Myth's and Misconceptions: Yelling "Fire"

New Series: Myths and Misconceptions


There are a lot of common myths and misconceptions regarding self-defense and personal safety, and we want to help you find the truth. Many of these misconceptions were formed from misinformation, old information, or socialization. Not all are formed from malice, but some are. So to help you navigate through some of the more common myths and misconceptions, we started a new series.


This week’s myth:


Yelling “Fire” is more effective than yelling anything else if I’m being attacked.


This was and is a common myth that is told to people all the time. Yelling “fire” will alert people that something is happening and help will come. Or so says the myth. At IMPACT Personal Safety, we do teach people to yell and we often get asked this question. The question I ask back is how often do people run towards a fire? There are cases where strangers have run into a burning building to help save people. But more often than not, most people would run away from a fire and at best call the fire department.


We do say that yelling helps; we recommend yelling things such as “I don’t know this person,” “I need help,” or “this person is assaulting me.” Yelling out what is actually going on helps ear and eye witnesses identify the situation, and if they decide to report to the police or security, they have an accurate description of the situation. We call this strategy Causing A Scene.


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