Staying Safe as the Days Get Shorter

Monday, 24 October 2016

As the days get shorter and darker, many of us are more aware of our personal safety when we’re out and about on our own. This year marks thirty years since estate agent Suzy Lamplugh disappeared whilst doing a house viewing in Fulham. Suzy’s family set up a trust in her memory and they came up with the idea of starting National Personal Safety Day twenty-nine years ago. They wanted to encourage people to think about how they can improve their own personal safety and hopefully reduce their chances of being subject to an attack.

Here are some top tips for staying safe this autumn and winter:


Improving your safety when driving in the dark

It’s a fact that driving at night is more dangerous than driving in the day as your visibility isn’t as good and it can be harder to make out other cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Don’t be afraid to drive slower than you would normally as you need to be able to adjust reaction times. If you choose to drive overnight, then you need to be extra careful. You should never drive tired as you’ll be at high risk of being involved in an accident. Why not split up long journeys by staying the night in a B&B or hotel?

If you’re driving to somewhere you’ve never been before, make sure you use a sat nav and/or have detailed directions as trying to find places in the dark can be tricky. If you can, travel with a friend so you’re not alone- walking to and from a car park in the dark is never a pleasant experience. 

Improving your safety when walking at night

You might feel that you live in a safe place and don’t mind taking shortcuts through Staying Safe as the Days Get Shorteralleyways and passageways but this is something you might want to consider stopping. You never know who could be lurking in the dark. You should always walk in well-lit areas and carry a mobile phone with you so you can ring for assistance if needed. Let your loved ones know where you’re going and when you’ll be back home too.

If you walk your dog at night, why not see if any of your neighbours with dogs want to join you? Walking together is more sociable and could drastically reduce your chances of being attacked. Likewise, when on a night out, make sure you travel as a group and never leave anyone behind. If you can, take a taxi from door to door but make sure it’s not an illegal cab.

Improving your safety at home

It doesn’t matter if you live alone or with a partner, you still need to think about your safety at night. You should keep your front and back doors locked at all times, even if you’re expecting someone to call round. Keys and valuables belong out of sight.

If you don’t have a burglar alarm or safety lights outside, maybe now is the time to get some installed. When you go to bed, double check that all your windows and doors are locked. Make sure your phone is charged and within easy reach of your bed in case there is a break-in and you need to call 999.

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