Walking home alone, particularly at night, can carry many risks, especially for women. So, this week here at First2HelpYou we thought we would give you our walking home alone safety tips.
Keep Your Keys Close
Always keep your keys close at hand when you are walking home alone. Many crimes are opportunistic and the sight of someone struggling to find something in their bag or coat is an ideal target for a criminal.
Have Suitable Clothing
This may seem like common sense, but we have all been caught out by the rain or a thunderstorm before.
Check the weather forecast before you set off walking home alone. It may be sunny now but there could be hailstorms the size of golf balls later. If it looks like the weather will be adverse, don’t just have shorts and a t-shirt! Whilst it might not seem like a safety issue if you are cut off or trapped somewhere due to adverse weather your suffering will be eased if you have appropriate clothing.
Do you have comfy shoes? If you need to make a quick exit is your footwear suitable for running?
Always Have Your Phone With You
Always check before you start to walk home alone that you have your phone and that it has enough charge on it. This could prove to be invaluable in summoning help should an issue arise on your way home. It is also worth remembering that most mobile phones work as torches, which may be helpful if you walk home is at night.
Always Have A Method Of Payment With You
If you have to cut short your walk home for any reason, for example, if you feel uncomfortable or scared, if the weather has deteriorated, if you took a short cut and got lost, you will be able to pay for a bus/train/taxi.
You may have to cut short your walk home. Perhaps your gut instinct is telling you something is off. Maybe the weather has deteriorated, and your visibility or comfort is reduced. Or perhaps you are lost.
Having some cash on you or a payment card will make it much easier to take a bus or a taxi home and make you much safer when walking home alone.
When you are walking home alone try to make sure that you look confident and self-assured, keep your head up and walk at a steady speed.
Try to avoid doing anything that would make you look nervous or intimidated. Studies show that people who look confident give potential attackers the impression that they would put up a fight.
Trust Your Instinct
One tip we always give to anyone working or walking alone is to always trust your gut instinct. If you start to feel uncomfortable for any reason phone a friend or colleague. Is there an alternative route you could take? Could you head somewhere more public?
Do you have a feeling that someone may be following you? Turn around to check. We wouldn’t advise approaching someone who is following you, but sometimes just by simply making them aware you have noticed could make them go away.
If you have a lone worker device or app then activate it.
We would always rather you activate your device or app and it turns out to be nothing than you hesitate to activate it and something happens.
The bottom line here is that if your walk home alone puts you into a situation or environment where you feel unsafe or scared it is essential you remove yourself from the situation and, if you need it, find help.
How Much Are You Carrying?
We have all, at some point, struggled from the office to the car or home carrying a weeks’ worth of shopping in multiple bags and a laptop.
You should always try to avoid this if you can, especially if you have to walk home alone. If you do need to transport several bags, could one of your friends or colleagues help?
Carrying too much means you are more vulnerable, as it stops you from being able to quickly use your hands or arms. It will also slow you down should you have to make an urgent escape.
Always, Always, Tell Someone Where You Are
Whether it is a text to a colleague, a phone call to Mum, or an amber alert on your lone worker app or device, always let someone know where you are going and what time you think you will get there.
It may seem over the top at first thought, but you must think of what would happen in a worst-case scenario where you were unable to contact anybody.
If something happens to you and you don’t arrive home when you expect to, people can start looking for you as soon as possible. And they will know where to start looking.
There also some handy apps available for android or iPhone that let you share your location with friends, family or co-workers (some phones have them pre-loaded so have a look as you may already have one that you can use).
The First2HelpYou lone worker device and app allows you to leave a message (amber alert) saying where you are going. It also lets you set a timer to countdown until you expect to be safe. If you don’t report back that you are safe by the timer runs out, someone from our alarm receiving centre will call you to check you are ok. If we can’t confirm you are alright we will ring a person you have chosen to come and see if you are safe and well.
Not only that, but your device will send your GPS location to our alarm receiving centre during an alert, so we can get help to you as soon as possible.
Avoid Wearing Headphones
Our last safety tip is to avoid wearing headphones if you are walking home alone.
It is great that in the year 2019 we can listen to the new Stephen King book or podcast while we are out and about but on a walk home alone, especially at night, you always need to be aware and alert.
It is so easy to get distracted and for a moment forget exactly where you are, which could be dangerous should you find yourself in a tricky situation.
How Can Employers Help To Keep You Safe When Walking Home Alone?
Here at First2HelpYou our expert team can provide all the advice and training that employers and employee need to maximise personal safety when walking home alone. We also have lots of lone worker safety products to choose from.
Get in touch with us here, or call us on 0333 772 9401 to have a chat about how we can help you.