The Best (Self) Defense is a Good Offense
As the holidays approach, there will be lots of shopping, traveling and holiday festivities. Here are a few safety reminders to help keep you safe.
l When walking, keep your purse close to your body. Don’t carry it by the handle or strap.
l Never leave your purse lying on a counter or in a shopping cart, even if you’re right next to it. A thief can easily grab it and run as you watch. Always keep purse closures fastened.
l At night, walk only on heavily traveled, well-lighted streets. Avoid wooded parks, dark parking lots and construction areas after sundown.
l Walk near the curb rather than near buildings, alleys or shrubbery.
l If you believe you’re being followed as you walk, turn around and look. If you’re in danger, you can prepare to deal with it.
l If you’re accosted while walking by someone in a car, run in the opposite direction the car is traveling. In the time it takes the car to turn around, you can be gone.
l Always check for intruders in the back seat of your car before entering.
l If a car is following you, don’t drive home. Drive to a police, fire or gas station, or any other populated, well-lighted area. Remember your horn is a good alarm.
l To prevent carjacking, lock all doors when you’re driving.
l When stopped in traffic, leave enough space between your car and the car ahead for quick escape.
l If another driver bumps your vehicle, don’t stop. Drive to a police of fire station, or a well-traveled area to inspect the damage, or attempt to get the vehicle's license plate number and report it immediately to the police.
l If you’re parked in a shopping mall or supermarket parking lot, look around for anyone or anything suspicious before approaching your car. If you feel someone’s watching you, go back to the store and ask someone to walk you out to the parking lot, or call the police.
l If available, take freeways rather than side streets through high-crime areas.
l While driving, stay in the center lane. Avoid being blocked into the curb or shoulder lane.
l Above all, if there is no escape, don’t resist.
l Use strong locks on every door of your home, and a chain lock and/or peephole on all windowless doors.
l Never open your door until you know who is standing on the other side. Repair or delivery persons can be identified by their identification cards by calling their places of employment.
l Don’t put your first name on your mailbox or in the telephone directory. Use your initials.
l Your best defense against attack is awareness. Remain alert and aware of your surroundings.