What Women Can Do to Stay Safe When Alone

By Martin Brown

personalsafetyIf you worry about being safe, you’re not paranoid, you’re just proactive. This is a crazy world we live in and as a single woman, you need to protect yourself. So, pay extra special attention to these must-do safety tips every single woman should know:

1. Have Protection Close at Hand. Um, yeah you should always have that kind of protection too, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. If it’s legal where you are, keep a can of mace or pepper spray in an accessible place. Just remember to take it out of your purse or coat before you get on a plane or you can kiss it goodbye. It is a great defense mechanism against someone who is trying to harm you. If you don’t have mace, even a tiny spray bottle of perfume or hairspray can burn in the eyes of your attacker.

2. Put in a home security system. It’s the best deterrent to a break-in, and the cost is usually reasonable. Think about getting a dog, preferably one with a big bark. Beagles for instance, are small but sound huge. Just remember though, it’s important to get an animal that fits your lifestyle. Obedience training for your dog will allow it to react when you need it to the most.

3. Don’t hide door keys in obvious places. Do you have a key under your mat? Or under a potted plant or in the doorframe. If so, newsflash, it’s the first place burglars look. There are plenty of better options. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a key combination lock box like realtors use and connect it somewhere inconspicuous, or you can put it on your door and let the neighbors wonder. There are lock boxes you can have put right on the side of the house or order a door with a combo lock built in.

4. Practice First Date Safety. Tell a friend who you’ll be going out with, and where you’re going. In fact, have her call your cell after a couple of hours to check up on you. And leave his contact info with her as well (email address, cell phone, address if you have it, location of his workplace). If you’re really nervous and have an iPhone, sign up with MobileMe. It allows users to actually locate you via satellite on a map. So show a friend how to use it and make sure you leave your phone on. It’s also great if you lose your phone or get it stolen. For more information, read Online Dating Safety Tips.

5. Be Aware When Out After Dark. You don’t need to be a shut-in, just be aware that most attacks occur at night. If you go out, carry a bright flashlight, a cell phone, your trusty pepper spray, and a loud whistle. Keep these items close at hand. If you have to walk to your car in a dark lot, keep your keys in your hand at the ready ready to slash someone if you have to. Also, don’t get in your car and dally with checking voicemails, playing with the radio etc. Survey the scene before you get into the car, look around you and in the cars near you, get in your car, put the keys in right away and go. If you need to stop, pull out and drive down a few blocks. If you’ve been targeted you could have someone waiting for you to get in your car, so that’s why it’s better to pull over further down the road than to be ambushed in your parking space.

6. Wear a Medical Alert System. This type of wireless emergency alarm comes as a belt clip, wrist band, or necklace that can be on your person whether you leave the house, or stay in. Be sure to use a service that has a 24/7 customer support line. You can find more information at LifeStation.com.

7. Take a Self-Defense Course.  It will give you self-confidence, make you stronger and it’s a great workout. Not only that, it gives you the skills to assess trouble, because you learn to read body language. Another plus: ongoing martial arts training is great exercise, and increases dexterity and flexibility.

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