After watching the news and hearing firsthand accounts of safety while out and about, I decided to write a little bit about what I think would be good ways to stay safe, especially for women, and especially with warm weather around the corner.
The most important thing, and I know you know this, is to be alert. It doesn’t help that you have your headphones in, blasting music and you can’t hear what is going on around you. This is especially important when walking/jogging outside alone and at nighttime. You can never really tell who may be right behind you or if someone has been following you for a while. Some people may not be able to exercise without listening to their favorite songs. In this case, try to get your jogging in with someone else or in a group. Don’t use noise-cancelling headphones when you’re alone. Run in daylight or if it gets dark too soon in your area, get on a treadmill until the longer summer hours come back.
There have been news reports on carjackers who have either been violent about their intentions or those who are just plain sneaky about it. If you do happen to see something stuck to your rear windshield or hear some sound, just drive away slowly and clear your windshield later. This could be a matter of having your car stolen. If you must get out to check, turn the engine off, take your keys, purse and phone with you. Try to go to a well-lit area or parking lot. And remember, a Good Samaritan may be just that, or they may be someone trying to fool you into stealing your vehicle.
When carrying your groceries or other shopping bags into your home, think about it before you begin. Can you call someone down to help you? Can you wait until someone gets home to help you? If you must do this alone, at night, carry only the essential or perishable items from your car to your home. Take only what you can easily carry and lock your car each time you walk away from it as well as the front door of your home.
Never leave visible items in your car. This includes anything that may look tempting for a thief. Even if you have a pair of $10 sunglasses that you do not care for, put them away in the glove compartment or take them with you. An outsider may not be able to tell if they are $10 glasses or $100 glasses and this may save you from the large expense of repairing a broken window for your car. I shouldn’t even have to mention that you should not leave your purse or cell phone in the car either but people do this all the time. One time while I was shopping, a customer came running into the store and told us someone stole her purse from the parking lot and within minutes they had already started racking up purchases at a nearby gas station. It takes seconds for you to pick up your purse and take it with you. Those few seconds will save countless hours of calling the police, trying to cancel cards, filing for identity theft, getting a new drivers license, etc.
If you have an alarm system in your home, even if it’s just a local alarm system, SET IT. It may deter robbers and will alert your neighbors in case of a break in. What is the point of having an alarm system without making use of it?