Personal Security Advice

Posted by Admin

We can never be perfectly safe – even in our own homes – but there are measures we can take to lessen the odds of being confronted by a dangerous criminal in our home or car. Sure, you can get those odds near zero by locking yourself inside a steel cage with hair-triggered claymore mines planted around you, but that can lead to a mess. Better to take a few simple easy steps that don’t require explosives. Here are some ideas:   


Research shows that people who are willing to take some simple action rarely have trouble with their home being robbed or burglarized. Remember that the typical individual willing to break into your home is almost always a “Predator” – and a Predator is far more likely than the “Bully” or the “Emotionally Highjacked”. And (if you recall), of the three the Predator is the most likely to “scope out” his victims and the least likely to get involved if he feels there’s a chance he will be caught, injured or killed. This is why the following “Personal Security” steps work so well – the Predator is simply wary of anything that will put him in jeopardy.

  • Burglar Alarm. Have simple alarm system with a motion detector alarm and motion detector lights around your home. The price of a system can be amazingly cheap.
  • A Dog. A BIG dog if possible. Research proves that this is one of the best deterrents – even better than a burglar alarm – because of the noise and potential danger of being bitten. But a small “yapper” is effective too as it alerts everyone in the house that there is an intruder. Some apartment dwellers in big cities even found that using a recorded dog bark hooked to a motion detector was highly effective in keeping burglars away.
  • Look Occupied. When you leave home, keep a radio tuned to a 24-hour talk station and keep a couple lights turned on inside the house. A predator will rarely want to break into a home he feels is occupied with awake and alert people.
  • Sound Occupied. Your answering machine should never inform a caller that you are out but instead that you “can’t take the call right now”. Don’t give out a bunch of information that you wouldn’t want in the hands of a predator (“Hi… this is Tammy. I’m alone for the weekend counting a lot of cash, so I can’t get to the phone right now…”). Okay, you get the idea. Better to simply say something like “You’ve reached (phone number), please leave a message.” Avoid names and details.
  • No Place To Hide. Keep the shrubs next to your house trimmed in a way that makes it difficult for someone to hide.
  • Got Light? Keep flash lights in several places throughout your home. Have one that illuminates well and at least one that doesn’t require batteries (you shake or crank them).
  • Peep Hole: Use a door peep hole or a video security camera to see who’s at your front door without having to open the door or being seen or heard. Depending on door chains for your security is a mistake as they are easily broken by a motivated intruder.
  • Trust your instincts; do not allow anyone into your home if you are the least bit suspicious.
  • Hidden Keys: Bad idea to hide house keys outside your home as Predators can be cunning creatures. They may see you hiding or retrieving the key, or may simply “figure out” your hiding spot (which is why you should forget about the “under the matt” spot). Give a spare key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Lock Up. It’s common for people to lock their home when they leave… but not when they stay. Always keep doors locked — even when you or your family members are home.
  • Good Locks. Install good locks in all your entrances (deadbolts are best) and secure all windows with locks as rarely will an intruder break a window for entry. Too much noise and potential for injury.
  • Cell Phone: Don’t depend on a “land line” phone as the wires can be cut. Always have a charged cell phone within easy reach next to your bed.
  • Power Protection: It’s a good idea to lock your breaker box as clever robbers and rapists like to simply pop off the main breaker before breaking into your home.
  • Light Up The House. Have an electrician install a master switch in your bedroom so that you can turn on all the main lights in your house without having to turn on your bedroom light. This allows you a place to hide… but not the Predator.
  • Click-Clack. There’s nothing that scares a Predator more than the sound of a shotgun being locked and loaded. A simple loaded shotgun under the bed at night, is a great deterrent, it should be kept in a secure place during the day, out of reach of children (even if you don’t have children). Shotguns are easy to master — do yourself a favor and take a class.
  • Practice. Rehearse drills for yourself and your family members for fire, home invasion, and other emergencies.


  • Keep It Locked. Always keep doors locked when driving. This not only keeps you from being flung onto hard asphalt during an accident, but stops someone from simply hoping into your car at a stoplight. Whenever you leave your car unattended – even for a minute – lock the doors. This avoids any “surprise” visitors popping up from the back seat.
  • Ready Position. The highest risk in car jacking is as you approach or exit your vehicle, so have your keys ready as you approach your car. Look around to make sure all is safe and get into your vehicle quickly. Standing at your car fumbling in your pocket and distracted by keys is unsafe.
  • Shed Some Light. Always check the back seat before getting into the car. Keep a small “LED” thumb light on your key ring so that you can check through the window at night.
  • Shed More Light. Always park your car in well lit areas.
  • Don’t Get In The Car. Do not allow yourself or a loved one to be taken into a car by force – even if you’re threatened with a gun or knife. You’re far better off taking your chances NOT getting into the car as crime statistics clearly show that the survival rate of car abductions is very small.
  • When coming to a stop in traffic (signal, stop sign, or traffic back up) always give yourself “wiggle” room between you and the car in front of you (at least ¾ of a car length).
  • Do not let a suspicious car follow you home. There is a strong urge to get to safety if you believe your being followed, resist the temptation to head for home instead go to the nearest police station or fire station.
  • Consider installing an automatic garage door opener and motion sensor lights in your drive way. As you pull up to your drive way make sure there is no one suspicious near by, and as you pull into your garage check to make no one is hiding in wait, as you close the garage watch your rear view mirror (a common trick is to wait in hiding somewhere close to the garage and then to enter the garage as its being closed).
  • Never, ever allow yourself to run out of gas. Consider a ¼ tank to be an empty tank

Hertfordshire Personal Safety is an free resource providing information and advice on personal safety and self defence.  Hertfordshire Personal Safety is provided free of charge by Tring Martial Arts and Tring Krav Maga.  Please see our website for more information and or call 0845 094 8805.

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