To be sure, there are more than Ten Tips for avoiding crime but these are my Top Ten for you. They say ‘the best defense is a good offense’ and nothing could be truer when it comes to keeping yourself safe and avoiding crime on the street, in your car, at home, anywhere you may find yourself. Carrying some means of defense is strongly urged but another good saying (I’m just full of old sayings, that’s what happens when you get old) is ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ so though you will be ready with your pepper spray or your stun gun should you need it, avoiding crime should be your ultimate objective and that means using your head (no, not to bash someone with, THINKING!)

1  Be Alert To Be Safe

Being safe means being alert. One of my ‘pet peeves’ in the category of “You Have Got To Be Kidding Me” is the way everyone today seems to be glued to his or her iPhone. Every where you look, you see people staring at the palm of their hand; while walking across the street, while driving a car (really scary), and even worse a table at a restaurant, full of people and no one at the table is talking to each other, they’re texting (oh, wait, should that be 'txtg'? LOL) Did you hear the story of the woman who walked right off the end of a pier? Yep, staring at her Iphone. My point is, you need to be aware of your surroundings to be safe and secure in them and if you don’t take a moment now and then to put your head up and look around, you won’t see that creep that has been following you ready to snatch your purse or the one hiding in that dark alley that’s going to jump out at you as you are walking past. Or the end of the pier that is approaching. Be Alert!

2  Vary Your Routines To Be Safe

Try not to make all your actions day after day, week after week be the same. Change it up now and then to be safe. When a predator is sizing up a target, predictability makes it so much easier for them to ‘perp’ the crime. Avoiding crime means making it harder for the criminals.

3  Lock It Up

Lock everything, your car, your house, your desk, your computer and your office. Good locks are the easiest, most overlooked and least expensive safety feature and your first line of defense against theft and even worse.

4  Make Your Home Safe So It’s A Tough Target

There are so many good home security systems on the market. You don’t have to pay those exorbitant monthly fees to places like ADT or Bay Alarm. For a fraction of the cost you can have your home safe with a motion detector alarm, sensors and security systems that will automatically dial for help; deadbolts, door and window alarms, floodlights and more. Make sure your home is the safe sanctuary it should be.

5  Defense Against Car-Jackers

I’m stating the obvious here, but keep all windows and doors locked. Make a habit of checking your mirrors and blind spots, not only while you are driving but also when you come to a stop. Stay at least 1 ½ car lengths away from the car ahead of you. This is a trick used by criminals to get you blocked in with no chance of escape. If you think that you are being approached by a car-jacker, sound your horn and flash your lights to get someone’s attention and also to scare off the criminals and then if you have a cell phone, call for help as soon as you can. And of course the pepper spray that’s on your key chain will come in handy if they approach your car window, you do have your pepper spray out and ready, right?

6  Safety Means Preventing Your Car From Being Stolen

Again, keep it locked. Use some kind of an anti-theft device. Turn your wheels when you park your car. Never leave a spare key inside your car. Park your car as close to the entrance as possible and in a well-lighted space. Keep this in mind especially if you are going to be parked for a while. It may be light when you park but then when you come out it’s now dark and your car is all the way at the end of the lot and in a very dark place. Put any packages that you may have in the trunk of your car. If they can’t be seen then they aren’t a temptation. If you drive a truck, like me, then put your packages behind your seat. If there is not space behind your seat then place them on the floor and cover them up with something dark making it harder to be seen.

7  Be Creative About Your Safety

Put your thinking cap on and get your brain going. Think of your specific situation and the different scenario’s you find yourself. Be creative about ways to keep yourself and your valuables safe from crime and theft.

8  Stay Informed To Avoid Crime

Know what’s going on in your area. You can check your local police department’s crime report so you will be better informed and therefore prepared. If you know what kinds of crimes are being committed in your area, you will be better able to protect yourself and avoid these crimes.

9  Get Involved

Is there a Neighborhood Watch program in your area? Join it! If not, then start one. A safe neighborhood is one where everyone is involved in preventing crime.

10  Never Give Up On Making Things Safer

It’s action, not apathy, that helps reduce crime. The good guys outnumber the bad guys, so let’s all work together to be smart and be safe and avoid crime.