It is important to always be alert and aware of possible threats in your surroundings, whether you are at home or at work.
In his book, Personal Safety, Self-Defense Awareness and Assault Prevention, local author Grandmaster Major Sarwan Boodram provides some common pointers that can be of use to everyone.
Here are a few of Major’s tips, that can help you in your daily life:
- Avoid working or studying alone in your building at night.
- Do not prop doors open, especially fire doors.
- Report anyone who behaves suspiciously.
- It is important to know who your security officers are. They are contracted to defend personnel and property, so don’t be afraid to find out about their level of training. Remember you are responsible for your own personal safety, and knowing them is part of this.
- Keep your personal belongings locked up in cupboards or drawers when you are in the office.
- Remember to lock your computer screen when you step away from your desk, particularly if your office is set up in an open space or with cubicles.
- To protect your family’s safety, avoid using photographs of family and loved ones at your desk or as your screensaver. These are not decorations but a constant source of personal information that all can see — not just your friends and coworkers, but cleaners, service repair personnel and strange visitors.
- Stay in well lit areas, and avoid any dark entrances or bushes.
- Stay near people and avoid taking shortcuts through parking lots, vacant lots and other deserted areas.
- Whenever you are in the open and feel uncomfortable, palm your keys, pencil, knife or other device — there may not be time to reach into your bag to get to these, if an attack occurs.
- Keep doors locked, even if you are only away for a few minutes.
- Do not fumble in your wallet, purse or pocket for your key — this makes you vulnerable to surprise attacks.
- Avoid hiding your keys under doormats or in easily-accessible areas.
- Know your way around your house in the dark, especially to emergency exits and safe rooms.
- Keep a fully-charged cellular phone near your bed, with pre-programmed speed dial numbers.
- Draw your curtains or blinds after dark to avoid being observed from the outside.
- Never dress in front of windows in a lit room, as your silhouette is visible from outside.
- Develop a buddy system or neighbourhood watch in your area.
- Do not give out personal information openly on the telephone — you do not know who may be within earshot.
- Put into your safety blueprint for survival, a scenario where you are attacked upon entering your gateway or departing from your home.