridian, Idaho

Meridian is the 3rd largest city in Idaho with a population of 91,077. The Roaring Springs Water Park offers a variety of water slides and waterside activities while Wahooz Family Fun Zone contains an arcade as well as go karts and mini golf. There are also 17 parks in the city with Settlers Park offering a variety of outdoor sports and playgrounds. During the Summer months, the locals go to Meridian Urban Market to sample food from local restaurants, listen to live music, and purchase art and crafts from the area.

44. Farmington Hills, Michigan

Farmington Hills is a suburb of Detroit and the second largest city in Oakland County with a population of 81,862. The area is home to a variety of outdoor attractions from the wildlife trails of Woodland Hills to the 22 sports fields located in Founders Sports Park. There is also the Farmington Hills Heritage Park which offers a nature center and plenty of areas for family picnics. Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Center also offer a place to reflect on the history of the 20th century.

43. O’Fallon, Missouri

Located along I70 and I64, O’Fallon is a place of “Tradition with Vision”. Its 85,063 residents can go to Fort Zumalt Park, a location where a battle in the War of 1812 was fought that also has places for picnics and fishing. More history can be learned from Dames Park which offers a Vietnam Memorial as well as a playground and 3 football fields. For more sports options, there is also the soccer complex of O’Fallon Sports Park and the baseball fields located at Ozzie Smith Sports Complex.

42. Lakeville, Minnesota

Lakeville is a community of 60,846 just 20 miles south of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The area is home to 62 public properties that provide a wide range of sporting activities to family gathering locations. Located right off of I35, Ritter Farm Park is a scenic location which offers archery and hiking in the summertime and snowmobiling and cross country skiing in the winter. There are many other lakes in the area that offer plenty of outdoor areas. with Lake Marion and Orchard Lake being the two largest.

41. Naperville, Illinois

A city with “Great Service - All the Time” is Naperville. Its 147,101 residents can enjoy the beauty of the Dupage River at the Naperville River Walk which has walking paths, sculptures, meeting places, and more. The area is also home to one of only four carillons that have six octaves the Moser Tower and Millennium Carillon. This affluent community is home to the Nichols Library which is one of the top libraries in the US and holds the annual Naperville Independent Film Festival.

40. Cary, North Carolina

Cary is located between Chapel Hill and Raleigh North Carolina with a population of 160,291. This “Bicycle Friendly Community” is located along the U.S. Bicycle Route 1 along with offering mountain biking in Lake Crabtree County Park. There are also many historic places to visit such as the Page-Walker Hotel which contains the Cary Heritage Museum to Yates Mill. The area’s many lakes such as Lake Johnson and Crabtree provide trails and water sports for entertainment during the hot summer months.

39. Mission Viejo, California

Mission Viejo is a great place if you want to “Make Living Your Mission”. The area contain many parks with a variety of experiences from Thomas F. Riley Park’s view of wildlife to Oso Viejo Park’s various sporting fields. Mission Viejo also contains the same roads used for the road cycling events during the 1984 Olympics Games in Los Angeles. It’s 98,217 residents can enjoy an arid climate year round and visit a variety of natural sites to the north such as Trabuco Canyon and Lake Forest.

38. Royal Oak, Michigan

Royal Oak is a suburb of Detroit with a population of 59,535. The area is home to the Detroit Zoo which houses over 3000 animals and is famous for its polar bear exhibition. There are also many places for educational entertainment from Cranberg Art Museum displaying a variety of contemporary art, design, and architecture to the Cranbrook Institute of Science offering a planetarium and a T. Rex skeleton. There are also many famous actors that were born in the area such as Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi.

37. Lehi, Utah

Formally known as Dry Creek, Lehi is an expanding technological city in the northern part of Utah. There are many remnants of the area’s agricultural past with Lehi Roller Mills being immortalized in the movie Footloose. Thanksgiving point offers a variety of attractions from a golf course to the Museum of Natural Curiosity. For the more nature oriented, Traverse Mountain shows the city’s more scenic side to its 58,526 residents.

36. San Ramon, California

San Ramon hold the title of Tree City, USA. Being just 34 miles east of San Francisco, San Ramon’s 76.081 residents enjoy a variety of parks from San Ramon Athan Downs offering playgrounds and sports fields to Souyen Parks’ tennis courts and children’s area. There is also historic Forest Home Farms which has the David Glass House and holds a farmer’s market. The downtown is being renovated and will offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor entertainment options.

35. Des Plaines, Illinois

Des Plaines is located just north of O’Hare International Airport with 59,078 residents. The area is home to the Rivers Casino as well as the McDonald’s Number One Store and Museum which is a replica of the first McDonald’s Restaurant opened by Ray Kroc in 1955. The area also has a place in 80s pop culture history with the movie The Breakfast Club being shot in a high school in the area. There are also hiking trails in Harms Woods and Allison Woods.

34. Allen, Texas

Located just north of Dallas, Allen has a population of 96,642. It has many areas for outdoor recreation from Allen Station park having BMX racing and wakeboarding to Celebration Park offering baseball fields and playgrounds. Allen is also home to the Allen Event Center which holds sporting events ranging from soccer to indoor football. For nature lovers, there is good fishing at Bethany Lakes Park and hiking at Waterford Park.

33. Parker, Colorado

Parker is the 19th most populous area in Colorado with 51,017 residents. The Cherry Creek Trail attracts many visitors for various activities from hiking and biking in the Summer to cross country skiing in the Winter. The area also has entertainment for kids with Boondocks Food and Fun offering go karts and bowling and H2O’Brien Park and Pool offering a cool and refreshing place to go swimming during the Summer. Parker is a great location year round.

32. State College, Pennsylvania

Home of Penn State University, State College boasts a population of 57,710. The “Happy Valley, Lion Country” is also home to many natural attractions such as the Penn’s Cave and Wildlife Park. However, many residents enjoy following the Nittany Lions especially when it is football season. Almost 100,000 people attend every game. State College also hosts The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts which lasts for 5 days and attracts almost 125,000 visitors.

31. Laguna Niguel, California

Laguna Niguel is right near the Pacific Ocean and offers many water activities. Salt Creek Beach Park is the ideal location for any surfing enthusiast while the Laguna Niguel Regional Park is perfect for other watersports. There are also many hiking destinations for its population of 66,035 such as the Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness also the Niguel Botanical Preserve. The area also has historical significance with the Mission San Juan Capistrano offering a glimpse at how life was when the Spanish first settled the area.

30. Poway, California

Poway, “The City in the Country”, is in San Diego County. Its 50,327 residents can enjoy gorgeous views such as Potato Chip Rock on the Mount Woodson Trail and even view the many animals that inhabit the area in the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. For golf fans, they can practice their game at the Stoneridge Country Club and the Maderas Golf Club. You might even be lucky enough to meet the mayor Steve Vaus who is also known as the grammy winning country singer Buck Howdy.

29. Northern York Regional, Pennsylvania

North York is just outside of York City with 68,470 residents. There are plenty of reasons for a dog lover to love this area from Cousler Park to the dog park located inside the John C. Rudy County Park. Cordorus Creek offers many relaxing views as well as plenty of canoeing and kayaking adventures. For all their retail needs, citizens can head over to Delco Market Place to purchase anything from clothing to comics.

28. York Area Regional, Pennsylvania

York, otherwise known as “The White Rose City”, is a historical city with a population of 55,020. The area is known for its role in the agricultural and industrial industries from the early 18th century. To commemorate its history, the Agricultural and Industrial museum displays many artifacts from the area. Many historical buildings, such as the Golden Plough Tavern, Colonial Complex, and the Barnett Bobb House, are next to each other on South Pershing Avenue. The William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad also offers more to the story of this long standing city.

27. Shelby Charter Township, Michigan

Shelby Charter Township is one of the fastest growing areas in Metro Detroit with 77,636 residents. The area has a variety of parks from Mae Stecker Park to the River Bends Park which offers a variety of outdoor activities from archery to disc golf. A region near 24 Mile Road and Van Dyke road used to be known as “The Village of Disco”, so you might want to dance on over to Shelby Charter Township to find out the other amenities it offers.

26. West Valley, Utah

West Valley, also known as “Degla”, is the second biggest city in Utah with a population of 135,744. It is home to Maverick Center which served as the hockey venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics. As for culture, residents have the option of going to the Hale Center Theatre for family entertainment and even touring broadway plays. When the summer is hot, there is also the Seven Peaks Water Park which offers many ways to cool off and also is located near the Glendale Golf Course. Every family member’s interests can be satisfied in the West Valley.

25. Plymouth, Massachusetts

Since it was the first place the pilgrims landed, Plymouth is also referred to as America’s Hometown. Fans of US history can go to Plymouth Rock and stand where the Mayflower first reached shore. There is even a replica, Mayflower II, which teaches more about the trip to the US. The Plymouth Plantation also offers a live view of what life was like for the first settlers to this great land. As for recreation for its 58,705 residents, the state’s second biggest state forest, Myles Standish State Forest, contains over 16 lakes and plenty of places to camp and hike. There is also a natural beach in Ellisville Harbor State Park.

24. Fishers, Indiana

Fishers has a lot to offer its population of 88,724. For recreation, the Geist Reservoir is a perfect place for fishing, hiking, camping, and even boating. The area is also a hidden gem for any golfer who is looking to try less famous courses. As for bicycle enthusiasts, there are more than 85 miles available for use during the warm summer months. In addition, the two large annual fairs, the Fishers Freedom Festival and the Fishers Renaissance Faire show off food from the area and its resident’s playful side.

23. Howell Township, New Jersey

Howell Township is a place of architectural and natural beauty. Its 52,097 residents can enjoy nature in the Manasquan Reservoir which offers wildlife tours, hiking trails, fishing, and canoeing and welcomes 1 million visitors annually. As for architecture, the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral shows of the beauty of the Byzantine style. The Allaire State Park also provides antique trains that display the beauty of the industrial age.

22. Yorba Linda, California

Located 37 miles Southeast of Los Angeles, Yorba Linda really is a “Land of Gracious Living”. It is the birthplace of Richard Nixon and The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is just the place to learn more about our 37th president. Yorba Linda also is near the Santa Ana Mountains and the Chino Hills State Park is the ideal location to view their beauty. Its population of 68,698 can also enjoy the variety of stores and attractions at Savi Ranch.

21. Piscataway Township, New Jersey

Piscataway Township has a lot of history as it is the 5th oldest municipality in New Jersey. Its 59,622 residents can spend time at various museums from Cornelius Low House to the Metlar–Bodine House as well as viewing the historical houses on the Road Up Raritan Historic District. Johnson Park is the perfect place for any family especially if you enjoy sports, walks, and picnics. This “Proud Diversified Community” has plenty of options to choose from.

20. Mount Prospect, Illinois

Mount Prospect is located northwest of Chicago and is a place “Where Friendliness Is a Way of Life.” There are many locations where its 55,119 residents can go for a hike from Somme Prairie Grove to Ned Brown Forest Preserve. The city also has the 101,000 square foot Mount Prospect Library which has more than a million books in circulation. For movie fans, The Blues Brothers referenced the Mount Prospect Police Department as the place they purchased their car from at auction.

