Home and Car Safety Reminders
Once daylight savings ends, we start to see shorter days and longer nights. It makes for a festive season of holiday lights, but also opens up opportunities to be distracted or hurt. Practicing vigilant home and car safety may save your life or the lives of others.
A recent news story in Atlanta told how a victim was shot after confronting a person who was attempting to break into cars outside of a busy restaurant. A customer at Manuel’s Tavern on North Highland Avenue spotted the criminal and began encouraging other customers to contact the police. The customer approached the criminal, an altercation began, and the criminal shot the patron in the chest.
Employees at the restaurant attempted to save the customer, however, the victim died from the gunshot wound. The restaurant had security cameras and management released the footage to the authorities. It’s incredibly unfortunate and our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this victim.
That being said, we want to offer you tips to be more aware of your surroundings. Avoid a painful or life-threatening situation around with these home and car safety reminders.
Hide your valuables
Do not leave valuable items visible in your car or home windows. This includes
- Open electronics (ie, Bluetooth devices, phones, watches)
- Camera equipment
- Electronic boxes (even empty ones)
- Wrapped packages
- Shipping boxes
- Envelopes with your address
- Children or pets
Lock your doors
It may seem inconvenient to lock your car door while pumping gas or getting food at the drive-thru. However, it can save you from theft or car-jacking.
The same goes for leaving your home to get the mail or your apartment to pick up food delivery from the lobby. Avoid providing anyone the opportunity to invade your space and cause you harm.
Many apartments or condominium buildings have security cameras or on-site security staff. However, security staff may not be able to act in time to prevent an attack from happening in real time. An assault may occur between shifts or while a security guard is distracted. If you have your own security system, it will still take time for help to arrive in an emergency. You should do everything in your power as a resident to keep strangers out of your space by locking your doors anytime you leave or enter your home.
Do not sit idly in your car
Many people are guilty of this: sitting in their car in a parking lot on the phone. While it is safest to avoid texting while driving, it’s very easy to be distracted for longer than you anticipated while on your phone. Criminals looking for the opportunity to steal or cause harm can surprise and overtake someone who is distracted in their car.
It’s better to get in and out of your vehicle as quickly as possible to enter a more crowded public area or return to the safety of a private residence.
Report dangerous activity
Once you see something is missing in regard to ample security, you must speak up. Taking the time to inform a property owner or employee that you feel unsafe can help ensure the proper security measures are in place in the future.
Reporting dangerous situations also includes mentioning dangerous environmental hazards. These hazards may include:
- Low or malfunctioning lighting
- Broken stairs or railings
- Uneven or sunken walkways
- Water leaking or spills
It’s important to inform the property owner of dangerous activities by making an incident report with an employee, manager, security officer, or other authority on-site.
Do not attempt to engage with or fix a dangerous situation alone. By taking action yourself, you are accepting the risk of a threat you may not have all of the information on. That may be hard to hear, but when stories of violent acts are on the news every week, it’s important to know and avoid the worst-case scenarios.
Call 9-1-1 from a safe place
Whether you are the witness or the victim of an injury, break-in, or other life-threatening activity, call 9-1-1 as soon as you’re able. EMS can provide immediate medical attention to the injured. The police can make an official report and document evidence, including possible camera footage.
Contact a lawyer
Being informed on how to stay safe will help, but a property owner has a duty to keep customers, tenants, or residents safe. Contact our personal injury law firm to see if you have a claim against a business owner or property owner for premises liability negligence.
Overall, you deserve justice if you or a loved one has been badly injured or killed because of negligent security.