Staying Safe in the Hood


October 30, 2006   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

I received an email from one of our South African readers that lays it all on the line. This guy is in Cape Town and from what I’ve gathered, this place can get rougher than rough. So, if this guy’s tips on survival work there, I will rest comfortably saying that they’ll help you in your suburban condo.

Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of people within the US live in rough areas and in fact, I spent my time there too for a while in Chicago.

Here is his list that I am writing with 100% approval and permission:

    • A place with an entrance and an exit is better than a place with only an
      entrance. Why? Simple. You have an optional exit in the case of an
      emergency, be it fire or burglars.


    • Never set your workplace near a street window. You could be an easy
      target for criminals.


    • Never sleep near a street window. You could be an easy target for


    • Always face your desk or work area towards your entrance. It’s feng-shui.
      Your arc of vision and senses should be directed to what’s happening
      ‘outside, on the street.’


    • A fire extinguisher is useful to keep around. Not only for fires, but for
      blasting unwanted intruders with; if you are unarmed.


    • Similarly, there is nothing untoward in keeping your favourite set of
      ‘Samurai’ kitchen knives ‘stashed’ in strategic places. But remember where
      you stashed ’em. And outtasight from anyone else!


    • Never just open your front door to strangers knocking. Install a
      peep-hole; or better, create one or two ‘crow’s nests’, look-out spots, in
      your spot (like a look-out window, curtained or with blinds, where ‘they’
      can’t see you but you can see them.)


    • If your place is active, or you work at night – keep the lights low. Only
      use as much light as you need; don’t ‘advertise’ yourself to the criminals
      and gangsters outside. The bad guys are inquisitive.


    • You already know this, but I’ll remind you again. Emergency numbers: The
      Cops, Ambulance, Family, Reliable Friends.


  • And make friends with ‘The Good Guys’ in your Hood. Get to know who the
    good guys are and who the bad guys are.

So, what we all want to know is what little tricks do you have to keep safe at home. Is it mace under the mattress, a glock in the nightstand? Let us know what you feel safe with and why. Also, if you comment, let us know if you have kids or not. If didn’t have kids, I’m 100% confident I’d have a piece in the nightstand. As it stands for me now, I have an alarm with motion detectors and a Louisville Slugger under the bed.

Once you are done leaveing a comment, please visit marwinsing. He wrote these and sent them to us. He has a great perspective on life from an area that many of us won’t see.


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