Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Personal Safety and Awareness

Our Relief Society had an activity tonight where we had a representative from the city come do a presentation about personal safety. He talked quite a bit about how to be aware of our surroundings, and watch for criminal activity. He told us there were three major things he wanted us to get out of his presentation:
1. Always be aware of our surroundings. (Watch for signs of danger, or potential danger.)
2. Never open the door to a stranger.
3. Always report any crimes.

I have always tried to be careful to assess my surroundings to make sure that I'm as safe as possible. If I am walking down the street and pass a van, I walk to the other side of the street if possible. I don't want to give anyone the chance to grab me. If I am walking past bushes, I walk as far as possible from them in case someone is hiding in them. I always try to look in the back seat of my car before getting in my car. I once found a drunk in my back seat, so I keep this practice. It's a good habit to always scan our environment to look for possible danger.

The second thing on his list is something I am determined to change. I have always opened the door to anyone who knocked. Maybe having large dogs with me always made me feel confident. But now I realize that I don't have to open the door to anyone I don't know. If it is a salesman, he can go elsewhere. The teacher tonight stressed that I should still call through the door and ask them what they want so that they know someone is home. If it is a burglar, and I don't answer, they might think this is their chance to break in. And I don't need to worry about their feelings; I can tell them to go away. I am going to teach my children this principle too.

The third thing on his list is to report all crimes. This is because the police keep track of crimes, and they might find a connection with a crime that happened miles away. There might be similarities that will help them catch the criminal.

As I left the meeting tonight, I found myself doing something that friend of mine used to do. She was a single girl, and lived in an apartment by herself. Every night when she came home, she would walk in the door and say, "I'm home! Everybody out!" Then she would proceed to pick up a fireplace poker, and would poke it in every closet, and under her bed. Once she was convinced that she was alone, she would settle down. As I got in my car tonight, I realized that I didn't look in my back seat before getting in my car. I called out, "Okay, everybody out now!" As I started driving away I looked down and said to myself, "Oh, I"m almost out of gas." Then as an after thought I said out loud, "I'm almost out of gas, so if you were planning on kidnapping me, you are out of luck." Hmmm...maybe that class made me a little paranoid!


Grannymar said...

I am smiling. I have lived alone for fourteen years and in that time dealt with callers to my door both welcome and unwanted. Once on returning from a trip to Cape Cod, I unlocked my front door to chaos caused by intruders who had hacked the aluminium frame of the back door from the wall.

In Northern Ireland during 'The Troubles', it was an offence to leave a vehicle unattended with the keys in. So many people do that while they fill up with petrol/gas, making it an easy target for thieves to take off with a full tank! We had to keep cars locked in our drive or even in our own garage.

I only park in well lit areas at night, with nothing of value on show on the seats. I keep my bunch of keys in my hand ready to open a door without having to fumble for the right key. If I am using a handbag/purse I leave it under my feet when I drive and not on the passenger or back seats.

Rummuser said...

What a world we live in. We will all become paranoid at this rate!

Vid said...

I can see why a Mormon would have trouble turning away door-to-door salesman. lol

Nene said...

We used to have a customized van with a big couch-like seat in the very back. We kept a quilt over it. One night when leaving the church I just happened to look back to check that my van was empty (since I had parked it in a place that was empty of cars by the time I got there) and I saw the quilt on the floor behind the couch seat (I saw it by looking under the seat)and to me it looked like someone could be under it. I had already started the van at this point, so I drove around the church and saw a man from church in the parking lot. I stopped and asked him to check the back for me. He did and found an empty quilt. But he did admit to me that when he first looked in, it looked to him like someone was under it too. :0)