It’s that time of the year again. The nights are drawing in, and many of us find that we’re going to work, and coming back from work, in the dark. It’s not that we want to start scaremongering, but that does mean that we all have to be just a little bit more aware of our personal safety when we’re going to work and coming back. Here are our top tips for staying safe.
If you walk to or from work, don’t do it alone
While you might enjoy the walk, when it’s dark, buddy up with a colleague and walk together. Make sure you let each other know that you’re home safe when you arrive.
Let people know when you’re due home
When you’re travelling home after dark let someone know when you’ll be due back. Things like getting stuck in traffic or having to go to the supermarket on the way home do happen, but just let someone know so they know to check up on you if you’re not back home by the expected time.
Stick to well-lit areas
If you’re walking home after dark, avoid any poorly lit or secluded areas like fields, car parks, woods, or alleyways. Stick to main roads where you know there’ll be people around, even if this means changing your route slightly.
Be aware of your surroundings
Don’t wear headphones or look down at your phone as this can distract you from potential hazards or unsavoury characters. If you’re walking along a road, walk in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Don’t have expensive gadgets on show
Don’t walk along with items like iPods and mobile phones on show as this can draw attention from potential thieves.
If you appear afraid or anxious about being out in the dark, this can make you a target for thieves or potential attackers. Walk confidently, keep your head up, and always act as if you know where you’re going.
Wear appropriate shoes
This will apply mostly to the ladies. If you’re going to be walking after dark, don’t wear high heels as they’ll make it harder to get away from a dangerous situation if you need to. Take heels to wear in the office, but have a flat pair to change in to for the walk home.
Invest in a personal safety device
Carrying a personal alarm or similar can give you peace of mind if you know you’re going to be out after dark.
Go with your gut
Our gut instincts are there for a reason, to protect us. If you’re walking towards someone and they look suspicious, just briefly make eye contact and then walk on. Don’t talk to someone you don’t know, politely say you’re in a hurry and that you’re on your way to meet someone.