19. Carmel, Indiana

Carmel is a forward thinking city with “A Partnership for Tomorrow”. Located north of Indianapolis, its population of 88,511 can take advantage of its many biking opportunities from the Monon Greenway which goes right through Carmel City Center to participating in the Rollfast Gran Fondo. The city also boasts a newly built Japanese Garden south of their City Hall as well as the new Carmel Monon Community Center. The cities roundabouts prove that you will be able to arrive safely to all of these attractions.

18. Newton, Massachusetts

“The Garden City” of Newton Massachusetts is 7 miles away from Downtown Boston. Its 89,053 residents can enjoy views of the Boston skyline from the Chestnut Hill Reservoir as well as walk their dogs in Norumbega Park. The area also has a lot of history with the Jackson Homestead offering many historical artifacts on display. This location is so satisfying that the famous Fig Newton cookie was named after it.

17. Palatine, Illinois

“A Real Home Town” that is perfect for the family is Palatine. It’s population of 69,583 enjoys a recently revitalized downtown as well as Palatine park district which operates swimming pools throughout the region. The locals enjoy Streetface every August and has the ability to enjoy food from different vendors in Downtown Palatine. Those northwestern Chicago suburb has a lot to offer for the whole family.

16. Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Hoffman Estates is a city “Growing to Greatness” near Chicago with its 52,450 residents. It is home to Sears Holding Company as well as the Midwest headquarters of AT&T. The area has been expanding ever since the development of the Prairie Stone Business Park which has attracted many companies from Chicago. The Sears center provides various forms of entertainment from Chicago Slaughter soccer to touring musical acts.

15. Arlington Heights, Illinois

Arlington Heights is located 25 miles Northwest of Chicago with a population of 76,241. This “City of the Good Neighbors” contains the Arlington Park Race track which has held many events for the Breeders Cup. The residential development also holds a lot of restaurants serving a variety of dishes. Since it was one of the first commuter suburbs to Chicago, space is limited but business will constantly be growing.

14. Jackson Township, New Jersey

Jackson Township is a town of 56,815 residents that was named after Andrew Jackson. The township is home to 7 man made lakes including Success Lake in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area. If you come to Jackson Township, be sure to try the tallest roller coaster in the world Kingda Ka located at Six Flags Great Adventure. There are also on average 206 days of sun each year for you to enjoy these outdoor activities.

13. Rochester Hills, Michigan

Rochester Hills is a suburb of Detroit and boasts a population of 73,660. It is known for its Festival on the Hill which has the 2nd largest firework display in Michigan as well as games and entertainment. The Meadow Brook Amphitheatre also provides a source of entertainment for concert goers and comedy fans alike. Even Madonna spent some years of her life in Rochester Hills.

12. Parsippany- Troy Hills Township, New Jersey

Also referred to as Parsippany, this township’s land was shaped by the Wisconsin glacier, so there are many different landscapes for its 53,790 residents. The town was the producer of the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the NFL from 1967 to 2015 as well as now producing the Larry O’Brien Championship trophy for the NBA. If you enjoy the show “Seinfeld”, Jerry’s shoes ended up at a garage sale in Parsippany. However, Parsippany is only a short drive from New York City.

11. Ramapo Town, New York

Ramapo is a town that is made up of many villages with 90,683. It is home to Torne Brook Farm that was National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The citizens have many options for sports events from The Joseph T. St. Lawrence Community, Health, and Sports Complex to the Provident Bank Park. The 61.2 mile landlocked town is also home to the baseball team Rockland Builders which are a member of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball.

10. Aliso Viejo, California

Aliso Viejo is located in southern Orange County and has a population of 50,751. There is a diversity of businesses in the area from Pacific Life insurance to Ketel 1 vodka and AND1 sports attire as well as many software and semiconductor manufacturers. The city’s education prowess has been expanding with the new Soka University opening in 2001. Aliso Viejo is also home to 2012 London team gymnastic gold medal recipient Kyla Ross.

9. West Bloomfield Township, Michigan

West Bloomfield Township is located near Detroit with 66,274 residents. The land area contains about 10% water with Cass Lake being the largest lake in the area. There are many apple orchards in the area with one island aptly named Apple Island being covered with apple trees. Since the area has four distinct seasons, you will be able to enjoy West Bloomfield Township year round.

8. Middletown Township, New Jersey

Middletown Township was first settled in 1664 and has been growing ever since. With a population of 65,893, the town made it on Safewise’s 2016 list for 5th safest city for children. It contains many emergency services and has some of the largest in the area. Known as “the biggest small town in New Jersey”, it is home to many big name celebrities from Jon Bon Jovi to Geraldo Rivera. It is located on the water, so it is perfect for beachgoers and fishermen.

7. Flower Mound, Texas

Flower Mound is known as the largest town in Texas with a population of 70,894. Its proximity to Dallas (20 miles) makes it a perfect place for commuters. The town focuses on smart urban planning to keep its population satisfied with amenities such as expanding bike lanes. Flower Mound was named after the famous flower mound located in the center of the town.

6. Wheaton, Illinois

Wheaton is the first midwestern city on the list with 53,800 residents. It is 30 miles outside of Chicago and is home to over 45 churches. The city is famous of Wheaton College which is renowned for its liberal arts education. Other attractions in the area include the Cosley zoo and its 200+ animals. The downtown also includes the historic DuPage Courthouse.

5. Sammamish, Washington

The first city from the west coast on the list is Sammamish, Washington. This city on a plateau has a population of 52,365. It was named after Lake Sammamish; however, Beaver and Pine lake are the biggest lakes in the area. In fact, Beaver lake had a famous lifeguard teacher in the 1950s, Clint Eastwood. The city contains no major interstates within its limits but is a short commute to many big employers such as Costco and Microsoft.

4. Johns Creek, Georgia

Johns Creek has a total of 84,655 residents in 30.7 miles. Johns Creek has a long history as a major trading post dating back to the 19th century. In recent years, the city has become an efficient commuter city with its close proximity to Atlanta. This area is also home to the Atlanta Athletic Club which was the home of the 2011 PGA Championship. Johns Creek also has the only professional orchestra, the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra.

3. Weston, Florida

The third place finisher is Weston, Florida. Its eastern side is bordered with the Everglades and its highway I75 has an area aptly named Alligator Alley. The warm climate of the region has attracted many famous athletes to the region including Dan Marino, Bartolo Colon, and Manny Ramirez. The affluent city was developed by the same realty company as Walt Disney World so expect a lot of sources of entertainment in the Weston Town Center.

2. Greenwich, Connecticut

The runner up is Greenwich, Connecticut. With a population of 62,942, this city boasts some well known companies including Blue Sky Studios, the creators of the famous movie franchise Ice Age. This city is perfect for commuters because of its proximity to New York City. It takes commuters less than one hour to get to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. There are also many islands located near Greenwich including Calf Island which has a bird sanctuary.

1. Thornton, Colorado

Coming in at number one is Thornton, Colorado. Located in the northeastern Denver metropolitan area, this city is an ideal location for anyone who enjoys nature and wants to be close to the city. The city contains over 80 miles of trails for hiking and bird watching. Thornton has also has a young median age of 32, so it is a good place for any young family. Its growing population of 136,703 means that there will be many great things to come for current and future residents.

Methodology

We reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 50,000. The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery), property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft), and officer count. Note that these variables were weighted, with violent crimes accounting for the majority of the total due to their severity.

 StateCityPopulationViolent
crimes
Property
crimes
1COLORADOThornton133,1883253,373
2CONNECTICUTGreenwich62,94211403
3FLORIDAWeston70,02226435
4GEORGIAJohns Creek84,65533542
5WASHINGTONSammamish52,36512392
6ILLINOISWheaton53,80023388
7TEXASFlower Mound70,89434506
8NEW JERSEYMiddletown Township65,89325497
9MICHIGANWest Bloomfield Township66,27451453
10CALIFORNIAAliso Viejo50,75132363
11NEW YORKRamapo Town90,68378620
12NEW JERSEYParsippany-Troy Hills Township53,79034393
13MICHIGANRochester Hills73,66025579
14NEW JERSEYJackson Township56,81533459
15ILLINOISArlington Heights76,24142648
16ILLINOISHoffman Estates52,45039428
17ILLINOISPalatine69,58336603
18MASSACHUSETTSNewton89,05374738
19INDIANACarmel88,51113874
20ILLINOISMount Prospect55,11937502
21NEW JERSEYPiscataway Township59,62243545
22CALIFORNIAYorba Linda68,69839650
23NEW JERSEYHowell Township52,09746486
24INDIANAFishers88,72421942
25MASSACHUSETTSPlymouth58,705124413
26UTAHWest Valley135,7447665,828
27MICHIGANShelby Township77,63689701
28PENNSYLVANIAYork Area Regional55,02076479
29PENNSYLVANIANorthern York Regional68,47071647
30CALIFORNIAPoway50,32744512
31CALIFORNIALaguna Niguel66,03549691
32PENNSYLVANIAState College57,71027640
33COLORADOParker51,01755514
34TEXASAllen96,642801,041
35ILLINOISDes Plaines59,07850635
36CALIFORNIASan Ramon76,08127895
37UTAHLehi58,52650644
38MICHIGANRoyal Oak59,53552661
39CALIFORNIAMission Viejo98,217861,090
40NORTH CAROLINACary160,291811,902
41ILLINOISNaperville147,1011281,652
42MINNESOTALakeville60,84623746
43MISSOURIO'Fallon85,063551,017
44MICHIGANFarmington Hills81,86275935
45IDAHOMeridian91,077971,055
46ILLINOISTinley Park57,40355678
47NEW JERSEYEdison Township102,2811041,215
48MICHIGANNovi59,23331762
49CALIFORNIALake Forest80,798109908
50MASSACHUSETTSPeabody52,650156425
51MARYLANDBowie58,30466686
52NEW JERSEYNorth Bergen Township62,928116658
53NEW JERSEYFranklin Township, Somerset County66,83164818
54CALIFORNIASan Clemente65,75579771
55NEW JERSEYOld Bridge Township67,29843867
56NEW JERSEYBrick Township76,09776930
57CALIFORNIAThousand Oaks129,9761361,577
58MICHIGANWaterford Township73,500102848
59COLORADOCentennial108,8461371,304
60CALIFORNIASimi Valley127,4721741,513
61ARIZONAGilbert247,3241773,267
62MASSACHUSETTSWaltham63,590111713
63NEW JERSEYLakewood Township95,7431701,076
64OHIOParma79,655791,027
65MICHIGANCanton Township89,6281191,097
66MINNESOTAPlymouth76,192601,029
67TEXASGeorgetown62,26487770
68CALIFORNIAChino Hills77,515701,073
69NORTH DAKOTABismarck70,873104924
70CONNECTICUTFairfield61,76221945
71MINNESOTAEden Prairie63,83533955
72CALIFORNIAIrvine258,1981443,868
73CALIFORNIADiamond Bar57,08558804
74IOWAAnkeny55,984124666
75COLORADOCastle Rock57,69946854
76NEW JERSEYBayonne66,582161781
77FLORIDAPort St. Lucie176,3642602,406
78MINNESOTAMaple Grove68,297421,055
79ILLINOISOak Lawn57,11271816
80CALIFORNIAMurrieta109,495691,700
81MICHIGANSt. Clair Shores60,116129756
82MASSACHUSETTSMedford57,742107761
83NEW JERSEYWest New York53,207135630
84MICHIGANSterling Heights132,2552331,776
85TEXASCedar Park66,724109916
86ILLINOISBolingbrook74,356136991
87CALIFORNIAPlacentia52,75376746
88CALIFORNIAEastvale57,80840904
89TEXASMansfield63,68458972
90CALIFORNIASanta Clarita211,1323512,925
91PENNSYLVANIAMillcreek Township54,12350834
92FLORIDANorth Port61,148101856
93VIRGINIALeesburg51,25484722
94CALIFORNIACupertino61,16263935
95NEW JERSEYUnion Township58,00582846
96TEXASFrisco152,6781392,379
97CALIFORNIAFolsom76,183711,185
98TEXASPflugerville56,24076831
99CALIFORNIASunnyvale152,4431582,355
100NEW YORKAmherst Town120,2071161,916

6 Top 100 Safest Colleges in America 2017

When choosing a college, key factors across the board (for both students and parents) tend to include cost, financial aid candidacy, reputation, location, and campus life. Weighing these variables have always made choosing a college a stressful decision, but this year it's been especially difficult. 

