Nights are getting darker, and that can mean people start to feel a little more vulnerable. Maybe your walk from the bus stop to your front door is now shrouded in darkness? Perhaps you find yourself rummaging around in your handbag for your house keys for a few minutes each evening.
Even if you're confident in walking alone in the darkness, it’s important to pay extra attention to your surroundings. Our security guards are well-versed in the art of safety and security, as well as de-escalating potentially violent and dangerous scenarios, so we wanted to share our expert tips for staying safe should you find yourself on your own 'after hours'.
1. Stay alert
Phones are such a distraction, not only with the content they’re able to show you but also with the brightness of their screens. Even after looking away, you may find your eyes take a moment or two to adjust to the darkness around you. It’s therefore important to try not to be distracted on your phone. Expensive smartphones could also easily make you a target for thieves operating in your area.
2. Leave venues with friends if possible
This point focusses on safety in numbers. If you're walking alone, you're much more likely to be targeted than if you're with a group.
3. Try to stay in well-lit areas
We’d recommend taking a slightly longer route that's well-lit with street lamps and shop windows, than opting for a dark shortcut. It might take you a little longer, but your personal safety is worth a few extra minutes.
4. Be confident (or at least pretend to be)
Stand tall, shoulders back, and be alert. If it looks like you have a plan and you're on your way somewhere, then you're less likely to be targeted -- simply because a confident individual is more likely to stand up for themselves and raise the alarm should they be approached.
5. Take the most direct route, if you can
The exception to this is if the direct route takes you through an unlit area – as previously mentioned - however, it's worth taking the quickest well-lit route if possible, as this will limit the time you're vulnerable and get you home safe and sound quicker!
6. Have your keys ready when you reach your home or car
When you're standing outside your door or car, fumbling around for keys, you're distracted, and that can make you a target. Have them ready as you approach so you can quickly get through the door and lock it behind you.
7. Carry a personal alarm, and don't be afraid to use it!
Check it works, and practice using it!
If you're ever concerned, don't be afraid to call 101, or 999 if you're safety is in danger. If you're unsure of how to get home, then our security guards are trained to help when they can! Never feel uncomfortable about approaching someone in a Carter Security uniform and asking for help. They can help you to call for a taxi and ensure you get home safely.
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