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As crime rates continue to rise in heavily populated areas throughout the United States, keeping your loved ones safe is a growing concern. While you can protect younger children by keeping them close at your side, this becomes more difficult when it comes to the safety of teen children or a spouse. While you can’t always be at their side, you can offer them insight into the best ways for them to stay safe when they’re alone and far from home.
Stay Aware and Alert
It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings whenever you’re out in public. Even if your spouse or teen child is with friends, they may easily get separated and find themselves in a vulnerable situation. This is why it’s unwise to use a smartphone to text or use the web as you’re walking in an unfamiliar area. It doesn’t take long to get turned around. Even though a GPS can help you find your way back to unfamiliar territory, you may still be exposed to criminal threats. Stay alert and watch for suspicious behavior, such as someone who seems to be following you or watching your movements. In that case, seek out the owner or employee of a business and ask for their help.
Learn Some Form of Self-Defense
The first thing you should do is to talk about self-defense and personal safety with everyone in your family. In particular, find out what forms of self-defense they would like to adopt to help them stay safer on the street. If your spouse expresses an interest in carrying a personal firearm, help them sign up for a concealed carry class in Tampa or your particular locale. If your teenager wants to learn martial arts, look into classes in your community. By helping your loved ones pursue the types of self-defense they find interesting, they will be more invested in learning the techniques well. This will help you feel more confident that they can handle themselves when you’re not around.
Stay Safe in Your Car
Carjacking is another threat that’s becoming more common in bigger cities, so your loved ones should learn more about staying safe in their vehicles. This includes keeping every door locked even if you are inside the vehicle. When returning to your vehicle, keep the keys in your hand to prevent having to search for them as you near the vehicle. Before getting into the driver’s seat, check the back for intruders. It’s also helpful to park in areas that are near street lights or beneath overhead lights. If you think you’re being followed by another driver, use your cell phone to call the police or drive to the nearest police department.
Know How to Walk the Streets Alone
There are plenty of things you and your family members can do to stay safer when walking on public streets. While you’re considerably safer when walking during daylight hours, you should never assume there isn’t a threat. Stay in well populated areas and walk at a steady pace. Even if you’re lost, walking with confidence will help you avoid making a target of yourself. Walk closer to the curb rather than getting too close to large shrubbery, dark alleys, and unmarked doors. You should always make eye contact with people when walking and stay in areas that are well lit at night.
Protect Yourself at School or Work
While you may be pretty familiar with many of your schoolmates or co-workers, you won’t know everything about everyone in the area. For this reason, avoid leaving cash, valuables, phones, or a purse unattended. It will only take a few seconds for someone to grab your valuables while your head is turned. When working or studying late, stay in view of other people or lock the room in which you’re working. When you are ready to leave, ask a security guard or another trustworthy individual to walk you to your car. Finally, you should always look for escape routes to take in case your safety is suddenly threatened.
You can also protect your family at home by ensuring you’re using anti-crime measures on your own property. You can contact your local police department to discover community resources that will help you keep your home safer. You can also contact a security company to evaluate your home’s security and update your equipment. When your home seems like a harder target, criminal behavior will be less likely to occur on your property.