Personal security involves the steps and measures taken to protecting oneself and property from situations that are violent of criminal in nature.
As people, we sometimes unavoidably find our self-walking alone at night, and this can be as a result of working hours, traffic, emergency situations, etc. thus, it is a regular occurrence for some, while it is a rare experience for others. For whatever side of the divide your fall into, walking at night can be both intimidating and anxiety inducing. It is therefore important to take certain personal steps to protect yourself when in such situation.
Below are some basic tips to ensuring protection and safety while walking alone at night.
- Keep your house key/card close by and ready for use:
Keep your house or car keys / card in an easy to access pocket. This will enable you access your home or car quickly without rummaging through your bag, thus wasting time outside or calling attention of criminals to yourself
2. Wear practical shoes
While high heeled shoes are elegant and add a couple of inches to your height, they are a disadvantage when walking at night, as they restrict movement and ease of making an escape run or jump in the event of danger. When walking at night, practical flat heeled shoes or trainers are advised. Also, comfortable shoes makes one appear confident.
3. Avoid unlit or deserted areas
Avoid shortcuts, unlit routes or deserted roads on your way home, as criminals are more likely to lurk in such places. Darkness prevents identification and prevents awareness about the occurrence of a crime. While it may take longer, it is safer to take areas that are lit, well used and familiar.
4. Act confident al all time
Criminals thrive on the ability to instil rear in their victims, as the fear enables them extract valuables. They are thus unlikely to target people who appear confident and difficult to instil fear in. their operation is swift and time bound, there is no time to instil sufficient fear in a bold and confident road user by the criminal.
So even if you feel anxious or fearful, stand tall, steady and keep your gaze strong and focused. Do not show any hint of fear of anxiety. And, do not shy away from making eye contact with those you pass by on the road.
If you lose your composure, enter the closest and safest restaurant or store to pull yourself together, before you proceed with your walk home.
5. No Headphones or ear blockages
While listening to music and videos may help calm your nerves during the intimidating night walk, using headphones and other earpieces of that nature block out or reduce your ability to pick up surrounding sounds, thus exposing you to avoidable danger, had you being able to hear the sound and realise the meaning.
6. Have self-defence gadgets at arm’s length
There are various mobile and non-lethal self-defence gadgets available for use like, pepper spray, teasers, etc. the presence of these items can give a sense of relief or protection while walking alone, as applying them can buy time to escape.
Other tips to consider:
- Plan your route and avoid short cuts through parks, vacant lots or unlit areas.
- Most phones can also double up as a flashlight, use it.
- You can carry a whistle around with you, just in case you need to raise the alarm.
- Consider using a cab home or other known forms of public transport if you are tired, drunk, distracted or unsure about your safety.
- Avoid texting, playing on your phone as you walk, reading and other distracting activities.
- Know where after hours stores are located.
- Avoid being alone if you can. Get a friend to accompany you where possible. If impossible, ensure people are aware of your location and route. Call when you arrive home.
- Don’t talk to strangers and report suspicious persons to the school, parents or police.
- Don’t carry large sums of money or unnecessary valuables. Use cash alternatives such a debit cards.
At HOGANGUARDS LIMITED, we provide security consultancy service for both commercial and residential use, security operatives and various security gadgets for use.