No matter how old you are or where you live, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings in order to keep yourself safe. This is especially true if you live on your own. There are many different circumstances that could arise and put you in harm’s way, so it’s critical that you know how to respond in the event they do. Here are some of the top personal safety tips that everyone should know:
- Travel with a friend whenever possible – Strength in numbers is not just a saying, it’s an important truth to remember. Whenever you go somewhere, always try to travel with friends so you can look after each other and make sure everyone gets home safely.
- Have emergency numbers easily accessible – Make sure that important emergency numbers are easily accessible in your cell phone. This will ensure that you (or someone with you) can quickly dial for help in the event of an emergency. If you are walking alone and feel unsafe, consider even dialing out 911 on your phone so you only need to hit one button to call.
- Avoid dark areas – Whether you are walking or trying to park your car, it’s always a good idea to avoid dark areas. This will help you make sure that there are no hidden threats you are unable to see and also that other people nearby can see you in case something happens to you.
- Lock your car doors immediately – No matter if you are leaving or entering your car, locking your doors right away ensures that no one else is able to get in. This is good to keep your car and your belongings inside safe from being stolen, but it also keeps you safe.
- Carry mace or pepper spray – This is a common personal safety tip, but it’s incredibly effective at deterring people trying to harm you, so it is always worth mentioning. It’s also as simple as putting a small, inconspicuous bottle of pepper spray on your keychain so you always have it readily available.
- Don’t overshare on social media – Many people share everything going on in their lives to their social media channels, but that can actually be dangerous. It’s important to let your family and close friends know where you are and that you are safe, but you don’t need to let hundreds or thousands of followers know exactly where you are. You can change this by turning off your geo-locating services.
- Avoid areas you don’t know very well – It’s hard to always know exactly how safe a certain area is at first, so if you are going to an unfamiliar area make sure it is during the day or you have others who will be with you the entire time.
- Find safe accommodations – If you’re traveling or living in a new city, make sure you find a place to stay in a safe area that is recommended by others. These can sometimes be expensive, so a good option is to live with a roommate or find a co-living arrangement. This also offers another source of protection and makes a safer neighborhood affordable.
At Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH), we’re a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the academic and professional success of young women. TMH is in the heart of DC and offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women who are working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Visit our website to learn more about our accommodations or fill out an application today so you can start enjoying all of the benefits of co-living in DC!