Safety Tips - Be Smart and Aware
It goes without saying, that safety has become an ever-increasing concern for people nowadays. And, while you don’t want to be scared every time you walk out the door, there are a few common sense rules that you and your family should use each and every day.
Remember, that often, the best defense is a good offense.
Safety In Your Car
If your car is being taken from you by a carjacker – cooperate. Don’t be a hero. As you go about unbuckling your seatbelt, or getting your child from your car, move quickly and make sure that you explain every move that you are making to your attacker. Keep an emergency tool kit in your trunk. Your kit should include flares, and a “HELP – CALL POLICE” sign. You should also keep a blanket in your trunk, as well.
Keep extra water and small amount of non-perishable food in your trunk, should you break down in a desolate area. Other safety items include a can of “Fix-A-Flat”, a special emergency fuel that you can use to get you to the nearest service station, and a good spare tire.
If possible, keep a well-charged cellular phone on hand for emergencies. If you don’t have a cell phone, make sure to keep spare change in your car to be used for a telephone in an emergency.
If your car becomes disabled, raise the hood and place the “HELP – CALL POLICE” sign in your rear window. Get inside the car, keep the doors locked and your windows up. If someone stops to help you, crack your window, and ask him or her to call the police, or a nearby service station for assistance.
Keep all of your valuables out of sight, and locked in your trunk.
When dropping someone off at their destination at night, make sure that you have a pre-arranged signal – other than the customary wave - for them to let you know that they are safe. If they signal you that they are in danger, you can go to the nearest phone and call for help.
*Always carry your keys in your hands. Fumbling for your keys while you’re walking to your car can make you an easy target.
If someone signals to you from another car that there is something wrong with your car, drive to the nearest service station or at least to a well-populated, well-lit area before you pull over. Then, wait for the other car to drive by before you get out to investigate.
If you feel that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station, or the nearest well-lit service station, and honk your horn repeatedly until you attract attention. Whatever you do, don’t go home. Make sure your pursuers are gone, before you drive home.
To keep yourself from being too predictable to a potential stalker, vary your schedule, and change the way you take to get home often.
Keep your car parked in a well-lit area close to your destination.
Always lock your car when you park, even if it’s for a short time. It’s also a good idea to lock your car doors while you’re traveling, as well. Particularly, when traveling in a town or city.
Safety At Home
While it’s nice to feel comfortable and complacent in your own home, you should always be prepared to deal with prowlers and break-ins.
Always keep your entrances well lit both inside and out. Keep your garage door closed and locked. Oftentimes, the door from your garage to your house can be the weak link in your home security.
If you don’t expect to be home until after dark, leave lights on in various parts of your home, to give the impression that your house is being occupied. It’s a good idea to invest in timers that will turn lights, radios, and televisions on for you while you are away.
Keep your curtains closed, and your shades drawn at night.
Most prowlers are prepared to deal with dogs, so don’t depend on your dog to be more than an alarm if you have a prowler.
Be sure to keep your personal information, such as your name, address, and phone number out of public view. Be careful not to give away your daily routine to strangers.
Ask to see the identification of all service people before opening the door; and by all means, if you have not requested service, do not let them in.
Never let children open the door to strangers.
If you’re planning to leave on vacation, ask your neighbors or a friend to watch your home while you’re gone. Have them pick up your mail and newspapers. If you plan on being gone for an extended period of time, ask the post office to hold your mail, and stop delivery on your newspapers.
If you’re expecting a delivery or a visit from someone, and you have to leave your house, don’t leave a note on the door saying that you will be gone until a certain time; that you have left the key under the planter; or come in through the back door, etc. Always consider the circumstances, should a stranger see the note. In a majority of cases, crime is more a product of opportunity than intention.
Always identify your visitor through a peephole in the door, before you open the door. Don’t trust that a chain will keep an intruder out.
Many rapists know their victims, so be aware of casual acquaintances stopping by unannounced.
Whether you live in an apartment, in a neighborhood, or out in the country, always be on the lookout for strangers lurking about. Be aware of your surroundings, and always have an escape route planned out in advance.
If a prowler is in your house, and you can’t safely get to your landline, keep a cellular phone handy for emergencies.