Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! This week I’d like to talk about something a little different – personal safety and security.
When we watch the news, we can become overwhelmed and frightened by everything going on in the world. We definitely live in uncertain times right now, but we can’t let fear of what might happen keep us from getting out and living our lives.
What we can do is make sure we take a common-sense approach to our personal safety and security. We may not be able to completely shield ourselves from every potential problem, but there are plenty of things we can do to make sure we’re as safe as possible.
Knowing we’ve taken the appropriate steps to protect ourselves can keep us from worrying and allay some of our fears.
Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself, your family and your stuff:
Make it less likely for others to target you.
- If possible, don’t walk alone, especially at night. If you do go out alone, make sure someone knows where you’re going and carry your cell phone with you.
- Walk with purpose, and hold your head up. People who mean others harm will often seek out those who seem vulnerable. If you convey confidence you’re not as likely to be targeted.
- Make eye contact with people you pass, but don’t engage in conversation if someone approaches you.
- Always lock your car doors, even in your driveway. We recently had a string of burglaries in our city where a group of young people were stealing stuff from unlocked cars. This was purely a crime of opportunity. Locked car doors could have prevented it.
Keep your home safe.
- Lock your doors and windows. Many of us like to open the windows to let a nice breeze into the house, but once you’ve aired out the house, don’t forget to close and lock the windows.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are in working order, and replace batteries as needed. Many fire departments recommend changing your smoke alarm batteries when we change to/from Daylight Savings Time.
- If you own firearms, make sure you keep them locked up and stored separately from ammunition.
- Keep medications and household cleaners stored out of the reach of children. It only takes a minute or two for a child to get into things you don’t want them getting into, including medicine.
- Make sure your home wi-fi is password-protected. If someone is close to your home, they may be able to see your network, and if it’s not protected, they can connect to it.
Be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t walk and talk or text. It’s hard to pay attention to what’s going on around you when you’re carrying on a conversation or looking down at your phone.
- Whenever you enter a new place, familiarize yourself with the exits, places you could potentially take cover, etc. This can give you the assurance and comfort level of knowing you have a plan if you need it.
- In parking lots, pay attention to your surroundings and the people around you. Also, if you’re going to be out after dark, park in an area that will be well-lit when you come out.
- If you use a physical key for your car, carry your key in your hand, preferably with the sharp part of the key between your index and middle finger and the other part in your hand. It makes a convenient weapon should you need it.
- Check the inside of your car before you get in.
Be careful what you share on Social Media or over the phone.
- Don’t advertise that you’re going to be/are away from home. Save those vacation photo posts for after you return from your trip. You don’t want to invite people to break into your house while you’re gone.
- Be careful about sharing names, birthdays, exact locations, etc. Thieves can often use these small pieces of information to build a profile and steal your identity.
- Never give out personal information over the phone unless you are the one who initiated the call and know for sure who you’re talking to, even if the Caller ID shows the name and number of someone you know. With thieves’ ability to ‘spoof’ other numbers, there’s no guarantee the person calling is who they say they are.
These are only a few tips to get you thinking.
As Mary Ellen O’Toole says in her excellent article 11 Tips For Staying Safe,
“Staying safe is not about paranoia or about worrying that a dangerous person could come into your life at any moment.
It’s also not about memorization and trying to teach yourself everything from how to escape being locked in the trunk of a car to how to react if someone sticks a knife to your throat.”
She goes on to say that we really can be safer if we just use our heads rather than our guts. Implementing some common-sense safeguards can take us a long way, and help us worry less.
One of the best antidotes to fear is preparation. Knowing we’ve taken all the necessary steps to protect ourselves and those we love can help us worry less and live more.
Do you have any tips for personal safety? Please share!
Some great resources to check out: