Campus Safety – Personal Safety and Self Defense Tips For Campus Life

The incidence of criminal assault on most college campuses has steadily increased year after year. What do you do to secure your child’s safety when it comes time for him or her to leave for college? “Good question?” you might ask. Well, you would not be the first to have serious reservations about sending your child out into the unpredictable world of college life.

Crime is on the rise and there are few places more inviting to criminals than a campus full of students who are unprepared for life on their own. Not enough kids these days are taught the important lessons of personal safety and self defense. Although campus security has greatly improved over the past few years on many college campuses, the main impetus for staying safe lies primarily with each and every college student. Knowledge is power, and knowledge of how to protect yourself can be life saving.

While personal safety and self defense may seem like the same thing, they really are quite different. Personal safety is all about modifying your actions and behavior in a manner that will preclude ones self from being a prime target of crime. Self defense is about knowing how to protect ones self when they are being attacked. Below, I would like to offer some tips which should greatly reduce the risk of your daughter or son from becoming another entry on the list of crime statistics.

10 Top Tips for Being Safe on (or off) Campus:

  1. Whether you are living on campus in a dormitory, a sorority or fraternity house, or some off campus apartment, the first order of business should be to secure your home. You can accomplish this by making sure all doors and windows are closed and locked when away. Even while at home, it is a good idea to keep doors and windows locked. However, this is sometimes not easy to do. There are a wide variety of alarms and security devices suitable for protecting your living quarters from intruders. They are very effective and can be used both while you are home as well as away. These include motion detectors, door stop alarms, wireless intruder alarms, and more.
  2. You should become familiar with your neighbors and be aware of who should be hanging around your dormitory or apartment and who should not. Keep an eye out for strangers hanging out around your home. Often times students are followed home and “spied” on for a period of time in order to learn their routines. For added security, consider security cameras to keep an eye on entryways.
  3. When you return home, whether in daylight or after dark, remember these tips. Don’t hang around on the porch or entryway. Most attackers usually strike as you enter the home. Upon entering, if something looks out-of-place, don’t continue. Exit the building and go for help. Never re-enter the house until someone can verify that it is safe.
  4. If you have a car, check around the car and inside the car before entering. When entering your car, open the door, enter quickly, and lock the doors. Most times, attackers make their move when the victim is about to enter their vehicle.
  5. Always walk with a friend, or better yet, in a group. Carry some form of personal safety device such as a personal alarm, pepper spray, or stun gun. These devices are inexpensive and offer a great deal of defense towards an attacker.
  6. If you carry a purse or wallet, keep them close to your body or hidden in an inside pocket. Do not carry large sums of money with you. It is a good idea to have a second wallet or purse containing only enough money for the evening and nothing else. Do this when you know you will not need a driver’s license, credit cards, or other forms of personal identification.
  7. Always travel in well populated areas. Don’t take the dark, untraveled short-cut, especially at night. Be sure your path is well lighted and away from areas where an attacker could hide. Avoid isolated areas. Walk on the side of the street facing the traffic. If approached by someone riding in a car, run in the opposite direction the vehicle is traveling. Try to stay near the curb when walking on the sidewalk, keeping your distance from dark building entryways. Be cautious of anyone approaching asking for directions, passing out flyers, or asking for the time. Do not loan your cell phone to anyone. If you wish to offer assistance, offer to make the call for them.
  8. If you feel uneasy, like someone is following you, go immediately to the nearest busy location such as a place of business or a busy public area. If you are carrying a personal protection device such as pepper spray or a personal alarm, have it out and ready for use. If you encounter a dangerous situation, cry out for help by yelling “fire”. Many times a cry for “help” is ignored because people don’t want to get involved, or fear for their own safety. Yelling “fire” usually attracts attention even from those who are just curious.
  9. Learn to defend yourself. Nothing will deter an attacker more than someone’s ability to defend them self. Most attackers are looking for a “willing” victim. You can imagine their surprise when their victim begins to yell loudly, punch or kick, or use a personal protection device. Women especially have to learn not to be afraid of their attacker; rather, they should respect their own right to protect themselves and offer any resistance necessary to drive them away.
  10. Become informed. As I mentioned earlier, knowledge is power. Learn the art of self defense. Investigate the many personal safety products available which are specifically designed with your protection in mind. They may someday save your life.