According to The Princeton Review's 2017 College Hopes & Worries Survey, anxiety levels about college admissions are up this year. 76% of respondents reported high levels of stress— 4% more than last year's survey respondents -- and 20% more than in the survey's initial year, 2003. The rising cost of college may have contributed to the stress as 98% of the respondents said financial aid would be necessary to pay for college and 65% deemed it "Extremely Necessary."

Another factor that popped back into people's minds this year -- campus safety. It's unfortunate that this is an issue (like tuition costs), but since it's not as prominent (and we hope it stays that way) we've compiled a list of what we believe are 2017's safest. 

We created this ranking using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. We assessed more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities. Top-ranked colleges boast low overall crime rates (off campus) and maintain safe campuses with little or no crime. Those that did not have crime information listed were excluded.  More information about our methodology can be found here.​

100. University of Georgia

ATHENS, GEORGIA

"Chartered by the state of Georgia in 1785, the University of Georgia tackles some of the world’s grand challenges — from combating infectious disease and securing the world’s food supply to advancing economic growth and analyzing the environment. As Georgia’s flagship institution, the university is recognized for its commitment to student excellence... Students have earned more than 50 Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and other prestigious national academic scholarships over just the past decade."

99. University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh has been rebounding economically for years, becoming a startup and robotics hub, as well as a testing ground for driverless cars. University of Pittsburgh students are in prime position to take advantage of this, and there are 28,649 of them enrolled at the university.

98. University of Texas, Arlington

ARLINGTON, TEXAS

A Division I athletic school and a member of the Sun Belt Conference, the University of Texas at Arlington is located adjacent to downtown Arlington and enrolls 41,888 students. The university is the third largest producer of college graduates in Texas and offers 85 baccalaureate, 71 masters, and 29 doctoral degrees.

97. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

PARADISE, NEVADA

Located in the Vegas suburb of Paradise on a 332-acre land grant and just about 1.6 miles east of the Las Vegas Strip, UNLV is attended by 28,600 students. It boasts the only dental school in the state. 

96. College of Southern Nevada

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Attended by 33,313 students, the College of Southern Nevada is located southeast of Las Vegas in Henderson. It’s primarily a two-year college, but offers four-year degrees in concentrations such as dental hygiene and respiratory science.  

95. University of Chicago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Originally founded with the help of oil tycoon and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious universities in the country. It’s known for its economics program and beautiful campus.

94. University of Illinois at Chicago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

A large public university located in the University Village and Little Italy neighborhoods of Chicago, UIC is attended by 29,048 students, many of whom commute. It offers easy access to downtown.  

93. DePaul University

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Crosstown rival to Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University enrolls 23,539 students and also happens to be the largest catholic university in the country. Its campus is located in the upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood, and it also has a downtown campus in the Loop.

92. Loyola University

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

The largest Jesuit university in the country, Loyola University Chicago enrolls 16,437 students and occupies a scenic stretch along Lake Michigan in the city of Chicago. It also has a downtown campus in the Gold Coast.  

91. DeVry University

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

DeVry University has nine different campuses across Illinois, but is headquartered in Downers Grove. It’s a for-profit college that enrolls 22,273 students.

#90 - #81

90. Middle Tennessee State University

MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE

Also known as MTSU or MT, Middle Tennessee State University was originally founded in 1911 as a normal school, but nowadays its graduates are anything but — MTSU is most prominently known for its Recording Industry, Aerospace, and Music programs. There are more than 80 majors/degree programs through more than 35 departments.

89. University of Nevada, Reno

RENO, NEVADA

The University of Nevada, Reno was founded in 1874 as the State University of Nevada in Elko, Nevada (about 300 miles northeast of where it is today). However, this site proved to be impractical, as nearly half of the state’s residents lived in the Reno-Carson City area. In 1885, the legislature approved the move to Reno. Today, location is the last thing this campus has to worry about. Nevada researchers are at the forefront nationally in a wide range of civil engineering, earthquake and large-scale structures testing and modeling. 

88. University of California, Riverside

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA

Ranked as one of the most economically and ethnically diverse universities in the country, University of California, Riverside is spread out over 1,900 acres. It was the first university in the country to offer a gender-neutral housing option.

87. Full Sail University

WINTER PARK, FLORIDA

A for-profit college located in unincorporated Orange County, Full Sail University offers programs in film, audio, design, business, and computer animation. 20,025 students attend the school, though it’s unsure how many thought they were applying to a sailing school.

86. Southern Illinois University

CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS

Located in Carbondale (population 26,321) Southern Illinois University enrolls 17,292 students and has a respected graduate program in American philosophy. There are more than 220,000 graduates of the university.

85. University of Nebraska, Lincoln

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

The University of Nebraska is the state’s oldest university and the largest. The “Nebraska method” of ecological study was developed here, pioneering grassland ecology and the foundation for research in theoretical ecology. Their football team has won 46 conference championships and five national championships. Selling out every football game since 1962, its stadium can hold about 92,000 people, larger than the population of Nebraska’s third-largest city (Bellevue).

84. Eastern Kentucky University

RICHMOND, KENTUCKY

Situated near the heart of the bluegrass, Eastern Kentucky University is about 26 miles southeast of Lexington, Kentucky. A “regional, coeducational, public institution of higher education offering general and liberal arts programs, pre-professional and professional training in education and various other fields at both the undergraduate and graduate levels”, EKU also offers a few notable traditions like rubbing the statue of Daniel Boone’s left foot for good luck.

83. Oklahoma State University

STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA

Originally known as Oklahoma A&M, Oklahoma State University boasts “America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration” along with a history that rivals any story that begins with, “When I was your age.” For 2.5 years, its first classes were held in local churches. One of the earliest campus buildings was also a barn. The first Library was one room shared with the English Department. The first building to have electricity was constructed in 1900. With its turreted architecture it was referred to as the “Castle of the Prairies” and remained standing until 1969. 

82. Georgia Southern University

STATESBORO, GEORGIA

Georgia Southern University is the state’s largest and most comprehensive center of higher education south of Atlanta. With 119 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, Georgia Southern has been designated a Carnegie Doctoral-Research university and provides the classic residential campus experience plus online learning options to nearly 20,673 students.

81. Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA

Home to one of the most scenic campuses in the Midwest, Indiana University resides in a forested, hilly area that’s common in the southern part of the state. All year, students look forward to Little 500, a massive bicycle race.

#80 - #71



80. California State University, Long Beach

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

California State University, Long Beach is the third largest campus of the 23-school California State University system. The campus spans 323 acres and is located 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It even has its own ZIP Code (90840). Campus architecture is mostly of the International style and very minimalist, placing emphasis on landscaping. This naturalistic, park-like layout has earned numerous design awards, as well as other awards from gardening societies.

79. University of Missouri

COLUMBIA, MISSOURI

Mizzou, or the University of Missouri, or MU, is one of only 60 public and private U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. It’s also one of 6 nationwide that can claim a medical school, veterinary medicine college, and a law school on the same campus, of which is also designated a botanic garden with over 42,000 plants and trees across 1,262-acres.



78. University of Illinois

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS

Drive about three hours south of Chicago, and you’ll arrive at U of I, which is known as the state’s best public university. It’s attended by 45,842 students, and also boasts the largest Greek system in the country.

77. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

POMONA, CALIFORNIA

One of two polytechnics in the California State University system, Cal Poly Pomona was established in 1938 and today offers bachelor’s degrees in 94 different majors.

76. South Texas College

MCALLEN, TEXAS 

A public community college in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas College has a diverse student body that numbers 34,371. More than 60% of students are the first in their family to attend college.

75. University of California, Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA 

Located in beautiful Santa Barbara in southern California, UCSB is spread out over a sprawling campus that spans 1,0554 acres. Notable alumni include Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas.



74. University of Hawaii at Manoa

HONOLULU, HAWAII 

If it’s sun and surf that you want, it’s hard to beat the University of Hawaii at Manoa for a good time (and a good education). The school was established in 1907 and enrolls 18,865 students.

73. University of Miami

CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA

Located in sunny Coral Gables, the University of Miami is a favorite of football fans and beachgoers. With more than 14,000 faculty members and staff, it’s one of the largest employers in the Miami-Dade metro area.

72. Clemson University

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Clemson University consists of seven colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Business; Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences; Education; Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; and Science. Its 1,400 acre campus is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and next to Lake Hartwell. The university manages the nearby 17,500 acre Clemson Experimental Forest that is used for research, education, and recreation.



71. California State University, East Bay

HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA

Located in the Bay Area city of Hayward, California State University, East Bay is a public university that’s part of the California State University system. It’s the most diverse college in California, and the fifth most diverse in the country.

#70 - #61

70. Texas State University

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS

Texas State University is located in San Marcos, a city of 62,919 residents that’s located practically midway between San Antonio and Austin. It’s the fifth-biggest university in the state, attended by 37,979 students.

69. University of Wisconsin

MADISON, WISCONSIN

The University of Wisconsin, Madison is one of America’s Public Ivy universities, founding member of the Association of American Universities, and a Doctoral University with the Highest Research Activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. It’s influenced by “the Wisconsin Idea”, which states that the “boundaries of the university should be the boundaries of the state, and that the research conducted at UW–Madison should be applied to solve problems and improve health, quality of life, the environment, and agriculture for all citizens of the state.”



68. Madison Area Technical College

MADISON, WISCONSIN

Madison Area Technical College offers more than 175 associate degrees and technical diploma programs, as well as trade apprenticeships and other certifications. In response to the Great Depression, it created non-credit, continuing education courses in artisan crafts, such as millinery, woodworking, and chair-caning. During the 1942-43 academic year, courses met on the third shift to teach skills needed for wartime manufacturing jobs.

67. Northeastern University

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

One of several notable universities in the Boston area, Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and enrolls 19,940 students. It also offers a comprehensive study abroad program and access to professional experience on seven continents.

66. Boston University

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Not to be confused with Boston College, Boston University is located on the shore of the Charles River, where some of the country’s best collegiate rowing teams practice. It’s attended by 32,158 students, and is one of the city’s biggest employers.

65. Northern Illinois University

DEKALB, ILLINOIS

Home of the Huskies, Northern Illinois University is located in the city of Dekalb, which has 44,046 residents. The university is attended by 20,130 students and boasts more than 240,000 alumni

64. California State University, Fullerton

FULLERTON, CALIFORNIA

The largest university in the 23-campus California State University system, California State University, Fullerton enrolls 38,948 students. It’s located just north of Anaheim and southwest of Los Angeles.

