A Toast to Safety

A Toast to Safety. A few thoughts that will keep you safe in t2015.

A Toast to SafetyJanuary 1, 2015

personal security - By: Multibrand Media

With the New Year upon us, we begin with hearts filled with goals, resolutions and promise. We almost never consider that none of these will be fulfilled unless we maintain the vigilance required to protect our own safety and the safety of those around us.

It is with the excitement of 2015, but the reality of the dangerous world around us, that we have consulted MBMI Safe 360° Chief Operating Officer, and former United States Secret Service Presidential Protective Division agent, Tom Hughes. While the chances are low you will be affected by any of the below circumstances or incidents, Tom provides a few thoughts that will keep you safe in the coming 365 days.

Protect your identity. The dangers to your reputation, family finances, and time resources are unimaginable when your identity is stolen.

  • Make sure that you maintain complicated passwords and PINs for all personal information and bank accounts.
  • NEVER provide your Social Security number to anyone, unless you are absolutely sure of its necessity and the identity of the person, company or agency that requests it.
  • Ask questions. Make sure that there is a good reason for providing any information, whatsoever, before you provide it. Also, ask what happens to any application you may make for credit or other accommodations, after the company requesting it is finished with it. Recently, some companies have been caught throwing away personal information in dumpsters that are easily accessed by bad guy.
  • If someone contacts you by telephone, even a supposed government agency, ask for a telephone number, department and name. Then research that information before you call back.
  • Any Government request for your personal information will always come in the U.S. Mail with a name and contact number, NEVER by telephone.
  • Report to authorities all thefts of credit cards or identification. Make sure the financial institutions are made aware of the theft, too.

Know where you’re going. Your situational awareness can be the difference between coming home from the supermarket and being carjacked.

  • Plan your route. If you travel a route frequently, try to vary it somewhat, and try to change the times you travel once in a while.
  • Be observant, look around, practice it so you will automatically do it.
  • If you feel like you are being followed, trust your instincts. Head for the nearest police or fire station.
  • Be prepared to go through a red light. If someone approaches your car at a red light, your best defense is to look both ways and proceed if you can do so safely.
  • Always keep your doors locked.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected.

Know who you should see.People are a part of your work and play environments, but you should always go with your gut. If the hair on the back of your neck is standing up, there’s a reason. Go with it, it’s better to be safe.

  • Be aware of the people around you. Do they look familiar? If so, do you know them, or do they seem to pop up by coincidence? Security professionals don’t believe in coincidence. If you meet someone once, that is normal. If you see them twice, that may be a coincidence. See the person a third time, and there may be reason to consider that person to be a danger to you.
  • If you see someone who simply looks out of place, remember that profiling for your own safety is completely a normal reaction that may protect you. Simply move to a well-lit, public area or to the safety of your home or car, as quickly as possible.
  • If someone crosses the street to your side, and that someone makes you nervous for any reason, cross the street to the side they were previously traveling. If the person follows, don’t be afraid to pick up your walking pace or run. If you are a woman in high heels or uncomfortable shoes, kick them off and run.

If you run into a mugger/robber. Remember, action is always faster than reaction, unless you have had special training, you can almost never win with a mugger. He has a weapon and you don’t. Even if you do, you have to know how to use it and be willing to do so.

  • Carry a second wallet. If you are in a position of last resort that requires you to give up your wallet to a mugger, a second wallet can be the answer.
  • Save a few expired credit cards and your expired driver’s license and keep them in the appropriate slots in your second wallet.
  • Make sure that you keep between $50 and $100 in cash in the wallet. Muggers will generally see the cash and cards and be satisfied.
  • Don’t look at the mugger. Be cooperative.
  • Be observant, so you can give details to Law enforcement, you may not win the battle, but you can help win the war by getting the mugger caught.

Clubs, hotels, airplanes, boats and subways all require escape routes. Don’t wait for the emergency to happen, have your escape plan in place, in advance

  • In any fire, your first rule of safety is to get out of the building as quickly as possible, avoiding people, the fire itself and smoke. You should memorize all of the exits from the various parts of the club. Whenever possible, stay near an exit throughout your stay at the club. Follow hotel fire directions whenever possible
  • In a hotel fire, smoke is your enemy. When the alarm first sounds, place your hand against the hallway door. If it is hot to the touch, do not open it. Place wet towels against the opening between door and floor. Try to contact someone outside to tell them your room number and floor and that you are trapped inside.
  • If the door is not hot, open it carefully to determine if it is safe to proceed into the hall and down the stairways to safety. NEVER use the elevator.
  • Stay low. Smoke rises. Cover your mouth and nose with a wet wash cloth to filter the air of smoke.
  • TAKE YOUR ROOM KEY. You may be forced by smoke or flame to return to your room to make your next move.
  • Listen to the flight attendants and safety films on airplanes.
  • Count the rows forward and behind you, to the exits.
  • In an actual airplane emergency that requires you to leave the plane, take nothing with you.
  • Sometimes, the best route to the exit is to avoid congested aisles by crawling over the tops of seats.
  • There is always a clock running in an airplane accident and your job is to get out to safety as quickly as possible.
  • The recent Costa Cruise disaster demonstrates that accidents at sea still occur. Although Titanic-like losses rarely occur on commercial cruises, hazards such as collision, fire, and even rogue waves can still make for a dangerous situation. Your best bets: Follow crew instructions exactly, know your muster station and location of life jackets, and don’t try to outguess the ship’s officers.
  • If an incident at sea includes smoke or fire, follow the same plan as those for a hotel room.
  • In a subway, there are four kinds of life threatening incidents:

Equipment Failure

Falls and Accidents

Operator Error

Terrorist Activity

  • Although there is little a passenger can do to avoid Operator Error or Equipment Failure, like an airplane accident, your job is to get out of the subway and get out fast. Remember, the doors may jam and you may have to escape through a window or roof installed hatch.
  • If a tunnel collapses, stay calm, breathe normally, and assess your situation before deciding to leave the train. You may be better off waiting for professional assistance.
  • If you are injured by a faulty door, for instance, leave the area and seek immediate medical attention.
  • If you encounter anything suspicious on or on a subway train or platform, if you can, leave the area immediately and notify authorities. DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONE.

Practice being observant, make a plan for you and your family to be safe in 2015 and beyond.

For more information on the best safety and security practices, contact us.

Everyone at MBMI 360 hopes you have a safe, happy & healthy New Year

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