From home security to staying safe in public, safety is always a top concern. While you shouldn’t be paranoid, per say, it’s always best to take the necessary safety precautions to keep yourself out of harm’s way. There’s always more you can do, though, to be that much safer. Whether you’re genuinely a worrywart or you’d just like more peace of mind, going the extra step to ensure your safety is never a bad idea. Here are some tips to help you be safe wherever you are.
Burglar Proof Your Home
Aside from installing security cameras and motion-sensitive lights(which are both great ideas), there are simple, more affordable ways to secure your home as well. Here are a few examples.
- Getting longer screws for your door jam will just cost you some change. Replace the standard half-inch screws in the latch plate of your door with 3.5-inch screws. The shorter screws make it easier for an intruder to kick the door in.
Use both blinds and curtains to block anyone from peeping inside. If they’re able to see what you have, they’ll “shop” and check to see if there’s anything they want. Make sure your window locks are visible as well, to ward burglars off even more.
Protect sliding doors with a wooden rod. Having a dowel in the track frame will prevent anyone from being able to easily slide the door open.
Stay Alert in Public
Though it’s obvious that you shouldn’t walk alone at night or in unsafe areas, there are some dangers you might not always think of. These tips should help you stay safe while in public whether alone or with a friend
- Leave the headphones in your purse. Listening to music might make it more difficult to be aware of your surroundings. Plus, it can make you a target for mugging or pickpocketing as you appear distracted.
Look like you’ve been there before. Showing confidence will make you look like you’re familiar with your surroundings, even if you’re not. If you look lost, you can draw more attention to yourself and you do not want that.
Keep your keys separate from your bag. If your bag gets stolen, you’ll still be able to get home. Having them in your hand or pocket might make you feel a little more secure as well as you can use them as a weapon if needed.
Don’t talk to strangers. You might think you’ve outgrown this adage, but it’s definitely a good rule to stick to. Someone might talk to you to distract you or to figure out if you’re from the area. Just ignore anyone asking for directions or who asks for help with car trouble. You can call for someone to help them when you’re a safe distance away.
Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you should let your guard down to any dangers around you. These steps will make you feel safer when in a new place and will make it easier to enjoy your surroundings.
Grab a business card from the hotel you’re staying in. In case you get lost and don’t speak the language, you’ll have something to show a taxi driver. It’s also good to have if you’re staying in a chain hotel and can’t remember which street you’re on.
Don’t carry too much cash. Not only are you at risk for theft, but you might come home with too much local currency. It’s better to use a credit card(without a foreign transaction fee, of course) as you’ll also have fraud protection. On that note, alert your bank to where you’ll be traveling and for how long so they don’t block you from spending while you’re there.
Enroll in STEP. Free to join, The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) was created for travelers to get travel warnings and alerts for where they’re traveling to and to help the government assist you better in case of emergency.
Document. Send friends and family copies of your itinerary so they know where you’re supposed to be at any given time. They can call your hotels to check up on you if they can’t get a hold of you which will make them not worry so much. Also, before you go, make copies of all of your travel documents in case they get lost or stolen. Without copies, you might be stuck in a country for longer than planned if you lose the originals.