Last time we talked about protecting your home from a home invasion, this week we’re going to give you some tips for protecting yourself when you’re away from home. In Jacksonville, crimes such as robberies, auto theft, arson and burglaries are in a slight downward trend, murders and rapes are on the increase. It’s important to know how to protect yourself from these sorts of crimes.

How to Protect Yourself from Crime

Lock it up – When leaving home lock your home and garage so that you aren’t surprised when you return.

Lock your car – Be sure to lock your car when going to the grocery store or running errands. People have been known to hide in the back seat of unlocked cars so they can cause you harm.

Park in Well Lit Areas – When parking at night park underneath a street lamp so your car and yourself are illuminated. It’s also helpful to park within range of the many security cameras places around the city.

Don’t Hitchhike – And don’t take rides from strangers. If you need a ride call a friend, get a taxi or order an Uber from your phone.

Carry Pepper Spray – But only if you know how to use it properly.

Self Defense Class – A self defense class is a great way to empower yourself and build confidence. You don’t want to use your skills, but if you have to you can protect yourself.

Yell “Fire” – If you do feel threatened yelling “FIRE!!” instead of “Help” will bring people running faster.

Don’t Leave Your Drink Alone – If you’re out in a club, keep an eye on your drink. Don’t leave your drink with a relative stranger who might spike it in order to drug you and rape you.

Trust your Instincts – If you feel something isn’t right, go with your gut. Even if you are wrong you will only be a little embarrassed. If you are right, but ignore your instincts you could be dead.

Don’t go out Alone – If possible, and especially at night, bring a friend along. Don’t walk around town alone at night if you can help it.

Carry a Whistle – It seems silly but a whistle will easily get others attention if you are being threatened.

These are just a few of the ways you can protect yourself, for more click here to visit the National Crime Prevention Council.