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7 Tips For Staying Safe Wherever You Live

 You shouldn’t have to feel unsafe in the area where you live. Learning to live safely in your neighborhood is the next solution. There are lots of things that you can do to protect yourself and your home. Below are just some of the things to consider.

Store your valuables out of sight

Don’t advertise your valuables to thieves. If there’s a high rate of burglaries or thefts, you need to make sure that your valuables are not on display. Don’t leave any valuables unsecured outside - take bikes and prams into your home and lock away all backyard tools in a shed. 

Be careful of what people can see through your home’s windows. If passers-by can see your valuables through your window, you may want to consider a way of distorting the view. Net curtains, blinds, and shutters are a few different solutions that can reduce visibility into your home while still allowing light in.

You should also be careful of flaunting valuables while walking around - especially late at night or in quiet areas. Sorting out notes of cash in your wallet or playing around on a brand new smartphone could make you a target of a mugger. 

Secure entry points to your home

If there’s a high rate of burglary in your area, it’s important that you secure all entry points to your home. Start by considering doors into your home. Do they have inside locks/latches? If so, make sure that you’re using them to make your door harder to get into. If not, consider getting latches or inside locks installed.

As for windows, make sure that they are shut every time you leave your home. Windows should ideally have inside locks to prevent people from easily prizing them open. If your windows are old or damaged, you may want to consider getting them replaced/asking your landlord to replace them.

Install security alarms/cameras

There are various electronic security devices that you can install to help protect your home. A burglar alarm is worth installing to alert you and others of a break-in. Many modern burglar alarms can link up to your phone, alerting you if there is a break-in while you’re out of the house.

Cameras can also be a useful way of securing your home, recording footage of any criminal behavior. In most cases, a camera can simply act as a deterrent - most burglars or vandals will see a camera and think twice. There are now all kinds of cameras that you can install including smart doorbells that you can watch on your phone every time someone rings the doorbell. 

Consider your routes and modes of travel

When it comes to getting around your neighborhood, be careful about where and how you travel. This could reduce your chances of running into trouble.

Routes can be important to consider - especially at night. Where possible, stick to main streets and well-lit areas. Don’t risk taking a shortcut through an alleyway (especially if you know it’s the type of place sketchy characters hang out). 

Traveling by foot at night around certain streets is usually best avoided. Consider driving or get a lift. If this isn’t an option, consider riding a bike or taking public transport. 

Know how to compose yourself

Predators and thieves pick up on fear. If you act nervous and submissive while walking around, you’re more likely to be targeted. It’s best to keep your head up and walk with a purpose. Don’t walk with your head down and don’t look down at your phone (although talking to someone on the phone may put people off approaching you). This applies to women and men. 

If people do start trying to shout at you from across the street, ignore them - pretend you haven’t noticed them and keep walking at the same speed. Most people won’t try to follow up if you don’t react. That said, there are some people who may continue to approach you. In order to prepare for these cases...

Consider learning self defense

Knowing a few self-defense skills could make you feel more confident when walking around your neighborhood. If someone does approach you and they’re looking to cause trouble, you’ll know how to react if it comes to violence. 

You can find lots of self-defense tips online on how to deal with everything from a sexual assault to a mugging. Alternatively, you could try taking up self defense classes where you can learn in-depth skills on how to deal with all kinds of situations. 

It’s important to note that fighting may not always be the best solution to every scenario. Sometimes running away is the better self-defense strategy. Just make sure that you’re wearing the right footwear so that you can make a run for it (it’s often wise to avoid walking around in heels - bring a spare pair of shoes if you’re going to a party).  

Find strength in numbers 

You’re more likely to be targeted when walking alone. If you don’t feel safe walking somewhere alone, consider asking a family member or friend to walk with you. This is particularly worth considering at night when you’re more likely to be preyed on. You’re much less likely to be targeted if there are two or three of you.

If you don’t have any friends that live locally, it could be worth getting to know people in your area. Start by getting to know your neighbors - they could help to watch out for you and you could help to watch out for them. Joining your local neighborhood watch could be worth considering. Alternatively, join social clubs where you can meet people.

Make sure the people you rely on are truly people you trust. If your neighbor is a dodgy character then you probably should avoid getting to know them too much - you don’t want to make extra problems for yourself.

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