By April 20, 2007

Ten home and personal safety tips

Here are ten awareness and personal safety tips I practice constantly. Hopefully you aren’t going to learn anything new here, but just in case, here we are.

  1. Have car or house keys ready for use before you approach your door. Fumbling around in your purse or pocket, especially at night, will lower your guard and ability to sense what’s around you. If possible, get your keys ready before you leave your current location.
  2. Watch behind you while you are walking. You should be scanning to the front and sides of you at all times, but it never hurts to look over your shoulder or use the reflections of windows to see what’s behind you. Be especially cautious if you pass someone and then they wind up behind you.
  3. If you have a purse or carry a bag of some kind, keep the opening shut, zippered if possible. For example, don’t leave your laptop bag with the flap open while you go up to the counter at a coffee shop to order another drink. You may come back to an empty bag.
  4. Set timers to turn on lights so you don’t come home to an empty house. This may also alert you in the event someone is in your home and they have turned on a different light.
  5. While driving, stay far enough back that you can see the tires of the vehicle in front of you. In most cases this will allow you enough room to move your vehicle around the one in front of you. This will allow you to scoot forward if someone is coming up too quickly behind you, or clear the lane for an emergency vehicle. It may allow you to get away in the event of a carjacking/assault. If you are in-between other cars at a stoplight, don’t be afraid to use your car to push/batter them out of the way.
  6. Buy a Cyalume “glow stick” light stick and tie your house key to it. In the event of a home emergency (fire, break in), you can activate the light stick and throw it out the window. This will allow rescue personnel to easily enter your house instead of breaking down a door. In the case of break in/home invasions, intruders may have come through a window, or have picked and relocked a door. Maximize your chances by helping those who are trying to help you.
  7. Make sure you have deadbolts on all the exterior doors of your house. I recommend deadbolts that require a key on either side. If you use the deadbolt with a knob on one side, someone could smash the glass in the door, reach inside, and unlock it. A determined intruder will defeat almost any door, but the idea here is to raise an alarm and buy enough time to do something.
  8. Don’t leave ladders or anything that could be used to climb near your residence. Our neighbor left three ladders out unsecured for most of last summer while he worked on his home. Some people forget or neglect to lock their upper-story windows, or don’t lock them at all, thinking no one can climb up there. If someone does climb up to you someday, you may have your neighbors to thank.
  9. Lock your car doors while driving. A man jumped out of the bushes near a stop sign and attempted to open my mother’s car door when she lived in Texas. I do not want to think about what would have happened had she left her doors unlocked.
  10. While driving, keep your eyes on the front wheels of vehicles at upcoming intersections. If the wheels start to move, get ready to evade, brake, or sound the horn. The driver of the other vehicle is not paying attention — make sure you are.
Posted in: preparedness

2 Comments on "Ten home and personal safety tips"

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  1. Ed says:

    My thoughts :

    1) I always do this. Not just for safety purposes, but also for annoyances.

    2) Don’t be embarassed to just look behind you. Doesn’t matter if you think they will think you are strange to keep checking them out. You only need to be right once. You don’t think the deer gives a damn what the other deer think when they look over.

    3) Total agreement. Plus, allows you to move faster.

    4) This I have never done, might be a good idea.

    5) Utter agreement, ability to move and speed are key. Don’t be the gazelle trapped by the herd.

    6) Hmm, never thought of that.

    7) Hmm, that is the first time I have heard that. Problem with deadbolts with key on both sides – fires and guests. What is your thoughts on this?

    8) True, never make it easy. Make the neighborhood kid work to break in.

    9) Always lock the doors.

    10) True.

  2. drfaulken says:

    We host a lot of guests here at the house. There are keys near each door, but not within reach should someone bust out the glass to either door.

    You have moved the key to the front door quite a few times. 🙂 We tell our overnight guests what we are doing, and how to get out.