By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
We often tell our children to beware of strangers and give them helpful advice on protecting themselves if left home alone or faced with a potentially dangerous situation; however, how often do we take our own advice? For many of us, we feel safe in our homes and our neighborhoods. We watch the news reports and think to ourselves, “that would never happen here” or “that would never happen to me!” Unfortunately, just like accidents, incidents of crime can happen when you least expect it! It is always best to prepare yourself and do your part to keep you and your family safe!
Adopting a few simple day-to-day safety practices can help keep you stay protected.
- Remember to Lock-up: Before we go to bed each evening, we usually check to make sure the front door to our home is locked; however, we sometimes forget to secure that windows and other entrances are locked. It is worth taking a few extra minutes each evening to double check the security of your home, so you can go to bed with peace of mind.
- Use a Buddy System: We always talk to our children about safety in numbers and going places in pairs; however, as adults we put ourselves in dangerous situations walking by ourselves late at night to get home or to our car. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust to walk with you. Keeping pepper spray and a flashlight with you is a good idea. Keep your car keys in your hand as you approach your vehicle, so you can set off the alarms to scare off any potential culprits if you feel unsafe. Staying alert, walking with confidence, avoiding the use of headphones, and planning your route ahead of time can aid in your safety.
- Share Schedules: We have likely all been in a situation where someone we care about is running late. We call their cell phone, but it goes straight to voice-mail due to a dead battery or being in a limited service area. By sharing schedules with your family and friends, our loved ones can know where we are and we can know where they are. This can help in tracking someone down in the event of an emergency and although we don’t want to think about it, can aid in helping authorities if someone went missing.
- Who’s at the Door?: In the same way we tell our children not to answer the door for strangers, we need to do the same! We can be too trusting and are quick to open the door as soon as we hear a knock or the doorbell. It is ok to ask someone to identify themselves before you open the door if you do not have a good visual of the person.
These personal safety tips are examples of what children & families learn when they attend a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, which are held each year throughout North America. Learn more about the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program at www.progressiveag.org