Here are several guidelines when choosing the safest place to sit when it comes to your personal security. Maybe in a restaurant, or any other public place where you need to choose a seat.
Why does it matter? We’re living through a period in time filled with real threats. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to a restaurant, a public meeting of some sort, church, or wherever else. The fact is that there are some very bad people out there. If you are unlucky enough to be caught in a place where one or more of them begin to cause trouble (or worse), you better have thought out a basic plan ahead of time. Do it for your own safety and security.
Tip: Whenever you enter a place, take a moment and plan. Look for other exits. Did you know that most everyone, when panicked, will leave by whatever entrance they came in? It’s fact…
Ideally (but not always possible) you may consider the following places to sit for better personal safety and security.
FACE THE ROOM WITH YOUR BACK TO THE WALL
Situational awareness requires that you SEE what’s going on. Pick a seat where you can see other people to observe their behavior and demeanor. Try not to sit where someone can come up behind you.
SIT CLOSE TO THE AISLE
Whether choosing a seat at a table, a movie theater, or anywhere with a row of seats, sit close to the aisle. This will allow you to get out quickly, and be less likely to be become slowed during an emergency situation.
SIT NEAR AN EXIT
Know where the entrances and exits are, and sit near one of them if possible. This will enable quick egress during an emergency. That said, don’t seat yourself closest to the main entrance – which is an immediate point of focus (and where most people will flock to while trying to get out). Remember that the kitchen has an exit too.
DON’T BOX YOURSELF IN
If sitting at a restaurant table with a bench style seat or U-shaped seat, sit on the end. When the group is being seated simply allow others to slide in before you and take up the end…
VISUALIZE AN EMERGENCY
If upon entrance, you quickly visualize an emergency scenario, not only will it help you choose where to sit, but IF an emergency actually takes place you will be less likely to freeze up. You will be more likely to remain relatively calm and make the right decisions. Take a moment to think it through as you enter the establishment. Where applicable request a specific table that seems best to you.
A few more thoughts on your situational awareness for better safety and security in these environments:
I think its more important to be watching and listening to people’s behavior and the reactions of those around them. Has the tone and volume of someone’s voice suddenly changed? Is there a person in the crowd that is sitting or standing quietly and seems completely disconnected with what is going on around them? Did someone just walk in wearing dark sunglasses and a jacket with a hood up over his head although it is a warm summer night? When someone is about to get ‘loco’, they usually send some signals first.
I also think it is very important to be seated in a position where you can get to your feet quickly and start moving. Being seated with your back to the wall might do you no good if you are tucked into a booth, or are seated in a chair with arm rests. These will rob you of reaction time.
This is not being unreasonable. Rather, it’s common sense during these uncertain times.
Here’s a good example how a restaurant full of people froze during a shooting scenario, while two people did the right thing:
Another related article that I wrote since the original publication of this one:
A very good and informative read if you happen to carry… Also very eye opening and extremely important information form the perspective on an attorney (self defense).
The Law of Self Defense
Other than not being in a public place at all, what are your suggestions or opinions about the safest place to sit in public places like a restaurant (or other)?