There are a hundred and one different ways to make sure that you and your family stay safe in this great big world, and if you start using even just a handful of them, you will be significantly reducing the risk posed to your personal, emotional, material, and financial security. It is time to make staying safe a perfectly normal part of your life.
This handy guide to home security, senior safety, child protection, and personal safety will help you to come up with safety strategies which fit your lifestyle.
The single best way to protect oneself is still to learn a self-defense sport, like karate or kickboxing. However, this is not a suitable plan for everybody, and sometimes simply making intelligent decisions is the most effective security strategy of all. This means, for women especially, avoiding solo walks home late at night (where possible), and sticking to crowded and brightly lit areas after dark.
For men and women, listening to headphones whilst walking alone late at night is discouraged, as it prevents you from being aware of your surroundings. Whilst carrying any kind of weapon is fervently dissuaded, everyday objects like keys can be used for protection in the most extreme circumstances. Whilst it is a good idea to carry a mobile phone, avoid flaunting it in crowded places.
For elderly people, the most important personal safety rules are the same as they would be for anybody else. However, things like doorstep callers can pose a much bigger threat to seniors, as many burglars pose as sellers to gain fraudulent access to homes. You must always ask to see a certificate or badge of authentication, and if possible, keep the chain on the door whilst speaking to a salesman.
It is your right to refuse entry to anybody, legitimate salesperson or not, so do not allow a stranger in your home unless you are suitably convinced of their intentions. This applies to council officials, gas and electric operators, charity workers, and anybody else who calls unexpectedly. If possible, keep a mobile phone charged and easily accessible, in case you need to call the emergency services.
It can be difficult to explain to children why they need to stay close in places like shopping malls and parks without scaring them too much. The classic ‘stranger danger’ talk is still invaluable, as it introduced the concept of personal safety at an early age. It should be enough to simply make it clear that not all people in the world are good ones, and that there are some who choose to hurt people.
The key components of the stranger danger talk should be an emphasis on WHAT to do if a stranger approaches you, WHERE to go for safety, and WHO can be trusted to provide protection. Once your child can understand these things, they will know where to go if lost or afraid, who to look out for, and what steps to take to keep themselves safe.
If you want to keep your property and possessions safe from burglars and thieves, you have to give yourself the best possible chance. This means never forgetting to lock doors and windows when leaving the house, not leaving expensive items on show to those passing by, and using alarm systems and security devices where appropriate. It is strongly advised that you take out home and contents insurance, because it will protect your bank balance if the worst does happen.
The second biggest threat, within the home, is fire. It is absolutely vital that you family has a full fire escape strategy lined up, and that all members know how to follow it. There is no better protection against house fires than standard smoke alarms, so never be tempted to remove the batteries from and alarm, and test all of the devices in your home at least once every six months.