Most importantly > Use common sense WHERE you run (public area with good traffic, well lit area, not on secluded trails alone), know WHO you run with (friends, foes, or dogs), HOW you run (without headsets and against traffic), and WHEN you run (daytime preferred, but not at dusk, dawn, or night…people are most vulnerable then).

· Wherever you are – running on the street, on a running trail, walking in a shopping mall, driving down the street, or even waiting for a bus or taxi or friend - stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
· Criminals look for an easy target and don’t like noise. Carry protection: Personal Panic alarm, Pepper Spray, Pepper Foam, Stun Gun or such. (No permit required for carrying a non-lethal stun gun in most states)
· Display to everyone around you that you're calm, confident, and know where you are and where you are going.
· Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person/leave.
· Know the area where you live and work. Know the locations of public service facilities like police and fire stations, public telephones, and hospitals. Know which area restaurants or stores are open late.
· Stay alert at all times, don’t wear headsets or daydream or think about work or what you are going to eat tonight. The more alert you are, the less vulnerable you are going to appear.
· Tell family or friends where you are going to exercise and what time you are expecting to be back. Call them when you return….have an accountability partner.
· Vary your exercise route! If you are repetitive on your routine, then you are an easier target for the people observing you.
· Run against traffic, so you can observe approaching vehicles.
· Stay clear of parked vehicles, large bushes, tall weeds, and secluded running trails.
· Run/walk with protection in your hand….always be prepared for the unexpected. Think about what-ifs!
· Avoid verbal harassment, why speak to garbage mouth people….use discretion when acknowledging strangers. Important: Look directly at people and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving. Criminals don’t like to be able to be identified.

Vehicle Safety

Use common sense when you leave your vehicle unattended

· Don’t leave valuables in your car (in plain view). But, don’t think by locking them in the trunk that they are secure either. Be discreet about when and how you do this….do it before you leave work or home. (We carry wireless car alarms and wired car alarms )
· Hide your valuables where a thief wouldn’t think to look. Sometimes that is directly out in the open, using a diversion safe for people with keyless entry. But, don’t use the same hiding place all the time. (We carry a full line of diversion safes)
· For people with key entry usage, use key hiders (things that criminals wouldn’t think about). Consider running with a fanny pack, passport holder, or money belts (which are small and holds your ID, cash and keys only). (We have the “new” conceal wear product that is strapless and attaches to any piece of clothing) This product is great because it has no restricting belt and is large enough to hold keys, ID, and other valuables.

Copyright June 2008

Author's Bio: 

Former Law Enforcement and now owner of a national Personal Security Product company. If you would like to speak with the author.