Updated: Oct 31, 2019
The leaves are beginning to change, and the temperatures are dipping. Fall is here, and winter is close behind. While we await the arrival of Thanksgiving turkey and snow, we know that our days will be getting shorter.
Care.com says, "Walking in groups of two or more is a great way to stay safe. Talk to other parents and neighbors to find out who your child can walk home with. This way, if a child falls and grazes his knee, for example, they will have friends to help them home."
How to Stay Safe When it's Dark Outside
Many of us will be starting and ending our days while it is dark outside. It is a good reminder for us to be aware of our surroundings, especially when it comes to parking lots and open spaces near our schools and programs. Take time today to identify dimly lit areas and check for lightbulbs that need to be replaced.
You can increase your safety by identifying areas that may be of particular concern, such as areas with limited access to visibility like alleys and trash disposal sites. Trees or shrubs can also block visibility. Consider cutting these down/back to increase visibility. Evaluate where you and your staff park. If possible, be sure the parking area is well lit, keeping shadows and hiding spaces at a minimum.
Establish a Buddy System
Establish a buddy system so that no one has to go out to their car in the dark alone. If possible, allow staff to move cars closer to the building before it gets dark outside. This is also a good tip for employees who may be working late.
Take time before others leave to position your car close to the building so that you have a short walk to your car in the dark.
Staff members should exit the building in pairs, never alone.
Have your keys easily accessible and walk with a sense of purpose. Your goal is to get inside the safety of your vehicle as quickly as possible.
Once inside your vehicle, start the car and lock your doors.
Weinstein Security says, "Don’t use the stairs!-If your employees park in a parking garage, encourage them to use the elevators. Poorly lit stairs leading to your car can be inviting to attackers."
When it is time to leave, keep your head up and remain free from distractions. Too many people have been mugged or attacked because they were distracted by their cell phones. Check your cell phone inside, before exiting, then place your cell phone away when you leave and head to your car.
Take a look around the area before you open the door. If you see something or someone out of the ordinary, stay inside. If needed, call the police to check out the situation. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and with a few simple precautions, we can minimize our risks. We hope you found these tips useful. Our safety and security experts have over 20 years of real-world experience. Find out how The Institute for Childhood Preparedness can make your program safe and secure. Contact us today!