63. University of Massachusetts Boston

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Also known as UMASS Boston, the University of Massachusetts Boston primarily draws students from Massachusetts and is the only public university in Boston.

62. University of California, Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Commonly referred to as UCLA, the University of California-Los Angeles is nearly as selective as the University of Southern California. It enrolls 44,947 students but accepts only 18%.

61. University of Southern California

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Located on the southwest side of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California is one of the most selective schools around, enrolling 43,401 students but accepting only 16.5% of applications.

#60 - #51

60. California State University, Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Commonly known as Cal State LA, this university is located on the east side of Los Angeles and enrolls 27,680 students. It’s a Hispanic-serving institution, offering 129 Bachelor’s degrees and 112 Master’s degrees.

59. Rutgers University

NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY

Rutgers has been around for a while—in fact, it’s ten years older than America (founded in 1766). Rutgers has a strong reputation as a public research university, and is located right on the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia.

58. University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, IOWA

Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state and enrolls 30,844 students. The Iowa campus spans 1,700 acres centered along the banks of the Iowa River and includes the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, named one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for the 25th year in a row. The university was the original developer of the Master of Fine Arts degree and home to the world-renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

57. Oregon State University

CORVALLIS, OREGON

Oregon State University owes a lot to Corvallis area Freemasons as they played an important role in developing the early school. You might notice that several large campus buildings are named after these once mysterious founding fathers. Possibly related, OSU is a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant institution. Only two (Cornell being the other) have all four designations. 



56. University of South Florida

TAMPA, FLORIDA

Known as a top research university, the University of South Florida enrolls 42,067 students and offers more than 80 undergraduate majors. It’s also a top 10 school in terms of patents granted by the Intellectual Property Owners Association. As a bonus, students enjoy plenty of sun and beaches in Tampa.

55. University of Colorado, Boulder

BOULDER, COLORADO

The University of Colorado, Boulder has nine colleges and schools, offers over 150 academic programs, and enrolls around 33,000 students. It’s able to boast 12 Nobel Laureates, nine MacArthur Fellows, and 20 astronauts as students, researchers, or faculty members. It has received millions in sponsored research to fund programs like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and JILA.



54. Montana State University

BOZEMAN, MONTANA

Located between Yellowstone National Park and some of the biggest skiing in America, Montana State University opened its doors to five male and three female students. Today, its doors open to roughly 15,000 students and that number is growing in record numbers. It’s among the top 3% of colleges and universities for research expenditures, and classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an institution with a high undergraduate profile (undergraduates get research opportunities reserved for graduate students at other schools). 

53. University of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA

The University of Virginia, or simply, Virginia, was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Its known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies. It’s also the first and only collegiate UNESCO World Heritage Site.



52. Auburn University

AUBURN, ALABAMA

Auburn University offers 13 schools and colleges and its architecture, pharmacy, veterinary science, engineering, forestry, and business programs have been ranked among the best in the country. With a population of 60,000, the town of Auburn is a friendly one that sits in the rolling hills of east central Alabama. Alabama’s Gulf Shores can be reached in four hours. 

51. San Jose State University

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA

Located in some coveted real estate, San Jose State University is basically in the backyard of Silicon Valley, giving its graduates access to some of the world’s most high-tech companies. It’s also a pretty big school, with 32,773 students.

#50 - #41

50. University of California, Davis

DAVIS, CALIFORNIA

One of the 10 campuses in the University of California system, UC-Davis enrolls 35,186 students, giving it the third-largest enrollment in the system after UC Berkeley and UCLA.

49. Colorado State University

FORT COLLINS, COLORADO

Colorado State University is an hour away from Denver (one of the fastest growing cities in the country) in Fort Collins, a beautiful city with access to the best mountains and recreation in the nation. With 300 days of sunshine and 315 miles of trails along the Colorado Front Range you’ll want to live in this college town forever. 



48. Harvard University

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

Would “It’s Harvard” be enough of an explanation? Harvard is one of the world’s most prestigious private Ivy League research universities. Established in 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, its also known for its history, influence, and wealth — and now you can include safety to the list. 

47. University of North Texas

DENTON, TEXAS

Also located in Denton is the University of North Texas, which enrolls 37,299 students and offers 34 doctoral degree programs. Each year, the city’s 35 Denton Music Festival attracts approximately 300,000 visitors.

46. Texas Woman's University

DENTON, TEXAS

Located in the city of Denton, Texas Woman’s University is one of the few schools in the state not affiliated with its public university system. It also boasts the largest nursing doctoral program in the United States.

45. Boise State University

BOISE, IDAHO

Boise State University is made up of 20,000 students who are proud to call it home. In addition to a quality education, Boise state offers students plenty of groups and extracurriculars from Treefort (a five-day DIY music festival) to tech (Hackfort), medicine to sports (Taco Bell Arena).



44. Florida Atlantic University

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA

Florida Atlantic University has five different satellite campuses, but its main campus is located in Boca Raton, Florida, a town of 92,932 residents. More than 180 undergraduate and graduate programs are offered at the university.

43. James Madison University

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA

James Madison University is located in the Shenandoah Valley which is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains and to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians. Its student body has been recognized as one of 81 schools in America “with a conscience”, second in the nation in the number of Peace Corps volunteers, and 20th happiest in the nation. 

42. Sam Houston State University

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS

The third-oldest public university in Texas, Sam Houston State University enrolls 20,031 students and is located about an hour north of Houston. The city of Huntsville is home to the university, which takes up about 316 acres in its center.

41. Northwestern University

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS

Northwestern University‘s main campus sits along the shores of Lake Michigan 12 miles north of downtown Chicago in Evanston. In total, there are a dozen colleges and schools across three campuses: 240-acres in Evanston, a 25-acre campus in Chicago and a third campus in Doha, Qatar. Northwestern is recognized nationally and internationally for its educational programs including the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, the Pritzker School of Law, and the Kellogg School of Management. 

#40 - #31

40. University of Massachusetts, Lowell

LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

University of Massachusetts, Lowell is located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community, offering more than 17,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in six colleges. They’re students are more successful than ever thanks to accredited programs, a focus on hands-on learning, and personal attention from accomplished faculty and dedicated staff. 

39. Texas A&M University

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

Texas A&M University boasts more than 450,000 alumni, one of the 10 largest endowments in the country, and is home to the George Bush Presidential Library. The system’s endowment ranks in the top 10 in the nation.

38. Rowan University

GLASSBORO, NEW JERSEY

Known as one of the best public universities in the Northeast, Rowan University enrolls 16,155 students and is located in Glassboro, New Jersey—a safe town of 19,087 residents. Rowan University is the alma mater of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Patti Smith.

37. Miami University, Oxford

OXFORD, OHIO

Miami University, (also referred to as Miami of Ohio or simply Miami) is located on a 2,138-acre campus in Oxford, Ohio, 35 miles north of Cincinnati. Founded in 1809, although classes were not held until 1824, Miami University is the 10th oldest public university and 32nd oldest higher education institution in the United States.

36. San Diego State University

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

In addition to offering plenty of sun and fantastic beaches, San Diego is also a pretty safe place to go to school. Enrolling 34,254 students, San Diego State University is so appealing it can only accept 33% of applicants.

35. Liberty University

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA

Liberty University is a private, non-profit Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. Founded in 1971 in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty has grown from a small college of 154 students into the nation’s fifth largest university and the largest Christian university in the world. Preparing students to be doctors, educators, ministers, lawyers, aviators, counselors, engineers, and more.

34. West Virginia University

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia University is home to roughly 30,000 students and offers 191 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degree programs in 15 colleges. WVU has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, 36 Goldwater Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars, and five members of USA Today‘s “All‑USA College Academic First Team.”

33. Illinois State University

NORMAL, ILLINOIS

As the oldest public university in the state, Illinois State University was established in 1857 and today enrolls 20,760 students. It’s a very large campus, spread out over approximately 1,000 acres and quite safe to boot.

32. Utah Valley University

OREM, UTAH

Utah Valley University is located near the Wasatch Mountains, in Orem. Students choose UVU for its ideal location while others come for access to a dynamic economy, employment, and career opportunities. Known for its high moral climate, campus is recognized as one of the safest colleges in the country and is home to the largest LDS Institute program in the world. Within 20 miles, students enjoy winter sports, hiking, mountain biking, water recreation and more.

31. University of Texas, El Paso

EL PASO, TEXAS

Not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin or the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at El Paso was originally founded as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1914. Students enjoy access to nearby Franklin Mountains State Park, and Mexico is found just on the other side of the Rio Grande River.

#30 - #21

30. SUNY, Binghamton

VESTAL, NEW YORK

Vestal, New York is a city of 28,294 residents, and is also home to the State University of New York at Binghamton, which enrolls 16,913 students.

29. University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN

Known for its passionate sports fans and for being one of the best state colleges in the country, the University of Michigan is located in the charming town of Ann Arbor, which has 118,730 residents. Locals. When in town, catch a football game and grab a sandwich at Zingerman’s.

28. West Chester University

WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA

One of the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, West Chester University is located on the eastern side of the state, just outside Philadelphia. It enrolls 16,597 students and was established in 1871.

27. Bowling Green State University

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO

Bowling Green State University was established in 1910 to educate teachers and now offers over 200 undergraduate programs to around 19,000 students. Its a campus in a park-like setting and Bowling Green (population 30,028) is within easy driving distance of major Midwest cities and the Toledo airport.

26. University of Delaware

NEWARK, DELAWARE

University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware. It enrolls approximately 18,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students.  UD’s programs in engineering, science, business, hospitality management, education, urban affairs, and public policy have been highly ranked. It’s one of four schools in North America with a major in art conservation. UD was the first American university to offer a study abroad program.

25. Brigham Young University

PROVO, UTAH

Brigham Young University, or BYU, is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and is the largest religious university and the third largest private university in the United States, with 29,672 on-campus students, 99% of which are members of the LDS Church.

24. Chamberlain College of Nursing

ADDISON, ILLINOIS

The city of Addison, located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, is home to the Chamberlain College of Nursing-Illinois. Home to 23,250 residents, it’s a safe place to go school, and draws many commuter students from the surrounding area.

23. University of Texas, Dallas

RICHARDSON, TEXAS

About a 30-minute drive north of Dallas, you’ll find the University of Texas at Dallas. It enrolls 24,554 students and offers 33 different undergraduate and graduate certificates.

22. Columbia University

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Established in 1754 and located in Manhattan, New York City, Columbia University is an Ivy League school that enjoys a stellar reputation. Good luck getting accepted—it accepts only 6% of applicants.

21. Ohio University

ATHENS, OHIO

Chartered in 1787 and approved in 1804, Ohio University is one of America’s oldest universities and the oldest in Ohio. It has about 30,000 students. Known as a public ivy, one of the most beautiful residential campuses in America, and “Harvard on the Hocking,” the main campus is located in Athens on the Hocking River and is the quintessential residential University. The original architectural style is evident in the campus’ oldest buildings located around the College Green, and reflected throughout the entire storybook campus. 

#20 - #11

20. New York University

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

One of the most prestigious schools in the country, New York University enrolls 50,027 students, yet accepts only 33% of applicants. And while it may not seem like it, New York happens to be a safe place to go to school.

