This column focuses on Health, Fitness and Safety so we can find a more balanced and successful life for ourselves and our families!
The last three columns focused on a series to put together an equation for better health. This month’s column will shift gears and talk specifically about SAFETY. This is more than just OSHA standards or workplace safety policies. We are talking about what you can do in today’s day and age to truly keep yourself and loved ones SAFE. Every day we read about or hear in the news that something bad happened to good people.
We live in a great community, but at the same time we fall right in line with national averages having to do with violence and things that threaten our safety. So, a NOT ME attitude is definitely not a good strategy for keeping ourselves safe. We have insurance policies “in case” something goes wrong with our house, car, health/medical, and other insurable assets, but what do we do “in case” something threatens us or our family’s safety?
There are many options people often pursue from:
• taking self defense classes or seminars as an individual or a group
• enrolling in martial arts lessons
• buying pepper spray, personal alarms or batons
• buying a gun (and taking concealed carry class to carry legally hopefully!)
These are all good strategies, but let’s cover a few things that we can do beyond these areas:
• Keep an old cell phone in the bedroom or a designated “safe room” in your house. Even phones without service can dial 911 and this guarantees you have a way to call for help in case of emergency.
• When someone knocks at your door and you aren’t expecting anyone, simply don’t answer it. Many people think this is rude and that people only break in at night. Reality says they knock on your door, you answer, they push in and nobody notices anything out of the ordinary. The ones who are even smarter pose as a delivery person or someone on a service call.
• Landscape for safety. Shrubs and bushes look great but cut them back and get them away from entry points like your garage, doors or lower windows. This makes it harder for “uninvited guests” to hide.
• When traveling, let someone know your route. Some people think that’s only for kids, but it’s for anyone who thinks their family’s safety is important.
• Stay at hotels with secured indoor entry to your room and don’t stay on the first floor (too accessible).
• Never get on an elevator alone with someone who seems questionable. When the doors close, you are trapped.
• Keep your car above a ¼ tank of gas ALWAYS. You don’t want to roll the dice with when/where your car may run out.
• Park near lights. This makes an easy way to remember where you parked, and lets you see more clearly around you car when you return to it.
• Get your keys out ahead of time when leaving somewhere. Fumbling with your purse or digging through your pockets at your car means you aren’t paying attention and this could be a prime opportunity for someone.
• Watch for people who look out of place—ie. someone wearing a coat or jacket in this weather! Or someone who simply doesn’t belong in the environment you see them….this should be a cue or warning to those paying attention.
• Always identify the exits of any room, building, restaurant you go into. If an emergency happens, everyone else will be panicking and you don’t want to be caught in the crowd.
• Don’t feel silly or resistant to using a security service if you work somewhere after dark. Many companies now have policies or systems to provide this level of safety for their people and have someone escort them to their vehicle.
Finally, PAY ATTENTION. Too often people speak of accidents or how someone just “appeared”. Many of these things could be avoided when people would learn to pay attention and be more focused on what’s going on around them. This is not some super ninja skill, it’s something we can do by+ simply paying attention, on purpose, as if our life depended on it (because it does).
Have a great August and BE SAFE!
To find out more about safety, contact Jeff Dousharm