When it comes to personal security and the security of our family and property we can never be over vigilant. The measures you can take to ensure your safety can be very simple yet most effective. From looking behind you when you walk at night to never taking the same route home from work, personal security will always be about being vigilant.
The first thing to remember is that no security measure is ever 100%. Your effort and constant awareness will help to increase your safety. Like caring for a child’s safety, your safety must have your complete attention every day, most important is to know and understand the threats that you are faced with.
So, firstly, take stock of your situation. This process will help with planning for your safety. A good place to start is your own environment and neighborhood. Ask questions such as; do you live a high risk area? What has been the number of crimes and incidents in your neighborhood? What are the threats that face you? Like any organisation a thorough assessment is required. In today’s environment we are faced with many threats, but it is important to understand how we deal with threats posed. Following an assessment on your personal safety, the next step is how do I better prepare myself?
Some suggestions are obvious; others you will need to remind yourself.
Do take self defense classes or seek personal security advise.
Experts will tell you not to keep large amounts of cash at home, however, in our environment it is best you do have some in the worse case event you are visited by intruders at home, for example N50,000-N100,000. In many cases, keeping some cash at home has saved lives.
Do install CCTV. Have it done professionally, pay good money for good equipment.
Do employ security guards from a reputable company.
Do keep the local police station numbers on file and know the officers that are posted at your local police station. Keep up with them on a timely basis so you know when personnel are changed.
Take note of individuals, vendors, recharge card sellers etc in your neighbourhood. Be aware of happenings in your vicinity.
Keep up with news and current affairs, understanding the wider security situation in your state, the country and beyond keeps you informed of new threats and dangers.
Remember a show of wealth is not necessary. Yes, one understands the culture and society we live in, but ask yourself how many of your friends or associates have had a visit from the criminals. Think about what was taken; the usual show of wealth, Watches, jewellery and cars will be your answer.
Always check your car as you approach it, look under the car and the back seat of the car to see if someone is hiding. Most times we assume our car is a safe place, however, we should take extra precaution with our vehicles. Keep your keys handy as you approach your car, in deed the same with your house or place of residence. Always lock your car doors when you drive.
When you stop at traffic lights, it best to position your vehicle with enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you enough room to maneuver away, just in case somebody attempts to gain entry into your vehicle while you are stopped.
And remember to park your car in a well-lit and well-traveled area. And never keep documents with your home address in the car.
The main point to your security is vigilance. Always stay aware of what you are doing and what is going on around you. Be cautious how you speak in public and never, never, give your details to any one you just met.
Yusuf Bako is an Abuja based Security professional.