Working in the field of Security I have come up with a list of do’s and don’ts that many not be readily known. But of most importance, I would ask everyone to have a heightened sense of awareness wherever they are. These are helpful safety tips:
- Do not walk and talk on the cell phone. Bad habits are hard to break, but the easiest way to avoid a robbery or assault is to keep distractions to a minimum. Walking and talking on your cell phone makes you susceptible to would-be criminals. (It is also hazardous to your health you should be paying attention to what’s around you. It is an easy way to avoid twisted ankles, stubbed toes or other mishaps.)
- Lock all your doors and all your windows. Whether in the car, at home or at work, keep your doors locked. It doesn’t matter where you live, home invasion can happen at any time, to anyone. Lock your doors as soon as you get in the house. This is especially valuable if you live alone. You never know who is watching you.
- Know your building. Common sense right? But how many of you actually take the time to learn all the entry and exit points out of your building? What would you do if a fire prevented you from getting out? Do you have a backup plan? Take time to get to know your building, walk around it, in it, up it and over it. You can prevent tragedies from happening simply by taking the time out to get to know your area.
- Use main streets and walkways when traveling alone at night. Never, ever under any circumstances take short cuts. It’s the easiest way to become a victim. Stick to main roads where there are people in the vicinity.
- If you have to travel alone, let a friend or family member know where you’re going. This way if something happens, someone is sure to look for you.
- Keep head and eyes straight forward. I have found looking someone in the face can be quiet threatening to the wrong person. Keep your head and eyes straight ahead; make no swift or sudden movements. The less attention you can draw to yourself the better. On that note, blend in to your environment. Everyone loves to dress up to go out on the town but be cautious when choosing attire. Not too sound like a mom but it’s the truth. Criminals target individuals they feel are vulnerable. The easiest way to become a victim is to draw attention to yourself.
- Change your route. Don’t take the same route every time. Use different streets and pathways. This will deter criminals from following you. A lot of criminals take time and effort to carefully plan and execute attacks, robberies, break-ins and other crimes. Rarely are crimes spur of the moment. Take time to protect yourself. Anything you can do to deter a criminal such as throwing him or her off track will benefit you in the end.
- Keep your personal information personal. Never give out your exact address, telephone number or any other personal information to anyone whom you don’t know. The person may seem cool at first but they could turn out to be a total psycho. Never give out information on MySpace, Facebook, Craig’s List or any other public forum sites. Use caution when using the Internet. Never add anyone to your personal pages you don’t know. If you give out your information make sure it is someone you’ve known for a while.
- Take a CPR, First AID or AED class. Knowledge is power. You never know when it will come in handy. Knowing these things could save your life or someone you know.
- Think before you speak. The easiest way to deter someone from starting a fight is to think ahead. It’s easier said than done but being professional does work. There is a time and place for play; there is a time for fun. When traveling alone or with a group find ways to think ahead.
- If the worst happens think positive, stay calm and cooperate. This is the easiest way to get out alive. Cooperate at all times. If you find yourself in a situation, don’t agitate the assailant. Don’t try and be the hero. If you have to fight back but minimize the harm you do to yourself. Remember sometimes in life unpleasant things happen but the goal is to get out alive.
- Take notes; when in a crisis situation take mental notes. Note accents, descriptions, weapons, tone and personality. Information is the key to solving crimes. The more information you can give the police the better. Make sure you write everything down after it happens. Take photographs of evidence if you have the opportunity to. Never let your guard down after a crime happens. Cooperate with the police. The police are there to help. Tell them everything you know about the incident.
Finally having a heightened awareness is essential for all people in these times. Whether you live in a big city or small town, crime does not discriminate. Do not take your safety for granted. Prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best.