19. CUNY City College

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Located in Harlem, New York City, The City College of New York can be found just up the street from Columbia University. Its claim to fame is having graduated more Nobel Prize winners than any other public university in the country.

18. Iowa State University

AMES, IOWA

While the town of Ames, Iowa has a population of 64,383 residents, Iowa State University enrolls 35,714 students, ensuring that Ames is quite the college town.

17. CUNY Hunter College

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

There are 22,918 students enrolled at Hunter College, which is also part of the City University of New York system, and can be found a short distance uptown from Baruch College.

16. CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Located on the island of Manhattan in New York City, CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College enrolls 18,433 students. Part of the City University of New York system, the college offers three schools: business, arts and sciences, and public and international affairs.

15. Appalachian State University

BOONE, NORTH CAROLINA

Appalachian State University is located along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, North Carolina and has one of the highest elevations (3,333 feet) of any university in the United States east of the Mississippi River. The campus sprawls across 1,300 acres and houses about 20,000 students, while downtown Boone is home to 13,328 residents.

14. Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA

Purdue University is well known for its competitive engineering curricula and pioneering aviation. It was the first college to offer credit in flight training, the first to offer a bachelor’s in aviation, and the first to build a university airport. Purdue’s aviation technology and aeronautical engineering programs are the most competitive aviation-specific programs in the world. When it expanded to spaceflight technology it earned the nickname, Cradle of Astronauts. In fact, 23 graduates have gone on to become astronauts, including Gus Grissom, Neil Armstrong, and Eugene Cernan.

13. Utah State University

LOGAN, UTAH

Utah State University‘s main campus is in Logan with regional campuses in 28 other locations throughout Utah. No matter what the location, students are safe and in good company. USU has produced 7 Rhodes Scholars,1 Nobel Prize winner,1 MacArthur Fellows program inductee,4 recipients of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, and 34 recipients of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.A professor from the university has been named Utah’s sole Carnegie Professor of the year 14 of the last 20 years.

12. George Mason University

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA

George Mason University is recognized for its programs in economics, law, creative writing, computer science, and business. Its faculty have twice won the Nobel Prize in Economics. The university is home to 34,904 students, the largest university by head count in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

11. Kent State University

KENT, OHIO

Wedged between Akron and Cleveland, Kent State University may not be the most famous school in Ohio, but it is the safest. Kent State University enrolls 30,067 students, which just about matches the entire population of the city of Kent.

#10 - #1

10. Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is one of the biggest schools around, enrolling 50,538 students. The 1945 G.I. Bill helped expand the school, and despite its size, it remains one of the safest in the country.

9. University of Central Oklahoma

EDMOND, OKLAHOMA

The University of Central Oklahoma has consistently been recognized as having one of the best education programs in the Southwest and certainly gives Texas a run for its money. Its Department of Physics is ranked among the top 20 in the nation along with the UCO Debaters. Its Nursing program, Music Jazz Division, and College of Education are some of the largest in the state and nation. 

8. Montclair State University

MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY

Located in northeastern New Jersey, Montclair State University is only about a 30-minute drive from Manhattan—though it may feel like a world away.  It’s a large school with 20,465 students, yet the town of Montclair, New Jersey remains the safest college town in America. Fun fact: Yankee legend Yogi Berra attended school here.

7. University of California, Irvine

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA

Founded in 1965, the University of California, Irvine is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy.

6. Central Michigan University

MOUNT PLEASANT, MICHIGAN

Central Michigan University boasts a neuroscience program ranked first in the nation by the Society for Neuroscience which pairs nicely with its recent-ish establishment of the College of Medicine (opened fall 2013, 137th in the nation). CMU is one of the nation’s 100 largest public universities with over 20,000 students claiming its Mount Pleasant campus as home.

5. Washington State University

PULLMAN, WASHINGTON

Washington State University, or Wazzu, is well known for its programs in chemical engineering, veterinary medicine, agriculture, pharmacy, neuroscience, food science, plant science, mathematics, business, architecture, and communications. The Palouse region is defined by unique rolling hills that were created by wind-blown soil, of which supports one of the world’s most productive dry-land agricultural regions. Evenings are often highlighted by a spectacular blue-pink sunset, which the first Board of Regents decided to use as the college’s colors (later changed to the current crimson and gray colors).

4. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS

University of Massachusetts, Amherst is, to quote the Chancellor, a “research powerhouse that touches—and often transforms—communities in the state and around the world.” One of only five “Research 1” universities in Massachusetts (the highest designation attainable) it’s also the only public institution on the list. Among all Massachusetts universities—public and private—UMass Amherst is the third largest recipient of research funding from the National Science Foundation.

3. Oakland University

ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN

Oakland University offers 270 degree and certificate programs with over 20,000 students currently enrolled. The 1,443 acre campus spans two thriving cities, Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills, in southeast Michigan. Students conduct research as early as their freshman year, gain global perspectives studying abroad, compete in Division I athletics, lead student orgs, perform on stage and learn without limits.

2. Brigham Young University, Idaho

REXBURG, IDAHO

Once known as Ricks College and now known as Brigham Young University, Idaho, the university is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). A good rationale for its high safety ranking could be that students are required to follow an honor code in line with LDS teachings. The school offers a “three-track” system, admitting students on a specific track of two semesters (including the Spring semester), rather than the standard fall and winter semesters. 

1. University of New Hampshire

DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Located in Durham, the University of New Hampshire is attended by 15,351 students and is the largest university in the state. The Durham campus is composed of six colleges and is located in the Seacoast region of the state.


More information about our methodology can be found here.

How We Chose America’s Safest Colleges, 2017

Definition

We created this ranking using the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Center for Education Statistics. Top-ranked college towns boast low overall crime rates and offer safe campuses with little or no campus crime. Those colleges and towns that did not have crime information listed were excluded. We assessed a total of 2,167 four-year colleges and universities. For the sake of this list, a college is considered any accredited public, private, or not-for-profit institution that offers four-year degree programs. 

Population Threshold

We determined an appropriate student population threshold for each campus and only reported on those above 15,000. Many colleges have multiple campuses/buildings in the same town (ex. Auburn University) while others are in different areas of the country (ex. American National University - 10 campuses). Since most in the latter category are smaller in institution size, we chose to aggregate their populations and campus crime statistics. While this helped keep local crime data to one town, it meant that  a few would still appear on the list more than once due to multiple sets of campus crime data.

Weighting

Criminal crimes include Murder/Non-negligent Manslaughter, Negligent Manslaughter, Rape, Fondling, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Arson. They account for 22.5% (7.5% for Non-campus, Housing, and On Campus) of the total.

VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) crimes include Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking. They account for 22.5% (7.5% for Non-campus, Housing, and On Campus) of the total.

Arrests include Illegal Weapons Possession, Drug Law Violations and Liquor Law Violations. They account for 5% (1.67% for Non-campus, Housing, and On Campus) of the total.

Local crimes account for 50% of the total.

College Total Incidents

Institution nameCityStateInstitution SizeLocal PopulationArrests NoncampusArrests Campus HousingArrests On CampusCriminal NoncampusCriminal Campus HousingCriminal On CampusVAWA NoncampusVAWA Student HousingVAWA On CampusTotal
University of New Hampshire-Main CampusDurhamNew Hampshire 15,351 16,052 12634173346101938836
Brigham Young University-IdahoRexburgIdaho 43,803 27,499 017170212106688
Oakland UniversityRochester HillsMichigan 20,261 73,660 1071873112061322243
University of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherstMassachusetts 29,269 40,047 45172112333348263
Washington State UniversityPullmanWashington 29,686 32,174 71220235355611221381
Central Michigan UniversityMount PleasantMichigan 26,825 25,959 10993193401115182
University of California-IrvineIrvineCalifornia 30,836 258,198 223086212202459309
Montclair State UniversityMontclairNew Jersey 20,465 38,192 0841160193101923292
University of Central OklahomaEdmondOklahoma 16,910 90,418 01525041026870
Michigan State UniversityEast LansingMichigan 50,538 48,668 01947532393144132481288
Kent State University at KentKentOhio 30,067 29,831 141492382102001323469
George Mason UniversityFairfaxVirginia 33,929 24,911 242902304902669310
Utah State UniversityLoganUtah 28,622 49,145 14762061211017156
Purdue University-Main CampusWest LafayetteIndiana 40,472 32,758 214120035336012125518
Appalachian State UniversityBooneNorth Carolina 17,932 18,394 1016420921117035421
CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeNew YorkNew York 18,433 8,550,861 0020000013
CUNY Hunter CollegeNew YorkNew York 22,918 8,550,861 00300401210
Iowa State UniversityAmesIowa 35,714 64,383 68427221284123569558
CUNY City CollegeNew YorkNew York 15,778 8,550,861 0716026031044
New York UniversityNew YorkNew York 50,027 8,550,861 00021123085985
Ohio University-Main CampusAthensOhio 29,157 23,960 01223193284802131572
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkNew York 28,086 8,550,861 012011411846110
The University of Texas at DallasRichardsonTexas 24,554 111,008 044460710056118
Chamberlain College of Nursing-IllinoisAddisonIllinois 23,250 37,370 0000020002
Brigham Young University-ProvoProvoUtah 33,469 115,294 033811002835
University of DelawareNewarkDelaware 22,852 33,392 04096021380710212
Bowling Green State University-Main CampusBowling GreenOhio 16,908 31,878 0961970233001420380
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterPennsylvania 16,597 19,374 02364120121701321711
University of Michigan-Ann ArborAnn ArborMichigan 43,651 118,730 1913327829217021560627
SUNY at BinghamtonVestalNew York 16,913 28,294 03780020220811178
The University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoTexas 23,397 686,077 010130941021590
Utah Valley UniversityOremUtah 33,211 92,577 001300310522
Illinois State UniversityNormalIllinois 20,760 55,096 21952574305202328591
West Virginia UniversityMorgantownWest Virginia 28,776 31,621 202764264223902535847
Ashford UniversitySan DiegoCalifornia 42,452 1,400,467 0000220127
Liberty UniversityLynchburgVirginia 80,494 79,675 00530200313
San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoCalifornia 34,254 1,400,467 32799829850611268
Miami University-OxfordOxfordOhio 19,076 21,816 37121018113201026381
Rowan UniversityGlassboroNew Jersey 16,155 19,087 0861602232606266425
Texas A & M University-College StationCollege StationTexas 63,813 105,855 8193358125310312748803
University of Massachusetts-LowellLowellMassachusetts 18,047 110,819 017861702445
Northwestern UniversityEvanstonIllinois 21,655 75,930 10122141181893
Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleTexas 20,031 40,866 024380101501113111
James Madison UniversityHarrisonburgVirginia 21,227 53,226 1771090293811425294
Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonFlorida 30,380 92,932 044771345548133
Boise State UniversityBoiseIdaho 22,086 218,844 23365319690719217
Texas Woman's UniversityDentonTexas 15,286 131,194 02530047061385
University of North TexasDentonTexas 37,299 131,194 422298122370615405
Harvard UniversityCambridgeMassachusetts 29,652 110,953 0000539301829193
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsFort CollinsColorado 30,614 159,629 34651066283561324317
University of California-DavisDavisCalifornia 35,186 67,034 219192813601642325
San Jose State UniversitySan JoseCalifornia 32,773 1,031,458 2330176191146159320
Auburn UniversityAuburnAlabama 27,287 62,005 2510369337211237235
University of Virginia-Main CampusCharlottesvilleVirginia 23,883 45,997 31649211383419163
Montana State UniversityBozemanMontana 15,236 42,826 670130314230917272
University of Colorado BoulderBoulderColorado 33,056 106,823 340061733064227371183
University of South Florida-Main CampusTampaFlorida 42,067 364,383 28116115600214218
Oregon State UniversityCorvallisOregon 29,576 55,100 521125185221634165
University of IowaIowa CityIowa 30,844 74,834 13567111341820107171708
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew BrunswickNew Jersey 49,428 57,580 84316684169379115532
California State University-Los AngelesLos AngelesCalifornia 27,680 3,962,726 0080224405887
University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesCalifornia 43,401 3,962,726 103104415417215147
University of California-Los AngelesLos AngelesCalifornia 41,908 3,962,726 10435612082023217
University of Massachusetts-BostonBostonMassachusetts 17,030 665,258 20107014401175
California State University-FullertonFullertonCalifornia 38,948 140,771 13196328011172
Northern Illinois UniversityDekalbIllinois 20,130 44,046 238688254013035247
Boston UniversityBostonMassachusetts 32,158 665,258 09841228401235247
Northeastern UniversityBostonMassachusetts 19,940 665,258 01111170182603449355
Madison Area Technical CollegeMadisonWisconsin 16,520 248,833 0060010018
University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonWisconsin 42,716 248,833 13127295901125147
Texas State UniversitySan MarcosTexas 37,979 62,919 2983213716250210385
California State University-East BayHaywardCalifornia 15,528 157,157 0150527062670
Clemson UniversityClemsonSouth Carolina 22,698 15,369 01482091813700516479
University of MiamiCoral GablesFlorida 16,825 52,334 3814171211510615164
University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluHawaii 18,865 999,307 0111753262091
University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraCalifornia 23,497 91,877 1523882723395513355
South Texas CollegeMcAllenTexas 34,371 140,593 009006001025
California State Polytechnic University-PomonaPomonaCalifornia 23,717 154,410 041421039061691
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignIllinois 45,842 85,362 12185627112721436203
University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaMissouri 35,424 118,911 5881412517347529351
California State University-Long BeachLong BeachCalifornia 37,446 476,318 0318562600462
Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomingtonIndiana 48,514 84,015 19254370236710442740908
Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboroGeorgia 20,459 30,843 5831130916066238
Oklahoma State University-Main CampusStillwaterOklahoma 25,930 49,094 64510210416541226311
Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondKentucky 16,844 33,943 024531183401421165
University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnNebraska 25,260 276,585 6216364222481512676
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleCarbondaleIllinois 17,292 26,321 612925910406183258603
Full Sail UniversityWinter ParkFlorida 20,025 29,827 000301040421
University of California-RiversideRiversideCalifornia 21,385 323,064 481910235611520156
University of Nevada-RenoRenoNevada 20,898 239,721 56712212112025226
Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroTennessee 22,511 123,994 116370123541135151
DeVry University-IllinoisChicagoIllinois 22,273 2,728,695 0000020002
Loyola University ChicagoChicagoIllinois 16,437 2,728,695 0140512081444
DePaul UniversityChicagoIllinois 23,539 2,728,695 0323302535059139
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoIllinois 29,048 2,728,695 1613011660728132
University of ChicagoChicagoIllinois 15,391 2,728,695 0016728032772
College of Southern NevadaLas VegasNevada 33,313 1,562,134 001400700122
University of Nevada-Las VegasLas VegasNevada 28,600 1,562,134 0312213600111102
The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonTexas 41,988 387,565 03863041501018148
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPittsburghPennsylvania 28,649 306,870 417422042436058475
University of GeorgiaAthensGeorgia 36,130 120,858 0551523297901526359

