October is National Crime Prevention Month, making it the perfect time to think about personal safety. For example, are you alert when walking to your car at night, or are you vulnerable to attack?
Preventing crime is not about following a concise list of crime prevention measures. Instead, it’s about using common sense and awareness to prepare for the worst, without becoming paranoid.
These personal safety tips can help protect you against potential threats.
Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Scan the parking lot before you leave the building. Pay attention to people or vehicles that seem out of place, and have your keys in hand to avoid fumbling as you approach your car. Staying vigilant will keep you attuned to potential dangers and empower you to make smart decisions.
Guard Against the Dark
Darkness makes it more difficult to see muggers and burglars approaching. This time of year, as we fall back to end Daylight Savings Time, the days get shorter and the nights get longer, making those who are out and about more vulnerable. Be smart, and stay in well-lit, familiar areas when possible.
Burglary, rape, assault and other crimes typically happen one-on-one, bad guy versus victim. Pepper spray is an ideal personal self-defense product because it’s easy to use, inexpensive and highly effective, while high-voltage stun guns have similar traits. Both temporarily disable attackers, allowing you to escape.
If you aren’t comfortable carrying self-defense products that inflict pain, at the very least, carry a personal alarm that emits loud, siren-like noise to attract attention and help.
Follow the Buddy System
The buddy system our parents emphasized when we were children is still an effective safety measure. A woman walking alone at night makes a much more attractive target than a group of four women walking together. Strength in numbers works to your advantage.
During National Crime Prevention Month and throughout the year, personal safety is about being vigilant and aware, without being paranoid or living in fear. If you notice unfamiliar people or activities that seem suspicious — and if you’re willing to call attention to them — your awareness ultimately benefits everyone.
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