Your personal safety and well being are more important than ever before. Crime seems to be closing in all around us. It does not discriminate and you can't hide from it. You can reduce your chances and the liklihood of becoming a victim by following the personal safety tips below.
A woman has about a 1 in 6 chance of being sexually assaulted at some point in her lifetime. The chances of being robbed or assaulted in the U.S., on average, are about the same. If you have not made your personal security a priority it is certainly time to to so. Below are some common personal safety tips that go a long way toward making you a difficult crime target.
Personal Safety Tips
Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings, wherever you are. Don't be taken by surprise. Be aware and be prepared.
Stand tall and walk confidently. Don't show fear. Don't look like a victim.
Trust you instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away and get help if necessary.
Choose busy streets and avoid going through vacant lots, alleys, or other deserted areas. At night, walk in well-lighted areas whenever possible.
Try not to walk or jog alone. Take a friend or neighbor along for company.
Get to know the neighborhoods and neighbors where you live and work.
Carry your purse close to your body and keep a firm grip on it. Avoid pickpockets by carrying your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front trouser pocket.
In Your Car
Always lock your car and take the keys, even if you'll be gone only a short time.
Keep your car in good running condition, and keep the tank at least quarters full; lock doors while driving.
If your car breaks down, raise the hood and place emergency reflectors or flares. Then stay in the locked car. When someone stops to help, don't get out. Ask him or her, through a closed or cracked window, to telephone the police to come and help.
If you're coming or going after dark, park in a well-lighted area that will still be well lighted when you return.
Be especially alert when using enclosed parking garages. Don't walk into an area if you feel uncomfortable.
Leave only you ignition key with a parking attendant. Don't leave your house key, garage door opener, or other important items in your car.
Never pick up hitchhikers.
Control your keys. Never leave an identification tag on your key ring. If your keys are lost or stolen, it could help a thief locate your car and burglarize your home.
If carrying packages or valuable items, store them in your trunk if possible. If you do leave packages, clothing or other articles in the car; make sure they are out of sight.
Keep your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and a complete description in a safe place at home. Since 1969, the federal government has required manufactures to engrave a unique number, the VIN, on all passenger cars in one visible and several hidden locations. One VIN is engraved on a metal plate on the dashboard near the windshield. VIN’s of stolen cars are registered with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.
License plates frequently are stolen from cars used in other crimes. Get in the habit of checking your plates when you drive. A few drops of solder on the bolts or blurring the threads can help safeguard your plates.
Keep the following information in a sale location.
* Year; Make; Model
* Id# or VIN
* License #
* Identifying Marks;
* Insurance Co.; and policy #
When using Public Transportation
When using the bus, be sure to have your fare out and ready before you leave home, office or store.
Plan your route to use the busiest, best-lighted stop possible, both to get on and off a bus. If you must wait, stay near the attendant’s stand or in the best-lighted area available.
Keep your purse, shopping bag, backpack, packages, etc., in your lap, on your arm, or between your feet – not by themselves on an empty seat.
Sit near the driver, but not right next to the door.
Don't let yourself doze off on a bus. It can make you an easy target.
Try to plan your visits to automatic teller during the day, rather than after dark.
Choose an ATM location that is in a busy public place. Avoid making withdrawals in isolated areas.
If at all possible, take along a friend who can watch the surroundings while you are conducting your transactions.
Pre-plan your transaction carefully, and don't spend too much time at the machine.
When you make a withdrawal, quickly place the money in your purse or wallet and leave as soon as you finish your transaction.
Watch out for suspicious-looking people waiting around an ATM – they may not really be customers. If someone offers to let you go ahead of them, decline politely and leave.
When visiting a drive-through ATM, keep your doors locked and be prepared to drive away quickly. If anyone approaches your car on foot, roll up your window and drive off.
If you have not finished your transaction, and you are approached by a suspicious character, press the CANCEL button, receive your card and leave quickly.
Thanks to WAFB Channel 9 in Baton Rouge, LA for making these personal safety tips available.