Personal Safety While Driving

When most of us think about personal safety, we think about protection of our family and our personal property at home. However, a significant amount of risk is encountered away from home. On the road, traveling here and there, for leisure or business, we should not neglect our personal safety. Hopefully, we will never find ourselves in a dangerous situation while driving, but a little forethought and preparation can go a long way. How many, in retrospect, have wished, assuming they were still able to, they had given due consideration to their personal safety on the road?

I hope to provide you with some valuable information to keep you safe while driving.

In terms of your vehicle itself, make every effort to keep it in good running condition and make sure you have enough gas to get where you are going. Having a breakdown or running out of gas, particularly at night, can put you in a situation where your safety is dramatically compromised. Make a habit of checking the condition of your tires and ensure you have a good spare at all times.

On long road trips make sure you get plenty of rest and don’t push the limit when you are feeling tired. Drowsiness and/or fatigue may play a major role in crashes attributed to other causes.

Never pick up hitchhikers! We would all like to be “good Samaritans” however, it is way too risky. The list of victims who became so by letting an unknown person in their vehicle is staggering. It’s not worth it.

Keep all your car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. When out of your car set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.

Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. Park as close as possible to your destination and take notice of the location. Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside. Don’t leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

When returning to your vehicle, locate your keys first. Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door. Be aware of your surroundings when approaching your car. Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area. Always check both inside and out of your car before getting in. If you are concerned, ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.

If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest gas station, open business, or other well-lighted area. Don’t head home. Use your cell phone, if you have one, to call the police if you are being followed.

Here are a few items you may want to consider to keep you, and your loved ones, safe on the road:

A Car Emergency Tool is a special tool with a bright flashlight and a blinking emergency light. The tool can be used to break a window if you are trapped inside your vehicle. It also has a blade that can be used to cut your seat belt if you are trapped and the seat belt cannot be undone.

A key chain pepper spray and/or one that clips to your car visor. Pepper spray is an effective deterrent to an attacker. It can disorient an assailant long enough for you to remove yourself to safety.

A nap alarm, worn over the ear, that sounds a loud alarm to instantly wake you and alert passengers when your head nods forward. This device is perfect for those going on a road trip, or those who drive long distances in their work. Of course, when the device alerts, it’s time to get off the road.

All of these above mentioned items are relatively inexpensive and can be bought separately or as part of a very reasonably priced Vehicle Safety Kit.

Hopefully, I’ve given you a few things to consider and some good tips that will help you stay safe while driving. Remember that nothing is fail-safe; we can’t ensure that nothing bad will ever happen to us, but knowledge and preparation are the keys to reducing risk.

Non-Fatal Protection With A Personal Safety Alarm

A personal safety alarm helps everyone feel more secure in the dangerous world we live in. For ones that are working late and walk out to their car in the dark, joggers, and other people isolated for any reason, these devices offer a great way to attract attention during a crisis situation.

The very high-pitched noise made by the panic help device effectively chases away the attacker and alerts others that help is needed. There is no prior training needed. Permits are not necessary to carry this device either. People of all ages and people who suffer physical handicaps will be able to easily operate them.

Anytime individuals are isolated or in a vulnerable position, having a help alert device quickly accessible is a wise idea. Attackers usually flee when attention is drawn to the situation; but victims are often too traumatized to scream for help.

The piecing sound of a personal safety alarm can ward off human attackers, dogs, and even wild animals.

Choosing a personal safety alarm depends on the individuals preferences and needs. A battery operated personal safety alarm comes with a clip for attaching, a concealed on/off button and some even come with an LED flashlight. Some models come with a motion sensor built-in to use in a hotel room or any place that requires a silent sentry.

When activated, this gadget emits an eardrum shattering sound for ten to fifteen seconds. This sound is powerful enough to hurt the ears of human and animals alike. It wards off attackers whether they are humans, dogs or other wild beasts that one might encounter while jogging on the trail, after work in a dark parking lot, or during a walk in the park.

Having a personal safety alarm that is easily accessible can give peace of mind to individuals. There are many reasons someone may be engaged in private activity. That does not mean they need to fear for their life and wellbeing. Strolling through the park or cycling down a trail, individuals need to feel safe. A personal safety alarm can eliminate worry and help provide that feeling of safety.

The author is one of the leading experts on self-defense and non-lethal self-defense products like the personal safety alarm. There are several options, including stun guns, self-defense sprays and Tasers. He offers full support and instruction on how to use and care for these products.