Crime rates tend to rise during festive seasons. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it is best to be prepped for safety. The good news is that we are naturally equipped with alarm bells that warn us of potential dangers: our six senses!
Vision is our most sensitive sense. The problem is when we are too preoccupied or absent-minded to notice danger signs such as movements or fleeting shadows, broken flower pots and shoeprints in your garden. Always be wary of suspicious situations such as a man wearing a helmet in a car or unfamiliar vehicles parked outside your home with its engine running.
In dark or busy areas where your eyes may not spot danger, your hearing will come in handy. When walking on a crowded street or a lone alley, listen out for footsteps from behind, be attentive to sounds of vehicles slowing down and coming close to you.
The Royal Malaysian Police Force statistics show that date rapes commonly happen to women who knew and trusted their companions. The sense of taste not just protects us from stomach problems by preventing us from taking something that has gone bad. It can be life-saving when your other senses are down. Be wary when you taste something strange in your food or drinks.
Your fingers could help indicate that someone has crossed your path earlier, such as touching an oily/wet door knob or suspicious substance near your parked car.
Any smell that is out of place is cause for suspicion, such as cigarette smoke wafting in from the backlane of your house when nobody around your house smokes, unfamiliar odours when you enter your car in the morning, body odour, even perfume in a secluded carpark. Arm yourself with the nearest available defense weapon and be geared to run for your life if the need arises.
Be attentive to the facial expressions and body language of people around you because criminals can appear in all shapes and sizes. They can be smartly dressed or put up a pitiful face to gain sympathy. If you suspect someone is trailing you, stop and look into their eyes or speak with him, such as ask for the time. People with something to hide usually try to avert their eyes. Once you can recognise them, you become a less desirable target.