Tags: 'No-Brainer' | Ways | Make | Your | Life | Safer | 2002

12 'No-Brainer' Ways To Make Your Life Safer in 2002

Monday, 07 January 2002 12:00 AM

1. Don’t be involved in any illegal activities or use illegal drugs. Sounds simple and corny, but a little-known fact is that if you are not involved in criminal activities yourself, you will be less likely to be a victim of a crime. Simply put: Bad guys like to prey on fellow bad guys.

2. If possible, don’t jog, walk or drive alone – especially at night and in less-populated areas. Simply put: There is enhanced safety in numbers.

3. Properly lock your home – including closing your garage door – even when you are at home. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been dispatched to an incident where valuables (tools, lawnmowers, bikes, toys, etc.) have been taken from an open garage, even when the victim was at home. Simply put: Install and use good home locks and secure your garage.

4. Take the time to record the serial numbers of all your valuables. Also, you may want to consider marking certain items with your state driver’s license number. You may also want to consider video taping the contents of your home. Quick security tip: Do not mark any items with your Social Security number, as law enforcement may not be able to obtain your identity from the Social Security Administration due to their privacy policies.

5. Be sure to listen to that "little voice” in the back of your mind that tells you when something 'funny' is going on. Be aware of your surroundings (situational awareness) and look for any suspicious persons and activities. Simply put: Trust your instincts.

6. Don’t carry around large amounts of cash or wear glittery valuables. Also, if you need to use an ATM, go to a busy, well-lit location and only withdraw the amount of cash you really need. Simply put: Don’t flash your cash and valuables.

[Note: Make sure you look at the card slot of the ATM machine you are about to use. If it has been tampered with, or if it has any kind of substance on it, this may be an indication that there are card thieves watching and waiting to steal your card. Do not allow people to look over your shoulder as they may be code-snatching. If anyone is watching, use another machine.]

7. Park your vehicle in well-lit, populated areas. Don’t leave your key in the ignition and properly secure your vehicle (close your windows and lock the doors) when you park. Also, don’t leave any valuables in plain sight. Simply put: Don’t make your vehicle a personal invitation to a bad guy.

8. Get to know your neighbors. In setting up neighborhood watch programs, it is often said that a so-called nosy neighbor is the best home break-in crime-fighting device available. Simply put: Your trusted neighbor may be your first line of defense against criminal activity in your home.

9. Consider carrying a cellular phone – especially if you are going somewhere alone. Also, you may want to tell a family member or a close friend of your travel plans in case of an emergency. Quick security tip: A cellular phone will be useful not only as a possible crime prevention tool, but also in case of other types of emergencies.

10. Consider installing a high-quality security system – in both your home and vehicle. Simply put: It is better to scare criminals away before they enter your home rather than to encounter them inside.

11. If you do observe any suspicious persons or activities, call your local police immediately. Simply put: It is better to call law enforcement to report a suspicious person or incident rather than wait until an actual crime is committed.

12. Use your common sense. Simply put: Be and act smart.

A final thought: Please don’t rely solely on the much-touted high-tech security devices for your personal safety. As you can see, these simple "no-brainer” tips mentioned above can be powerful crime prevention ideas for both you and your family, if – and only if – you take the responsibility to properly use them.

UPDATE to my column "10 Practical Tips for Your Air Travel Security” – I received an e-mail with this idea from a pilot with a major airline: "Be prepared to take a later flight if you do not feel comfortable with your fellow passengers.” Thanks for your suggestion!

Bruce Mandelblit is a nationally known security specialist, as well as a highly decorated reserve Law Enforcement Officer. Bruce also writes a column for the trade publication Security Magazine.

This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.

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1. Don't be involved in any illegal activities or use illegal drugs. Sounds simple and corny, but a little-known fact is that if you are not involved in criminal activities yourself, you will be less likely to be a victim of a crime. Simply put: Bad guys like to prey on...
Monday, 07 January 2002 12:00 AM
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