As a child, your parents and older siblings helped guide you thru the pitfalls of child hood.

You learned that stoves were hot, falling down hurt and that crossing the street was a dangerous undertaking. 

You learned to look both ways for traffic because if you didn't you might get killed or seriously injured.

As an adult, you are pretty much on your own when it comes to your personal safety. Sure, you can read the owners manual for products and you can see the wet floor signs but that's just part of the normal daily grind.

Now, more than ever (9news), you need to read the signs that might be there when something is amiss. 

There are the obvious ones like a crowd moving in the same direction, a fire alarm, police sirens and a few other things.

But what about your personal space? How might you recognize a bad guy? How might your posture, clothing or attitude make you a victim (or reduce the chance of becoming a victim)?

What are the things to look out for?

A lot of this stuff you've heard before. It's common sense, but it's important and worth repeating.

1st) Be aware of your surroundings. What is ahead of you, behind you, to the side, above, below? Bad things can come from any direction at any time. Remember when, as a child, you were told to walk down the street facing traffic? The same thing applies here. Observe what is happening around you.

2nd) Be aware of the people nearby. Are any of them paying "too much" attention to you? Is any one following you? If you think this is the case then duck into a store, hop on a bus, hail a cab, engage a total stranger in conversation. Do anything to get out of the area as quickly as possible and in the company of others.

3rd) Don't be careless!!! This is probably the easiest rule to break  and we do it all of the time. That alley or bike path is a short cut and you're in a hurry. There's no one else around, it'll be ok. Well, you're taking a huge (and totally avoidable) risk. Use valet parking if it's available rather than walking to your car.

4th) Dress for success. Your clothing choices broadcast a lot about you. Well dressed people are more likely to be targeted. Women in heels or a tight skirt will be easier to chase down than those in tennis shoes and loose jeans.

Few crimes are truly random. The bad guy wants something and will choose a victim that can provide what he wants and appears to offer the least ability to resist.

So, don't make yourself a target by standing out in the crowd. Dress to blend in.

When you got out on the town, go with like minded friends. In today's society we often have a designated driver. The rest of the group can unwind and not have to worry about driving drunk. The same holds true for your personal safety. You're less likely to become a target if you're with a group. Instead of being just the designated driver, now someone is the designated watchdog.

The decision for you here is: Are you willing to entrust your friend with your life? It may seem like an extreme view, but you will be trading your ability to be aware of your surroundings for a few hours of fun. Is it worth the risk?

Being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated is against the law in Colorado. Being in a bar and having a firearm in your possession is not.

There are many dimensions to your personal safety and a handgun isn't the answer to all situations. 

Reducing the risk of becoming a victim is a multi-faceted effort that starts and ends with you!