Personal Safety And You     
by Ralph Winn

Personal safety is of the utmost importance these days. But all the police and firemen and EMS workers in the world can't be there to protect you 24/7. So taking charge of your own personal safety is the first step to keeping yourself out of danger. The Home Security store offers a number of devices that help increase your personal safety, but simple common sense behavior is the best place to start.

Personal Safety on the Street
*Sling your purse across your body and hold it to your chest so it cannot be snatched. *If you can't do that, be prepared to let go of your purse immediately if someone grabs it, lest you be pulled to the ground and hurt. *If someone tries to attack you, shout in a very loud voice "No!" and then give an order to people nearby so they do not misinterpret your situation. Make it clear you are in danger by shouting "Call 911!" *Follow your intuition. If someone is making you nervous, do whatever you can to avoid them.

*If someone is following you, go to the nearest store or other populated place. *If someone is following you, do not go home, or you'll let the criminal know where you live. *Don't label your keys with your name or address. *Do not talk loudly about social or vacation plans because someone could overhear you and know when you'll be away from home.

*Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. *Carry a personal safety alarm. *Carry mace or pepper spray to defend yourself against attackers.

Personal Safety at Home
*Keep lights on all doorways. *Use a home safety alarm system to secure your home against intruders. *Install motion sensor lights outside your home. *Keep all doors and windows locked even when you are at home.

*Approach your home with your keys out and ready so you get inside quickly. *Keys can be used for your defense as well. *Make sure no one follows you into the garage. *Close the garage door immediately after pulling inside.

*Keep the door from your garage to your home locked at all times. It is just like any other entryway. *Never answer the door to an unexpected visitor. Call to them through the doorway to ask for identification. *Get identification from all cable men or plumbers who may come to your door. If they have none, call the company to confirm their identity.

*Never let a stranger in to make a phone call. Offer to make the call for them. *Never hide a key under a doormat. Criminals know all the hiding places.

Personal Safety in the Car
*Always be aware of everyone around you in the parking lot. *Approach your door with your keys out and ready. *Check the backseat and under the car before getting inside. *Do not park next to a van, if possible. You can be easily dragged into the side of a van and kidnapped.

*Start your car as soon as you get inside. *Keep your windows rolled up and doors locked. *If you are stopped at a stoplight or sign and feel there is a real threat from someone approaching your car, run the light. It is better to get a ticket than to be the victim of a crime. *Park in well-lighted areas.

*If someone tries to get you to pull over, for any reason, do not do so until you are at a populated, well-lighted gas station or police station. *Do not pick up hitchhikers.

Personal Safety and Dogs
*Your first instinct will be to run away. Don't. The dog's chase instinct will kick in, and you know how dogs love to chase things. *Remain calm and still. *Let the dog sniff you. *Do not look directly in the dogs eyes as that is a form of doggie aggression.

*In a calm but firm voice say "No! Go away!" *If the dog lunges at you, block yourself with your purse, briefcase, or coat in order to distract the dog to give you a chance to break free and escape. *Back away slowly.

Personal safety is about being alert and having a plan. If you know what to do and what not to do, you will be able to handle emergencies that threaten your personal safety. If nothing else, just follow your instincts when it comes to personal safety. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, you personal safety could be in danger. Listen to your gut. Be smart and be safe.

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