“Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless” 

–  Jerry Smith

We should be concerned about our safety in general, but when we are in a foreign country with an unfamiliar environment, we just need to be a bit more careful. Canada is considered one of the safest places in the world to live. Regardless, we still need to follow the same common-sense safety precautions that we would take anywhere in the world.

What’s ahead-

  • Transportation safety
  • Walking safely
  • Drinking and parties
  • Apartment safety

Transportation Safety

Bus routes and schedules, taxi companies’ numbers, and rideshare applications are a few things you should know.

Make sure you know the bus routes and schedules before leaving for your destination. If it’s after dark, choose well-lit stops, and you can also ask the driver to stop at the street closest to your destination to avoid walking alone as much as possible. On the bus, choose the seats near the driver so they can step in if someone is harassing you. Also, if someone is making you uncomfortable, do not be afraid to switch seats. Your safety is more important than appearing rude.

Another good approach to going home after dark is using taxis. Keep the number of taxi companies handy just in case. Canadian taxis should all have running meters showing the cost of a ride. A more affordable alternative, gaining a lot of traction, is ridesharing applications. Some of the options are:

  • Uber
  • Kangaride
  • Poparide
  • Lyft
  • Carma Carpooling

Research your options well and be aware before you go anywhere to practice safety.

Walking safely

You need to have situational awareness when walking alone—being aware of what is happening around you in terms of where you are supposed to be, and whether anyone or anything around you is a threat to your health and safety. Avoid things that distract you, such as headphones or earphones.

As said earlier, know your routes. When walking at night, choose well-lit, busy streets, walk with confidence, and have a companion with you as much as possible. Refrain from going into isolated places like alleys and parks. Many college campuses offer “safety escorts” and rides for students after dark. Save these services’ numbers on your phone.

Ensure that someone knows where you are going and when you are likely to return. If you think someone is following you, go to a public place like a store, restaurant, or marketplace.

Drinking and parties

You need to be of legal drinking age to purchase and drink alcohol. So, be sure you are of age and carry some form of identification with you.

When going to a bar or party, go with friends who you can trust to ensure there are people around if you run into trouble. If you are drinking, create a plan beforehand on how you will get home or living quarters if you are drinking, as drinking and driving is illegal everywhere. Have a designated driver, take a taxi or the bus, or use a ride-sharing application. When using a ridesharing application, match the vehicle’s license plate and description, name, and photo of the driver with the ones provided in the application.

Apartment safety

Follow the basic common-sense rules, such as don’t let people you don’t know into your apartment or dorm, don’t hold the door open for people you don’t know; and always lock your doors and windows before leaving. Remember, this isn’t just a case of your safety but also of your neighbours. Additionally, you should look through the peephole before you open it for someone.

Getting to know your neighbours is also a good idea, so you have people around who can help you in an emergency.

Being safe is a priority no matter where in the world you are. These are some of the tips you can follow to ensure your safety and that of your friends.

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