College Crime Rates

Institution nameCityStateInstitution SizeLocal PopulationArrests Noncampus RateArrests - One campus - Housing RateArrests On Campus RateCriminal Noncampus RateCriminal On Housing RateCriminal On Campus RateVAWA Noncampus RateVAWA Student Housing RateVAWA On Campus RateLocal Crime Incidents
University of New Hampshire-Main CampusDurhamNew Hampshire 15,351 16,052 0.06514233617.1324343727.164354110.1954270082.2148394243.97368249601.2377043842.475408768170
Brigham Young University-IdahoRexburgIdaho 43,803 27,499 00.38810127160.388101271600.47941921790.479419217900.13697691940.1369769194386
Oakland UniversityRochester HillsMichigan 20,261 73,660 0.49355905433.5042692864.2939637730.14806771630.54291495980.98711810870.29613543260.64162677061.08582992 1,208
University of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherstMassachusetts 29,269 40,047 0.1366633640.1708292055.8765246510.37582425090.78581434281.1274727530.1024975230.1366633640.2733267279668
Washington State UniversityPullmanWashington 29,686 32,174 0.23580138790.40423095066.8045543351.1790069391.1790069391.8864111030.033685912550.40423095060.7074041636618
Central Michigan UniversityMount PleasantMichigan 26,825 25,959 0.37278657970.33550792173.4669151910.037278657970.33550792171.26747437100.41006523770.5591798695810
University of California-IrvineIrvineCalifornia 30,836 258,198 0.064859255420.064859255420.97288883120.25943702172.0106369183.9564145800.7783110651.913348035 8,024
Montclair State UniversityMontclairNew Jersey 20,465 38,192 04.1045687765.66821402400.9284143661.51478133400.9284143661.123870022 1,208
University of Central OklahomaEdmondOklahoma 16,910 90,418 00.88704908341.47841513900.23654642220.59136605560.11827321110.35481963340.4730928445 3,112
Michigan State UniversityEast LansingMichigan 50,538 48,668 03.83869563514.899679450.45510309071.8401994542.849341090.01978709090.63318690890.9497803633 1,644
Kent State University at KentKentOhio 30,067 29,831 0.46562676694.9555991627.9156550370.066518109560.33259054780.665181095600.43236771210.7649582599 1,112
George Mason UniversityFairfaxVirginia 33,929 24,911 0.058946623831.23787912.6525980720.058946623830.88419935751.44419228400.76630610982.033658522936
Utah State UniversityLoganUtah 28,622 49,145 0.034938159461.6420934952.16616588600.20962895670.41925791350.034938159460.34938159460.5939487108 1,898
Purdue University-Main CampusWest LafayetteIndiana 40,472 32,758 0.049416880813.4838900974.9416880810.86479541410.81537853331.4825064240.02470844040.51887724850.6177110101 1,286
Appalachian State UniversityBooneNorth Carolina 17,932 18,394 0.55766227979.14566138711.655141650.11153245590.61342850770.948025875500.16729868390.2788311399738
CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeNew YorkNew York 18,433 8,550,861 000.1085010579000000.05425052894 359,896
CUNY Hunter CollegeNew YorkNew York 22,918 8,550,861 000.1309014748000.174535299800.043633824940.08726764988 359,896
Iowa State UniversityAmesIowa 35,714 64,383 0.1680013442.3520188167.6160609280.5880047040.78400627211.1480091840.0560004480.98000784011.932015456 2,646
CUNY City CollegeNew YorkNew York 15,778 8,550,861 00.44365572321.01407022400.1267587780.380276334100.19013816710.6337938902 359,896
New York UniversityNew YorkNew York 50,027 8,550,861 0000.41977332240.23987046990.59967617490.15991364660.099946029140.1799028525 359,896
Ohio University-Main CampusAthensOhio 29,157 23,960 04.18424392110.940768940.1028912440.96031827691.64625990300.72023870771.063209521992
Columbia University in the City of New YorkNew YorkNew York 28,086 8,550,861 00.035604927720.0712098554400.39165420491.4598020370.035604927720.28483942181.637826675 359,896
The University of Texas at DallasRichardsonTexas 24,554 111,008 01.7919687221.87342184600.2850859330.407265618600.20363280930.2443593712 4,784
Chamberlain College of Nursing-IllinoisAddisonIllinois 23,250 37,370 000000.08602150538000 1,622
Brigham Young University-ProvoProvoUtah 33,469 115,294 00.08963518480.08963518480.23902715950.029878394930.298783949300.059756789870.2390271595 5,008
University of DelawareNewarkDelaware 22,852 33,392 01.7503938394.20094521300.91895676531.66287414700.30631892180.4375984597 1,432
Bowling Green State University-Main CampusBowling GreenOhio 16,908 31,878 05.67778566411.6512893301.3603028151.7743080200.82801040931.182872013 1,370
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterPennsylvania 16,597 19,374 014.2194372524.8237633300.72302223291.02428149700.78327408571.265288908824
University of Michigan-Ann ArborAnn ArborMichigan 43,651 118,730 0.43527066963.0468946876.3686971660.66436049580.48108863491.6036287830.045817965220.34363473921.374538957 5,184
SUNY at BinghamtonVestalNew York 16,913 28,294 02.1876662924.7300892801.182522321.30077455200.4730089280.6503872761 1,252
The University of Texas at El PasoEl PasoTexas 23,397 686,077 00.42740522290.555626789800.38466470061.75236141400.085481044580.6411078343 31,296
Utah Valley UniversityOremUtah 33,211 92,577 000.3914365722000.090331516670.0301105055600.1505525278 4,286
Illinois State UniversityNormalIllinois 20,760 55,096 0.096339113689.39306358412.379576110.19267822741.4450867052.50481695601.1078998071.348747592 2,590
West Virginia UniversityMorgantownWest Virginia 28,776 31,621 0.69502363089.59132610514.804003340.13900472620.76452599391.3552960800.86877953851.216291354 1,512
Ashford UniversitySan DiegoCalifornia 42,452 1,400,467 00000.047112032410.0471120324100.023556016210.04711203241 69,480
Liberty UniversityLynchburgVirginia 80,494 79,675 000.062116431040.0372698586200.02484657242000.03726985862 3,958
San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoCalifornia 34,254 1,400,467 0.087581012440.78822911192.890173410.23354936650.84661645362.48146201900.17516202490.3211303789 69,480
Miami University-OxfordOxfordOhio 19,076 21,816 0.15726567413.72195428811.008597190.94359404490.57664080521.67750052400.52421891381.362969176 1,088
Rowan UniversityGlassboroNew Jersey 16,155 19,087 05.3234292799.9040544720.12380068091.423707831.60940885203.8378211084.08542247936
Texas A & M University-College StationCollege StationTexas 63,813 105,855 0.12536630473.02446215.6101421340.1880494570.83055176841.6140911730.015670788080.42311127830.752197828 5,378
University of Massachusetts-LowellLowellMassachusetts 18,047 110,819 00.055410871610.38787610130.44328697290.33246522970.941984817400.11082174320.2216434865 5,712
Northwestern UniversityEvanstonIllinois 21,655 75,930 0.0461787116100.046178711610.092357423230.96975294391.8933271760.046178711610.36942969290.8312168091 3,892
Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleTexas 20,031 40,866 01.1981428791.89705955800.49922619940.748839299100.54914881930.6489940592 2,106
James Madison UniversityHarrisonburgVirginia 21,227 53,226 0.047109812973.6274555995.13496961401.3661845761.7901728930.047109812970.65953738161.177745324 2,714
Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonFlorida 30,380 92,932 00.13166556951.5470704410.23041474650.42791310071.4812376560.16458196180.13166556950.2633311389 4,842
Boise State UniversityBoiseIdaho 22,086 218,844 0.090555102781.4941591962.943040840.13583265420.86027347643.12415104600.31694285970.8602734764 11,312
Texas Woman's UniversityDentonTexas 15,286 131,194 01.6354834491.96258013900.26167735180.457935365700.39251602770.8504513934 6,880
University of North TexasDentonTexas 37,299 131,194 0.1072414810.58982814557.9894903350.026810370250.58982814550.991983699300.16086222150.4021555538 6,880
Harvard UniversityCambridgeMassachusetts 29,652 110,953 00001.7874005133.13638203200.60704168350.9780116012 5,888
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsFort CollinsColorado 30,614 159,629 1.1106029922.1232116033.4624681520.19598876330.91461422881.1432677860.19598876330.42464232050.7839550532 8,656
University of California-DavisDavisCalifornia 35,186 67,034 0.056840788950.028420394482.5862558970.25578355030.79577104533.86517364900.45472631161.193656568 3,626
San Jose State UniversitySan JoseCalifornia 32,773 1,031,458 0.70179721110.91538766675.3702743110.57974552220.33564214441.4035944220.030512922220.15256461110.2746163 56,870
Auburn UniversityAuburnAlabama 27,287 62,005 0.91618719540.36647487811.3193095610.32982739031.2093670982.6386191230.036647487810.43976985381.355957049 3,510
University of Virginia-Main CampusCharlottesvilleVirginia 23,883 45,997 1.2979943890.25122472052.0516685510.08374157350.46057865431.5910898970.12561236030.1674831470.7955449483 2,664
Montana State UniversityBozemanMontana 15,236 42,826 0.39380414814.5943817278.5324232080.1969020740.91887634551.50958256800.59070622211.11577842 2,458
University of Colorado BoulderBoulderColorado 33,056 106,823 0.0907550822812.1006776418.665295260.090755082280.90755082281.9361084220.060503388190.81679574061.119312682 6,094
University of South Florida-Main CampusTampaFlorida 42,067 364,383 0.047543204890.19017281952.7575058830.023771602440.35657403671.42629614700.047543204890.3328024342 21,328
Oregon State UniversityCorvallisOregon 29,576 55,100 0.16905599130.067622396540.3719231810.84527995670.60860156881.758182310.067622396540.54097917231.149580741 3,230
University of IowaIowa CityIowa 30,844 74,834 0.032421216441.1347425762.1722215020.35663338094.3444430045.90066139303.469070165.544028012 4,234
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNew BrunswickNew Jersey 49,428 57,580 0.16185158210.86995225383.3584203290.16185158210.82948935831.3959698960.060694343291.5982843732.326616493 3,384
