Keeping yourself safe for the new year

Keeping yourself safe for the new year

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - If you are looking to do something a little different with your New Year's Resolution, there is a new trend that can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

As much as some people try to avoid it, dangerous situations still happen. There may be a time where you may be assaulted in some way by another person, which makes preparedness vital for safety.

Brandon Allen, Master at Allen's American Martial Arts, says being aware of your surroundings.

"We don't want anybody to walk around in fear," Allen said. "But you do have to be aware that stuff can happen anywhere. So it's kind of important. It's really for everybody."

Daniel Barry, a retired police captain and program chair for the College of Security & Criminal Justice at the University of Phoenix, provided some helpful tips to keep you safe when you are out and about:

  • Don’t wear headphones to listen to music while walking alone at night, and avoid looking down at your phone too often. If you’re distracted, you’re an easier target for bad situations, so stay aware and alert.
  • Avoid exercising in neighborhood parks or running trails by yourself, particularly in the early morning or after dark. If you do, make sure loved ones know the route you’re running and exactly how long you plan to be gone for. Consider bringing a watch with GPS-location features for loved ones to track where you are.
  • Take a self-defense course. You can accomplish two new year’s resolutions by staying safe and getting in shape. You can sign up for classes at martial arts centers, gyms and local police departments.

Allen says be cautious if you plan on having a knife or mace with you as they may likely slow you down when you're trying to escape a bad situation.

"I would say, just like anything, if you don't use it, you lose it. So you do want to come back and take multiple classes and continue to train. That way, your body is used to it," Allen explained. "Heaven forbid that it ever happens to you, but if it does and you have those repetitions in, it's going to be a lot easier for you to defend yourself."

While these steps will not guarantee safety, they can help you think more clearly and make better decisions in dangerous situations.

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