Feeling safe and secure is one of the basic elements of comfort. However, it’s hard to feel safe when every other news article makes it feel like you’re in danger wherever you go. You’re not alone in feeling uneasy or afraid when you’re about and about or home alone, but there are some steps you can take to help you feel more confident about your personal safety. Take a look at the following tips to help you feel safe and secure.
Use your common sense
A big part of personal safety involves common sense. Don’t walk around alone at night if you don’t need to and try to stay in areas that are well-lit where you know there’ll be people around. When walking down the street, walk towards the traffic so that you’ve got a good view of what’s ahead, allowing you to make decisions more easily. Only carry what you need with you and don’t make a show of what you have on you such as your mobile phone, a designer bag or other items that you might be carrying. Limit how much cash you carry on you and don’t take all of your cards out at once.
It’s worth checking to see if your home contents insurance will also cover you when you’re out and about. If not, you might want to consider getting handbag insurance that will help you recover the value of the items in your handbag such as your purse, phone and makeup, if something were to happen while you were out.
Make sure your home is secure
Even if you live in what is considered a safe neighbourhood, you should always ensure that your home is secured. Lock all the doors and windows at night and when you leave your home, as opportunist thieves could take any opportunity to chance an unlocked door or window. Keep valuables out of sight, especially car keys and jewellery – you might want to install some blinds in your front windows to help stop prying eyes. If you’re thinking about hosting an Airbnb, make sure any photos or details that you share about your property don’t advertise the contents of your home.
Having an alarm system is a good idea to help deter thieves and alert you if something were to happen in your home. Get an assessment from an alarm installations company who will be able to install the right system for your home. If you can, make it look like there’s someone there at all times by leaving a hallway light on when you go out, or use a timer to make sure that lights automatically go on and off at night.
Take self-defence classes
There are many reasons why you should take a self-defence class. Not only can it be an effective form of exercise but knowing how to take care of yourself will help you to build confidence and make you feel reassured that you’d know what to do if you were to find yourself in a dangerous situation. The likelihood is that you won’t have to use your skills, but having the knowledge there will be a huge benefit. It’s worth signing your children up for classes as well to help develop confidence from a young age. Even a basic self-defence class can give you some valuable lessons in how to defend yourself, and you might even discover a fun new hobby to enjoy.
Always plan ahead
When making a journey, especially if you’re going somewhere you’re unfamiliar with, you should always have a plan of how and when you’re going to get there. Plan your route in advance, take advice from others on which routes to avoid and make sure you have some help available if you need it like Google Maps. If you’re planning a long journey, make some plans to stop along the way in somewhere that is safe, and try to share any long distance driving with someone else if you can.
Always tell someone where you’re going and what your estimated time of arrival is – it will provide you and your family/friends with some reassurance and will help them to keep an eye out for you.
Trust your gut
There are many reasons why you should trust your gut when it comes to personal safety, ones that will help you to make the best decisions for yourself and to keep you out of harm’s way. If you feel that you’re entering a situation that isn’t safe or you don’t feel comfortable – remove yourself from it. Even if you think you’re being the slightest bit irrational, it’s better to be safe than sorry if you don’t feel comfortable in the situation that you’re in.
Try to carry items with you that can be of use to you if you were to find yourself in danger or a difficult situation. Legally, you’re only able to carry a rape alarm which can be a useful tool to draw attention to yourself should you need it. Having a mobile phone to hand and a portable charger pack can make it easier to call for help while a light torch is handy to have on you in case it gets dark (many mobile phones have this built-in). You can find a lot of information on personal safety here, including guidance on what you’re allowed to carry with you should you need to defend yourself.
Practice online safety
As well as practising safety when you’re at home or out and about, you should also think about your online safety. Many online security tips might seem like common sense when you read them written down, but it’s surprising how many of them get ignored. Basic security like creating complex passwords can help keep hackers at bay, as well as ensuring that you don’t reveal your personal information online. Don’t share information such as the fact that you’re going on holiday and keep track of your children’s online activities to make sure that they aren’t revealing things they shouldn’t by mistake.
Practising personal safety is important, and if you take the right precautions and use your common sense – you shouldn’t have to feel anxious about security. If you’re feeling particularly concerned about something, talk it over with a friend or relative who can help you come to a solution and make you feel more at ease.
Do you have any other tips for things you can do to feel safe and secure?
Let me know in comments below.