California State University-Los AngelesLos AngelesCalifornia 27,680 3,962,726 000.28901734100.79479768791.58959537600.18063583820.289017341 237,318
University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesCalifornia 43,401 3,962,726 0.23040943760.069122831270.23040943761.0138015250.34561415640.9446786940.16128660630.046081887510.3456141564 237,318
University of California-Los AngelesLos AngelesCalifornia 41,908 3,962,726 0.2386179250.095447169990.83516273741.4555693420.477235851.95666698500.0477235850.07158537749 237,318
University of Massachusetts-BostonBostonMassachusetts 17,030 665,258 0.117439812100.58719906050.411039342300.058719906052.58367586600.6459189665 40,220
California State University-FullertonFullertonCalifornia 38,948 140,771 0.025675259320.077025777960.48782992710.15405155590.077025777960.71890726100.025675259320.2824278525 8,564
Northern Illinois UniversityDekalbIllinois 20,130 44,046 0.099354197711.8877297573.3780427220.39741679091.2419274711.9870839540.049677098861.4903129661.73869846 2,636
Boston UniversityBostonMassachusetts 32,158 665,258 00.2798681512.6121027430.031096461220.68412214692.61210274300.37315753471.088376143 40,220
Northeastern UniversityBostonMassachusetts 19,940 665,258 05.56670015.86760280800.90270812441.30391173501.7051153462.457372116 40,220
Madison Area Technical CollegeMadisonWisconsin 16,520 248,833 000.3631961259000.06053268765000.06053268765 15,596
University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonWisconsin 42,716 248,833 0.023410431690.070231295070.28092518030.16387302180.6789025191.3812154700.25751474860.5852607922 15,596
Texas State UniversitySan MarcosTexas 37,979 62,919 0.76357987312.1854182575.6083625160.18431238320.42128544720.658258511300.05266068090.2633034045 4,030
California State University-East BayHaywardCalifornia 15,528 157,157 00.064399793920.321998969600.32199896961.73879443600.38639876351.674394642 10,078
Clemson UniversityClemsonSouth Carolina 22,698 15,369 06.5203982739.2078597230.79302141160.57273768613.08397215600.22028372540.7049079214 1,002
University of MiamiCoral GablesFlorida 16,825 52,334 2.2585438340.83209509661.0104011890.71322436850.65378900453.03120356600.35661218420.8915304606 3,496
University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluHawaii 18,865 999,307 00.053008216270.053008216270.053008216270.37105751392.8094354620.10601643250.31804929761.060164325 67,044
University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraCalifornia 23,497 91,877 6.4689109250.12767587353.7451589561.1490828620.97884836361.6597863560.21279312250.21279312250.5532621186 6,160
South Texas CollegeMcAllenTexas 34,371 140,593 000.2618486515000.1745657677000.2909429461 9,578
California State Polytechnic University-PomonaPomonaCalifornia 23,717 154,410 00.16865539490.5902938820.084327697430.42163848721.644390100.25298309230.6746215795 10,598
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignIllinois 45,842 85,362 0.26176868370.39265302561.2215871910.58897953840.23995462680.58897953840.043628113960.30539679770.7853060512 5,992
University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbiaMissouri 35,424 118,911 0.14114724482.4841915093.9803523040.7057362240.47990063230.95980126470.19760614270.14114724480.8186540199 8,470
California State University-Long BeachLong BeachCalifornia 37,446 476,318 00.080115366130.48069219680.13352561020.16023073230.6943331731000.1068204882 34,206
Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomingtonIndiana 48,514 84,015 0.39163952675.2356020947.6266644680.47408995341.3810446472.1437110940.082450426680.55654038010.8245042668 5,986
Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboroGeorgia 20,459 30,843 0.24439122154.0568942765.52324160500.43990419860.782051908700.29326946580.2932694658 2,226
Oklahoma State University-Main CampusStillwaterOklahoma 25,930 49,094 0.23139220981.7354415733.9336675670.3856536831.58118012.5067489390.15426147320.46278441961.002699576 3,548
Eastern Kentucky UniversityRichmondKentucky 16,844 33,943 01.4248397063.1465210160.059368321061.0686297792.01852291600.83115649491.246734742 2,476
University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnNebraska 25,260 276,585 0.23752969128.55106888414.41013460.079176563740.87094220111.900237530.039588281870.19794140930.4750593824 20,116
Southern Illinois University-CarbondaleCarbondaleIllinois 17,292 26,321 0.3469812637.46009715514.978024520.5783021052.313208423.5276428410.4626416841.8505667363.354152209 1,884
Full Sail UniversityWinter ParkFlorida 20,025 29,827 0000.149812734100.49937578030.199750312100.1997503121 2,214
University of California-RiversideRiversideCalifornia 21,385 323,064 0.18704699560.37409399110.88847322890.46761748891.0755202242.6186579380.046761748890.70142623330.9352349778 23,944
University of Nevada-RenoRenoNevada 20,898 239,721 0.23925734523.2060484265.8378792230.57421762850.047851469040.574217628500.095702938080.2392573452 17,900
Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroTennessee 22,511 123,994 0.044422726670.71076362671.64364088700.533072721.5547954330.17769090670.48864999331.554795433 9,388
DeVry University-IllinoisChicagoIllinois 22,273 2,728,695 000000.08979481884000 210,116
Loyola University ChicagoChicagoIllinois 16,437 2,728,695 00.06083835250.2433534100.30419176250.7300602300.486706820.851736935 210,116
DePaul UniversityChicagoIllinois 23,539 2,728,695 01.3594460261.40192871401.0620672081.48689409100.21241344150.3823441947 210,116
University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoIllinois 29,048 2,728,695 0.034425778020.20655466810.447535114300.37868355822.27210134900.24098044620.9639217846 210,116
University of ChicagoChicagoIllinois 15,391 2,728,695 000.064973036190.38983821710.45481125331.81924501300.19491910861.754271977 210,116
College of Southern NevadaLas VegasNevada 33,313 1,562,134 000.4202563564000.2101281782000.03001831117 122,348
University of Nevada-Las VegasLas VegasNevada 28,600 1,562,134 00.10489510490.41958041960.069930069930.45454545452.09790209800.034965034970.3846153846 122,348
The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonTexas 41,988 387,565 00.9050204821.50042869400.09526531390.357244927100.23816328470.4286939125 30,584
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPittsburghPennsylvania 28,649 306,870 0.13962092926.0735104197.6791511050.13962092920.83772557511.25658836300.17452616150.2792418584 24,124
University of GeorgiaAthensGeorgia 36,130 120,858 01.5222806534.2070301690.083033490170.80265707172.18654857500.41516745090.7196235815 9,574

The Safest Cities in West Virginia, 2017

The heart of coal country, West Virginia originally became a state when it splintered from Virginia prior to the Civil War. The state is ranked 41st in size, 38th in population, and next-to-last in household income. But it's still beautiful country, filled with stark mountains, rolling hills, and verdant forests. It's Appalachia through and through, and the people here have long made a living off coal mining and logging. West Virginia is almost entirely mountainous, giving it the nickname of the "Mountain State" and making it difficult for urban centers to experience growth. (Its capital and largest city, Charleston, has just 51,400 residents.) Yet, it's the outdoors that keep people coming back to hike, fish, raft, ski, backpack, hunt, and rock climb. It also has many close-knit communities, where people watch out for each other to make sure they're safe.

15,295 avg population
4 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
33 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  GRAFTON

In the northeast of West Virginia, about a two hours' drive south of Pittsburgh, you'll find Grafton, a town of roughly 5,209 residents. It's the safest city in the state, seeing just 4 violent crimes and 5 property crimes last year, but locals will be quick to point out that Grafton has several other claims to fame. Mother's Day was founded in Grafton on May 10, 1908, and to this day the International Mother's Day Shrine stands in Grafton. It's also one of the first cities in the country to observe Memorial Day, and both of the state's national cemeteries are located in the city. Outdoors enthusiasts also have access to nearby Tygart Lake State Park and Pruntytown State Farm.

5,209 Population
4 Violent Crimes
5 Property Crimes

2. CHARLES TOWN

Founded by Charles Washington, the youngest full brother of President George Washington, Charles Town is located in the northeast corner of the state, just a hard hat's throw from Maryland. When Washington laid out the streets of Charles Town, he named them after his wife and his brothers. These days, it's a very safe place to live, and it saw only 2 violent crimes and 24 property crimes last year. 

5,816 Population
2 Violent Crimes
24 Property Crimes

3. FAIRMONT

Originally settled by subsistence farmers, Fairmont has grown into a place that has been home to many notable people. Home to about 18,741 residents, Fairmont is one of the safest cities in West Virginia, experiencing 1.65 violent crimes and 12.70 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. It's home to Fairmont State University, which enrolls approximately 4,200 students. As far as notable people, Fairmont has been home to Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Air Force officer and “The Fastest Man Alive” Frank Kendall Everest, Jr., among others. Fun fact: Fairmont is the port city that's farthest from the ocean, thanks to a connection with an inland waterway.

18,741 Population
31 Violent Crimes
238 Property Crimes

4. WEIRTON

Located right on the Pennsylvania border, this city of around 19,273 residents is close enough to Pittsburgh that some residents commute there for work. While steel production has declined, the local economy has diversified, and today Weirton remains a very safe city, seeing just 1.25 violent crimes and 15.93 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Perhaps surprisingly, Weirton has been depicted on film several times, serving as a backdrop for movies depicting the Rust Belt. It has appeared in The Deer Hunter, Reckless, Super 8, and the Disney documentary, America's Heart and Soul.

19,273 Population
24 Violent Crimes
307 Property Crimes

5. VIENNA

Established in 1794, Vienna was settled by Dr, Joseph Spencer, who was given the land as a result of his participation in the Revolutionary War. Until the 1940s, this town of roughly 10,515 residents was known for its Vitrolite production. These days, it's known for safety, and seeing just 6 violent crimes and 19.69 property crimes per 1,000 people last year.

10,515 Population
6 Violent Crimes
207 Property Crimes

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The Top 20 Safest Cities in West Virginia, 2017

1. Grafton

11. Parkersburg

2. Charles Town

12. Wheeling

3. Fairmont

13. Moundsville

4. Weirton

14. Dunbar

5. Vienna

15. Princeton

6. Oak Hill

16. St. Albans

7. Morgantown

17. Nitro

8. Bridgeport

18. Martinsburg

9. Buckhannon

19. South Charleston

10. Bluefield

20. Charleston

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in West Virginia, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

1 The Safest Cities in Washington, 2017

Green, mountainous, rainy, and coastal, the state of Washington is a fascinating mix of wilderness and civilization. There's no other place in the country where towering mountains serve as a backdrop to island-scattered waters and verdant rainforests. The state is the 13th most populated and the 18th largest, though it was only admitted to the Union in 1889 (as the 42nd state). Its fjords, islands, and bays were carved out by passing glaciers long ago, but these days Seattle serves as a hub for technological innovation and keeps the state's eyes firmly on the future.

Washington is a big producer of lumber, but it's also the country's biggest producer of apples, pears, hops, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries. Meanwhile, manufacturing is also big business here, and Washington is home to companies that produce aircraft, missiles, ships, metals, machinery, chemicals, and transportation equipment, among others. Washington's mix of economic opportunity and untamed nature is exactly what many people are looking for.

36,745 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
37 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  DUVALL

Located in the greater Seattle metro area, the town of Duvall is a quiet place that roughly 7,882 residents call home. It also happens to be the safest town in the state of Washington, seeing a mere 2 violent crimes and 49 property crimes last year. The area was home to the Tulalip and Snoqualmie Native American tribes, but was eventually settled by veterans of the Civil War. Locals enjoy participating in community events, which include an annual Easter egg hunt, Christmas tree lighting, and the Duvall Classic Car Show that's held every summer. However, perhaps the town's biggest claim to fame is holding a music festival in 1968 in which a piano was dropped out of a helicopter. Hey, that sounds like fun!

7,882 Population
2 Violent Crimes
49 Property Crimes

2. SAMMAMISH

Not unexpectedly, the city of Sammamish is located just east of Lake Sammamish, which is in turn located east of Lake Washington and Seattle. It's a sizable city of about 52,365 residents, but it's still an extremely safe place, last year experiencing a total of 12 violent crimes and 7.49 property crimes per 1,000 people. While current-day Sammamish was part of unincorporated King County for most of its history, it was officially incorporated in August of 1999. Many locals enjoy golfing, and the town is served by courses such as the Sahalee Country Club, the Plateau Club, and Aldarra Golf Club (fun fact: Clint Eastwood worked as a lifeguard here in 1953).

52,365 Population
12 Violent Crimes
392 Property Crimes

3. CONNELL

Way back when, Connell was simply open range used by ranchers, but the community popped up when a railroad junction was created. Fast forward a couple hundred years, and today Connell is one of the safest towns in Washington, experiencing just 7 violent crimes and 36 property crimes last year. Many of the town's residents work locally in food processing, agricultural chemicals, and corrections. Nearby, the Hanford Reach National Monument and Scooteney Park offer outdoors escapes.

5,746 Population
7 Violent Crimes
36 Property Crimes

4. DuPont

Originally home to the Nisqually tribe, which lived off the area's shellfish and salmon, the DuPont area was later settled by the Hudson's Bay Company, when it established a fur trading post. DuPont was officially incorporated in 1912 and today this town of around 9,597 residents is one of the safest in Washington, seeing just 9 violent crimes and 76 property crimes last year. There are plenty of outdoor activity opportunities in the area, including the Sequalitchew Creek trail, from which visitors can see bald eagles and hawks, as well as the adjacent Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a 762-acre area that offers bird and whale watching.

9,597 Population
9 Violent Crimes
76 Property Crimes

5. PULLMAN

With about 32,174 residents, Pullman ain't no tiny backwoods town. Named after the industrialist George Pullman, the town is known as a fertile agricultural area that produces wheat and legumes. It has also been acknowledged by publications as a great place to raise kids and is one of the safest cities in the state, seeing just 1.03 violent crimes and 8.58 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Pullman is home to Washington State University, which enrolls 29,686 students and offers programs that focus on chemical engineering, agriculture, and pharmacy, among others. Meanwhile, the University of Idaho is just eight miles away, which has 10,474 students at its Moscow campus.

33,174 Population
33 Violent Crimes
276 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Washington, 2017

1. Duvall

11. Brier

21. Prosser

31. Washougal

41. Richland

2. Sammamish

12. Steilacoom

22. Grandview

32. Battle Ground

42. Sunnyside

3. Connell

13. Bainbridge Island

23. Kirkland

33. Lake Stevens

43. Ocean Shores

4. DuPont

14. Orting

24. Mercer Island

34. Ferndale

44. Fircrest

5. Pullman

15. Kenmore

25. Mill Creek

35. Pasco

45. Enumclaw

6. Lynden

16. Liberty Lake

26. Normandy Park

36. Bonney Lake

46. Edmonds

7. Selah

17. Camas

27. Lake Forest Park

37. Shoreline

47. Mukilteo

8. West Richland

18. Ridgefield

28. Newcastle

38. University Place

48. Mountlake Terrace

9. Oak Harbor

19. Maple Valley

29. Buckley

39. Stanwood

49. Bothell

10. Snoqualmie

20. Pacific

30. Edgewood

40. Cheney

50. Issaquah

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Washington, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

2 The Safest Cities in Virginia, 2017

A little bit of south; a little bit of north— Virginia is a unique place where traditions swirl and history runs deep. The 10th state to enter the Union, Virginia is also the 14th most populated state and the 35th largest. One of its claims to fame is that it has birthed more presidents (eight, to be precise) than any other state. In 1607, the London Company established the first permanent New World English colony here. Its capital is Richmond, which served as the capital of the Confederate State of America during the Civil War. Its biggest city is the sunny town of Virginia Beach, which draws many travelers from the region.

While agriculture is prominent in the Shenandoah Valley, military facilities are a big economic engine in the Hampton Roads, and federal agencies that remain close to Washington D.C. are located in Northern Virginia, including the U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Foodies are probably most interested in the fact that Virginia is the third-biggest producer of seafood in the country, behind Alaska and Louisiana. Virginia really is a state where there's something for everyone, and that's why it makes for such an appealing place to move to.

45,955 avg population
3 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
27 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  BRIDGEWATER

Located in northern Virginia, southeast of Harrisonburg, this town was originally founded in 1835. Since then, it's been minding its business and staying out of trouble, because these days it's the safest city in the state of Virginia, seeing just 2 violent crimes and 16 property crimes last year. Back in the late 1800s, Bridgewater was home to the longest single-span covered bridge in the world. The town is also home to Bridgewater College - private, four-year, founded in 1880, and the first college in Virginia to admit women. It's also a great town for nature lovers, considering that Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest are both located nearby.

6,029 Population
2 Violent Crimes
16 Property Crimes

2. PURCELLVILLE

The town of Purcellville is located near the Maryland border in the northeast of the state and home to roughly 9,235 residents. Last year, it saw just 5 violent crimes and 51 property crimes, meaning that you can probably park your car with keys in the ignition— though you probably shouldn't if you prefer to live life on the edge. Purcellville has a long history that dates back to 1764. These days, it's home to Patrick Henry College, a liberal arts and government school with a focus on conservative, Evangelical Christianity.

9,235 Population
5 Violent Crimes
51 Property Crimes

3. BUENA VISTA

Buena Vista has had several names, “Hart's Bottom,” “Green Valley,” and “Green Forest" - finally settling on Buena Vista in 1892. Today it's one of the safest cities in Virginia, experiencing just 5 violent crimes and 42 property crimes last year. In town, you'll find Southern Virginia University, which enrolls about 800 students, as well as the former Buena Vista Hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as the main hall of Southern Virginia University. Fun fact: an old sign greeting visitors into town still reads “Welcome to Buena Vista: 6,002 happy citizens and 3 old grouches.”

6,575 Population
5 Violent Crimes
42 Property Crimes

4. VIENNA

Vienna has received praise from publications for its high quality of living. To start, this town of about 16,640 residents is very safe, experiencing a total of 9 violent crimes and 9.01 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. It's located in the Washington D.C. metro area, and public transit is readily available. In town, there are several highly ranked schools, a charming business district, and a hiking/biking trail that cuts through town. Locals also enjoy access to the nearby Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and most will probably tell you how Vienna was the site of one of the earliest clashes in the Civil War.

16,640 Population
9 Violent Crimes
150 Property Crimes

5. LEXINGTON

A place with plenty of history, this town of about 7,356 residents was settled all the way back in 1777. In fact, it was the first American city (of what would become many) that was named after Lexington, Massachusetts, which was where the first shot of the American Revolution was fired. These days, Lexington is a much calmer place, where only 6 violent crimes, 62 property crimes, and 0 revolutions occurred last year. It's also home to the Virginia Military Institute, which is the oldest state-supported military college in the United States. Its cadets are exposed to a physically and academically demanding environment, which leads many to call VMI the "West Point of the South.”

7,356 Population
6 Violent Crimes
62 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Virginia, 2017

1. Bridgewater

11. Leesburg

21. Culpeper

31. Vinton

41. Martinsville

2. Purcellville

12. Smithfield

22. Virginia Beach

32. Bristol

42. Hampton

3. Buena Vista

13. Falls Church

23. Covington

33. Waynesboro

43. Big Stone Gap

4. Vienna

14. Fairfax City

24. Christiansburg

34. Warrenton

44. Newport News

5. Lexington

15. Salem

25. Richlands

35. Suffolk

45. Winchester

6. Manassas Park

16. Manassas

26. Harrisonburg

36. Chesapeake

46. Marion

7. Poquoson

17. Radford

27. Woodstock

37. Pulaski

47. Roanoke

8. Williamsburg

18. Staunton

28. Lynchburg

38. Charlottesville

48. Ashland

9. Dumfries

19. Alexandria

29. Front Royal

39. Farmville

49. Bluefield

10. Strasburg

20. Abingdon

30. Wytheville

40. Hopewell

50. Petersburg

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Virginia, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

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