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Home, work, travel: how safe are you day to day?

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Recently there has been a spate of home burglaries near where I live.  It’s always worrying to hear of a home nearby being burgled, but what makes these even scarier is the fact the residents were home.  They were cosied up in bed whilst the thieves burgled downstairs and even took their cars!  I find this so scary that someone can break into a home without being heard, take the electronics and have the cheek to take the car off the drive.  What a horrible situation to wake up to!

Slater & Gordon are soon launching a campaign all about how safe we are in our normal day to day lives.  Safety is such a broad topic from our personal safety whilst out and about, to our health and safety at home and in our workplace.

With all this in mind, here are a few personal safety pointers everyone should follow:

Tips to stay safe at home

Our home is where we want to feel as safe as possible.  It’s the one place we should feel secure as soon as the door is closed behind us.  It’s such a scary thought that our own home could be burgled and our safety compromised.  Here are some ways to ensure your home is secure:

Stay locked up

Make sure every entry has a lock and is locked when you are indoors, especially when going to bed. Check all the windows and doors are locked before you check in for the night.

Keep keys out of sight

Don’t leave your keys visible in doors and windows, but keep them out of sight and reach to peeking thieves.

Install security features

Use motion activated lights around your home to deter burglars.  Install a burglar alarm and set it to downstairs when you go to bed.

Be neighbourly

If you’re going away, ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your property.  Let them use your driveway for their guests as this will also give the impression someone is at your property. Remember to do the same for them in return.

Check who’s calling

Use a peep hole and safety chain on your front door when answering to unknown callers.  Ask to see ID and refuse to let anyone in who does not have suitable ID.

How to stay safe in your workplace

Personal safety at work is also very important, particularly for lone workers.  I worked alone in my previous employed role and I also had to walk between locations in a deserted industrial estate late at night.  Here are some tips for staying safe when at work:

Report concerning behaviour

No one should experience threatening or aggressive behaviour in a workplace.  If you do, walk away and tell your superior.  Do not let such behaviour continue or elevate.

Carry a lone worker device

If you have to work alone your employer should provide you with a personal alarm for your safety.  It’s also important to not complete tasks alone where you could become injured, such as climbing a high ladder.

Use your own instincts

Don’t do things that you think are unsafe.  At my previous role I was expected to boil two kettles full of water which were plugged into an extension lead on a floor in a cupboard!  If that’s not breaking common sense health and safety rules, I’m not sure what is.

Complete health and safety training

All employers should provide you with adequate health and safety training when you begin the role.

Your personal safety pointers when travelling alone in the dark

Most of us have to travel about alone each day, but luckily these are often in times where lots of people are about and in daylight so we feel safe.  Sometimes we may need to travel alone during unsociable hours or even in the dark.  These tips are with your safety in mind for these situations:

Practical footwear

Wear comfortable footwear so you can run away from danger if need be.

Stick to residential areas

If you can, choose a route in a well built up and lit up residential area. Avoid deserted streets and alleyways.

Hide valuable items

Keep expensive items out of sight.  Having an expensive mobile phone on show could tempt a thief and whilst using it you’ll be distracted from danger.

Tell someone your route

Let your other half or a friend or family member know where you are going and the route you will take.  Text them when you leave and when you arrive at your destination.

Use public transport

Try to avoid walking around in the dark in unsociable hours by getting a licensed taxi or bus to the location instead.

Carry a personal alarm

Hold a personal attack alarm in your hand or pocket whenever walking through an area where you feel unsafe.  If danger strikes, set it off immediately and hopefully this will scare away any assailant.