Top Tips On Personal Safety: What are the chances of you becoming a victim?
Well, they may be significantly reduced when you know how and where criminals commit crimes most often.
These five security and safety tips provide valuable information of where thugs operate.
Find out how you can stay safe by expanding an awareness of your immediate surroundings.
A few personal safety tips for everyday life will help ensure you are as prepared as possible. Being ready to deal with an encounter can swing the odds in your favour.
5 Highly Vulnerable Locations
- ATM and Cash Machine Locations
- Crowded Places (especially at rush hour)
- Stations and Transport Hubs
- Cafés, Pubs, Clubs, Restaurants
- Colleges, Schools, Universities
1. Leaving Property Protected
When you leave the house, even for a few brief minutes, always lock all the doors and a garage door. Closing all windows and activating your security system on the way out will help to scare off potential intruders.
Keep strangers out at night by performing the same steps before you go to sleep. As a rule, leaving one or two small lights on at night time deters burglars from entering your house while you are away.
If you go on holiday try to get a trusted individual to collect your mail and newspapers. Set outside lights on a timer when you leave properties for extended trips and vacations.
Home Protection Tips
- House and home protection starts by keeping expensive items out of view from the yard or the street.
- Consider having a fireproof safe installed in your home or garage.
- Limit the amount of security information you post on social media, forums, video games, chat sites, etc.
- Be suspicious of anyone who asks to enter your home for maintenance reasons (e.g. gas or electricity workers). Always demand to inspect an official company ID.
Use of Reasonable Force against Intruders
There are several physical steps you can take to tackle an intruder or a burglar inside your home. So, what is the amount force allowed by the law to defend yourself from intruders?
In fact, you can use reasonable force to protect yourself or to protect others if a crime is occurring inside your home. It means you would be able to:
- Protect yourself ‘in the heat of the moment’ which can include using an object as a weapon (e.g. a golf club).
- Stop an intruder running away (e.g. by tackling them to the ground).
So, what is the exact definition of ‘reasonable force’ when defending yourself against trespassers? In fact, there isn’t one in the eyes of the law. It would depend on the actual circumstances.
Your actions should be what you honestly believe to be necessary at the time. In this case, it should provide strong evidence that you acted within the law.
Note: The law does not require you to wait to be attacked before defending yourself against invaders in your home.
Even so, it could result in a prosecution if you:
- Continue attacking the intruder even at a time when you are no longer in danger.
- Make an advance plan a trap for someone instead of getting the police involved in the situation.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) produce a joint statement for householders and the use of force against intruders.
2. Secure Driving Tips
Before you consider entering your car it is prudent to inspect the vehicle and make sure everything is the way you left it. Be sure to defrost your windows and fasten children’s seatbelts before your own.
Talking on a ‘hands free’ phone and eating are distractions while driving – and may be against the law. It reduces your focus. Thus, it is safer not to use cell phones or snack on food while driving on the road. Create iPod playlists beforehand so you do not need to look at the unit while driving.
Safe Driving Tip
- Front airbags may pose a safety risk to shorter individuals so any person under 5 feet 2 inches should sit on the back seat
3. Crowded Public Places
As a rule we deal with crowded places on a daily basis. Learn to familiarize yourself with the surrounding areas in public areas where there are lots of people to help protect yourself from those around you.
Keep your cell phone attached to your body and purses snug and zipped close. Place your wallet in your front pocket when possible. Avoid swinging hand bags over your shoulder and use ones which fasten shut.
Concerts and Events
Identifying the location of any security personnel and the nearest information kiosk is the first step of personal safety if you attend a busy event or concert.
Develop a game plan with your group in case you become separated, sometimes referred to as a ‘disaster plan’. This is especially pertinent if you have young children with you.
Carrying a handy pocket first aid kit with you containing several adhesive bandages and mild painkillers can be really useful at busy or prolonged outdoor events.
Always choose seats near the end of the row and located near an exit whenever appropriate and possible.
Turn your phone to vibrate rather than off, unless it is forbidden, because that allows you to have instant access to the device in an emergency. Keep valuables on your lap because dark locations encourage thieves to grab your belongings and you may not notice.
4. Being Followed
Awareness is vital to avoid being followed. Have a good look around when you exit buildings and watch out for people following you to your vehicle. Cell phones and keys should be handy such as in your front pockets.
Avoid taking shortcuts through unfamiliar parts of town or in dark alleys. If you feel someone is following you, do not proceed directly to your car. Instead, cross the road and head to the nearest populated and brightest location where you can shout or phone for help.
Using public transportation after dark can put you in a vulnerable situation. Nonetheless, sit in a row close to the driver if you must use a bus at night. Try to sit in a populated car near the exit when using trains.
Advice and Tips
- Change your running or jogging route every few days to avoid potential followers.
- Do not go anywhere with a stranger even during the day time hours.
- Call home periodically to let family members know you are safe.
- Never stop a thief from taking your purse (you could get injured).
5. Suggestions for Escaping
If you run errands at night or work during the dark hours, always carry your mobile phone. Consider buying and carrying a personal safety attack alarm. If you do not have a screech alert, scream for help as loud as you can if someone attempts to grab you, threaten you, or if you feel you are being mugged or kidnapped.
Note: Personal safety rules vary but the best suggestion is to use the maximum amount of force permitted by the law to make your escape.