These tips are not original, just a consolidated location for helpful safety tips for everyone. The lack of Awareness is probably the greatest factor in most crimes. In general any criminal intent requires three factors to accomplish the crime. These three factors are:
Desire - stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim.
Ability - regards an individuals competence and aquired skill to physically or mentally perfom the task at hand.
Opportunity - is the creation of favorable circumstances for someone.
If we learn to remove any one of these factors from the criminals intent our chances of avoiding a situation increase greatly.
The first two factors are probably considered the most difficult.
Desire is tricky to affect; it can be affected by learning to not make yourself a target by simply being Aware and letting them know that you are aware of them. Although there are physical ways that can be learned through training that will have a greater impact on this factor.
Ability is probably the most difficult factor to affect. This is where training in ways to physically protect yourself are used to reduce desire and opportunity and in turn negate their ability.
Opportunity is usually the easiest to affect and requires little to no direct physical involvement with the attacker. How you carry yourself and your own Awareness level can greatly impact any favorable circumstances for an attacker. I know the list below seems lengthy but take a moment to read them and perhaps you might avoid giving an attacker the Opportunity to harm you!
Pay attention to your surroundings, even when listening to music, do not put on a headset and crank the music so loud that you can not hear what is happening around you.
Cell phones, blackberry’s, handheld games, etc. seem to be the rage these days, Pay close attention to others and to what people are saying while you are on the phone, or whatever device you are using, the Danger is in those who are in immediate contact with you, PAY ATTENTION!
Walk like you have some place to be, look around, know your surroundings, let others know that you are looking around by your actions, move with conviction, and acknowledge people around either with the eye contact or a simple, direct, non-emotional “Hi” or “Hello”.
Always have an escape plan in mind regardless where you are.
Know who is around you, even when shopping, look to see who is on the same aisle as you and what are they doing? Some predators act like they're shopping, but a watchful eye can tell if someone is shopping for groceries or prey.
Keep your purse and wallet closed and secure. Strap it to the basket if you can not carry it. Items kept out of sight might be kept out of mind for the predator, do not be the cause for the crime by presenting opportunity.
Be cautious if someone drops something around you, as a good person you may help them pick up their stuff, but was this just a distraction to steal your purse or belongings?
Park close to the store if possible; if not always park under a light in case it is dark when you leave the business. If the light is not on at night watch and see if it comes back on from the safety of the building. Ask Security for an escort. Safety First!
Know where you park your car! If you can not remember where you parked and find yourself walking the parking lot looking for your vehicle pay particular attention to everything – you are NOT the only person in the parking lot – watch for occupied vehicles when walking between parked cars. What else is going on in the parking lot besides you looking for your car?
If approached while in the lot try and keep something between you and the other person, a car, shopping cart, light poles, anything to help increase your reaction time if something happens.
If you are attacked use your keys to defend yourself, if they try to get you to take them somewhere throw your keys away as far as possible and RUN. DRAW ATTENTION to your situation! ATTENTION is your ally; it creates witnesses and possibly good Samaritans. Attention Saves lives!
NEVER let someone get you in a car and leave with them – FIGHT- statistically most people are killed at another location – This is a time for FIGHT or FLIGHT – Draw ATTENTION! NEVER STOP FIGHTING OR RUNNING UNTIL YOU ARE SAFE!
Be aware of vehicles in the parking area, never park next to a vehicle you can not see into.
Look to see if vehicles next to you are occupied or not.
Keep your keys in your hand until after you enter the business/building, and get them out and ready to use before you exit the business/building.
Look in and around your vehicle and the others around you as you approach to enter your vehicle. If something doesn’t look right DO NOT Approach your vehicle alone, ask security or a friend to escort you.
Always keep your doors locked even when driving. Keep the windows up if there is a suspicious pedestrian at an intersection.
Never leave a vehicle running while you run in real quick and grab something to go, it is faster to drive away a vehicle or get in and hide than it will ever take you to get something and get back. Don’t make it easy for Predators!
Watch for people standing near intersections or areas that you must stop at. Keep your eye on them, do not just ignore them.
When stopping in traffic always stop far enough behind the car in front of you so that you can drive around it if you need to flee.
If approached while in your vehicle be prepared to drive away, be prepared to push through other vehicles with yours if you have to, be prepared to drive over the assailant if necessary. BE PREPARED!
If someone enters your car while you are driving or stopped at an intersection Get Out and Run! If you can take the keys throw them away from you and RUN the other way! Loss of your vehicle is nothing compared to the Loss of Life. RUN – FIGHT only if you can not FLEE!
The Bump and Rob – If someone rear-ends you while you are stopped in traffic do not just get out walk back and look at your car to see the damage. BE Smart, evaluate the situation; look at the car that hit you, the number of occupants, what they look like, other cars around you. Call 911 on your cell and give your location, your vehicles information and a quick description of the other vehicle and occupants to dispatch. This will get the Police on the way, you can always call back and disregard if necessary, but if you are uncomfortable just sit and wait till the police arrive, especially at night or in secluded locations, stay in your vehicle with the windows up and doors locked, be prepared to drive away if need be. If the situation is needed ask the dispatch if they can stay on the phone with you until the Officers arrive.
Be cautious about moving off the roadway to an unseen or secluded area, such as a parking lot with no open businesses, if you are alone. Stay where people can see you and you can see them.
When arriving to your home or business, upon approach, look around for anything out of the ordinary. If the door is open drive to another location and call the police. Never try to just check it out yourself or think that you left it open. If you Always Lock Your Doors then how would it be open if you did not open it?
Upon approach, if there is evidence that your home/business has been entered, leave, call 911, wait for the police to arrive and let them enter first. They can ensure no one is hiding in your home and can preserve any evidence. This is particularly helpful for Police K9 units in tracking and locating hiding criminals.
Keep the shrubs and bushes around your property trimmed so that no one can stand behind them without being seen. Clear undergrowth and keep them short, if you have tall bushes then clear more of the undergrowth, enough that you could see if someone’s legs if they were behind them at night.
Keep the outside of your home or business well lit. Replace the light bulbs regularly so that they will not be burned out. If they are out it might be because someone tampered with them. Be Cautious and Be Safe!
Reinforce door frames of your home with longer wood screws, 2 ˝” to 4” screws are best, this ensures that the door frame is secure to dual studs and can help to prevent someone from kicking in your doors.
While in your home/business you think someone is breaking in dial 911 and turn on the lights that are available, tell 911 your address, what you heard, saw, etc. stay on the phone with them until Police arrive, if you are unable to talk to 911 and/or need to flee from the location leave it off the hook so that the dispatch can hear the activity in the building. Make prior arrangements with a good neighbor that you can run to if the need arises, then wait at the neighbors until the police arrive and escort you back to your home/business.
Keep flashlights handy, in your car, by your bed, in your desk, anywhere you might need to quickly be able to grab a light if power is cut or you can not see what dangers are around you. Flashlights can make good weapons if used for what they are designed for. Shining the light into someone’s eyes at night can give you a 1- 2 second head start on running away by temporarily blinding the person you are fleeing from. Small flashlights make good pressure pain compliance weapons if necessary, and larger flashlights can aid in fending off an attackers grab or advancement, but with either use keep in mind to run first and only strike if you are unable to run, striking so that you can run… and then… RUN!
Keep windows and doors of your home double locked.
Never leave a spare key under your doormat or over the door frame.
BE AWARE AT ALL TIMES, AND BE PREPARED TO ACT IF NECCESSARY!
There are lots of helpful tips on the internet and through your local police departments crime prevention office. If you are concerned for your safety then take the time to learn how to BE SAFE!