Preparation is key. At SABRE, we know that preparation is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself feeling safe and confident. Check out our top ten safety tips for more on how to maximize prevention, to avoid dangerous situations, and protection, if you find yourself face-to-face with a threat.
1. Make yourself a hard target.
Criminals tend to look for ‘soft targets,’ like those who are distracted on their phone, walking with music, looking lost, carrying valuables, or have their hands full. The next few tips will cover specific ways to make sure you are a hard target.
2. Use ‘when then’ thinking.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation (possibly even life threatening) you want to have a pre-planned, practiced, response in mind. If you have a plan, you will be able to respond appropriately, rather than react irrationally in a panic. Having pre-planned “actions” in mind will help you get through a frightening situation.
3. Keep your distance.
An assailant has an advantage: they know an attack is coming, and you don’t. However, if you stay 12’ (4M) away from strangers whenever possible, they have to take three steps to reach you. By taking strides towards you, they’ll raise your suspicions and give you a chance to react, whether that’s using verbal commands or using pepper spray.
4. Go safely with confidence – or a buddy.
When you portray alertness and confidence, you make an attacker believe you would be more likely to fight back, which makes for a bad victim in their eyes. This goes back to being a hard target; stand tall when you walk, and make sure you’re engaged with your surroundings.
The buddy-system is also smart to deter any threats. A companion is a built-in witness and reduces the odds a predator will see you as a vulnerable target. The buddy system advice even expands beyond human relationships. For instance, are you just going out to grab the mail? Bring your dog or a personal safety tool (like a personal alarm or pepper spray) along.
5. When arriving somewhere, remember these 10 seconds to safety.
6. Use verbal commands.
If someone is approaching you and making you feel uncomfortable, do not be afraid to express this out loud. Politeness is not worth your safety.
Here are a few examples:
7. Consider your personal safety options.
Educate yourself on pepper sprays, personal alarms, and stun guns to make sure you’re more confident, more comfortable, and safer in any situation.
Pepper spray is especially effective for a few reasons.
8. Get familiar with the product you choose.
You want to be able to grab it in a dark room or in a bag and be able to point it at an attacker. Products like practice sprays are great ways to get familiar with pepper sprays, so that you’re comfortable using it in a dangerous situation. A personal alarm can also be tested easily at home.
9. Make sure your personal safety products are accessible.
A pepper spray that’s buried in your bag won’t help if you’re in danger. One easy way to make sure you’re always prepared is to use the “when then” thinking we mentioned earlier, not “if then” thinking. Instead of saying to yourself “If I’m walking through an empty parking lot, then I’ll use pepper spray to protect myself.” It’s smart to instead think “when I’m walk through an empty parking lot, I’ll have my pepper spray in hand and readily accessible so the when a threat approaches, I’m ready to defend myself.”
10. Trust your instincts.
Ultimately, your instincts do a pretty great job telling you when danger is close by. It’s hard to say how you’ll react when faced with a dangerous situation. By taking precautions and always being prepared, especially with personal safety products, the more likely you will be able to react quickly and escape to safety.
Stay safe and feel free to reach out to us if you have questions on what products might be right for you.