10 ways to stay safe on a night out
Learn more about staying safe on a night out and getting home safely
When you are on a night out, you should be able to feel safe and enjoy yourself without worrying that something bad could happen. Unfortunately, we cannot always control what happens on a night out or how other people around us act. If you are planning a night out there are certain steps you can take to try and keep safe throughout the night and while you are getting home.
How to stay safe on a night out
1. Stay with your friends
If you are on a night out try to stay with your friends. It can be easy to get separated in big crowds so it is a good idea at the start of the night to plan a meeting spot that you can go to if you get lost. If you cannot find your friends, try not to leave the area that you were in with them, stay somewhere public and call them to get in touch. If you are not able to find them and decide to go home, it is a good idea to order your taxi from inside the premises you are in and wait there until it arrives.
2. Arrange a designated driver or lift
If you live rurally and don't have the option of getting a taxi or public transport, you should think about how you will get home before going out. Where possible you may be able to organise a designated driver from your group of friends, this is a person who is not drinking and agrees to give others a lift home. Another option is to arrange a lift from someone you can rely on such as a parent or guardian. Let them know the time you would like to be collected before you go out and if your plans change get in touch to let them know.
3. Get a taxi home with someone you know
It is not always possible to take a taxi with someone else at the end of the night, but where possible you should. If you are taking a taxi by yourself, it is a good idea to take down the name and number of the taxi driver and to text it to someone you trust. It is also important to let a friend or family member know when you have gotten into the taxi and when you have arrived at home. If for whatever reason you feel uncomfortable in a taxi, try to stay calm and ask the driver to pull over so you can get out. Ring someone you know and stay on the phone to them until you can organise another taxi.
Using a taxi app, such as FreeNow (previously MyTaxi), also allows you to have full information on the driver, such as license and car type without having to take the information down yourself. You can also pay by card through your taxi app which can be a more secure way of paying. If you use a taxi app to order your taxis, you can look at the reviews of the drivers in the app and see what their rating is before accepting the ride.
4. Getting the bus or walking home
If you are getting the bus home, let someone know when you are waiting for the bus, when you have gotten on and gotten off. Where possible try to take the bus with someone you know and go as far together in your journey as you can. If you are walking home, again contact someone and let them know that you are on your way home. Try to walk in public, well lit areas and pay attention to your surroundings. It is best to avoid wearing earphones if you are walking home alone.
5. Have emergency money
It is a good idea if you are on a night out to keep some money on you separate to your wallet or purse. By doing this it means that if your lose it or it gets stolen that you will still have some money to get a taxi home if you need to. Try to find somewhere safe on you that you can keep the money, such as the inside pocket of a jacket or the pocket of your jeans.
6. Avoid drinking too much or taking drugs
When you are drunk or high, you are at a higher risk of any type of incident happening. Reducing the amount you drink can help you to enjoy your night out to the fullest. Between drinks it is a good idea to drink water and to always eat a meal before you go on your night out. If you decide to take drugs, you should avoid drinking alcohol and be aware of the risks that are involved beforehand. You can find information on the effects that different types of drugs can have on a person in our Drugs section.
7. Avoid taking drinks from a stranger
If you are on a night out avoid taking drinks from people you don’t know or leaving your drink unattended. If someone offers to buy you a drink who you don’t know and you would like to accept the offer, it is best to go to the bar with them when they are buying the drink. By doing this, you can take the drink from the bartender and know exactly what is in the drink before drinking it. If you want to dance or go to the bathroom, you should avoid leaving your drink alone. Where possible leave it with someone you trust or finish your drink before leaving the table.
8. Avoid confrontation
If someone starts a fight with you or one of your friends on a night out, the best thing you can do is walk away from the situation. If there is someone behaving aggressively in the club or pub that you are in, report them to the bouncer and move away from the area that they are in. If a friend gets in a fight, it can be tempting to jump in to their defence, but the best option for both you and them is to pull them away from the situation and take them somewhere else instead.
9. Charge your phone
Fully charge your phone before you go on a night out. Having a working phone means that you can call someone if something goes wrong, or get in contact with your friends if you get separated from them. It also means that you can use it to book a taxi or call someone to come collect you. You should also try to have credit on your phone before you go out so that you can stay in contact with your friends and family.
10. Going home with someone
If you decide to go home with someone at the end of the night, you should always give their address and telephone number to one of your friends. There is always risk involved with going home with someone and if either one, or both of you are drunk, you cannot consent to having sex. Before you leave try to think if you would feel comfortable if a friend was in a similar position and whether it would be better for you to go directly home instead.