Protecting Yourself from Violence
To protect yourself from violent crime, you need to develop a basic street sense that can guide you away from questionable or dangerous places. But dark alleys and wooded areas are not the only places where you are at risk. Violence can occur in broad daylight on the street, at the ofﬁce, or while waiting for the train or subway. Intruders also can enter your home if it is not securely protected. No matter where you are, stay alert and aware of your surroundings to forestall the possibility of encountering a violent act. Here are some tips for protecting your- self from personal violence:
• Become familiar with the neighborhoods in which you live and work. Find out where the police and ﬁre stations and hospitals are and which stores and restaurants stay open late in case you need to run in for protection.
• Stay on well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through parking lots, alleys, or other deserted areas.
• Don’t carry or openly ﬂaunt large amounts of cash. Refrain from wearing expensive clothing or jewelry.
• Use automated teller machines only in the daytime. If you must use one at night, do so under well-lit conditions on a busy street.
• Make your neighborhood safer. Help to clean up vacant lots and report such problems as broken streetlights and abandoned cars.
• Keep your own property clean. Trim your bushes so intruders have nowhere to hide. Add outdoor lighting. Secure windows and doors and keep a list of your valuables, or photograph or videotape them.
• Ask for identiﬁcation before admitting meter readers or other public utility workers into your home.
• Make your home look occupied when you are away. Install timers on lights and have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers.
• Don’t carry a weapon or keep a gun in your home (see page 39). Guns cause accidental deaths in the home more often than they are used to defend family or property. If you own a gun, store it properly, unloaded, locked with a safety lock, with the ammunition kept in a separate place.