It’s time to have a word about umbrella safety. In other words, spare a thought for those around you when you put up your umbrella. Not only are they going to wish they’d been sensible enough to bring their own umbrella, and slightly jealous of how cool you look with yours, they’re also going to be the one who gets a jab from the edge of yours if you’re not careful! Busy streets in the rain can be a dangerous place to be when rogue umbrella users aren’t thinking of others. Let’s solve that problem right here and now.

Point number one. Is it raining outside? Then open your umbrella outside. Getting through an average door with an open umbrella is a recipe for a mishap, even if you’re not superstitious. If you have a decent umbrella that opens easily, you shouldn’t need to do this 5 minutes in advance.

Be aware of dimensions of your umbrella. Umbrella safety depends on self-awareness, and thinking of others. If you make a sudden move in a different direction, bear in mind those around you who aren’t expecting a jab in the head or a poke in the eye as they pass you.

When the wind is blowing, brace yourself to hold onto that umbrella and not let go. If a gust takes it out of your hands and off down the street, who knows what havoc could ensue. Tumbling down the road, small children, household pets and vulnerable people could be knocked to the ground, and if you’ve watched any old James Bond movies, you’ll know how outdoor markets filled with fruit and vegetables are particularly prone to releasing their produce to bounce onto cobbled lanes with the slightest nudge - for example, from your out of control umbrella. So be careful.

Advanced practitioners of umbrella safety know how to lift or lower their portable shelter when they’re passing others on the street or in a confined area. Raising the umbrella above the danger zone when going through a crowd is a good idea, as is lowering it if there are other raised umbrellas approaching you. It takes some skill and dexterity, but imagine yourself a ninja or jedi and help keep the universe a safer place.

Basically, an umbrella is a beautiful thing, but in the wrong hands it can be a deadly weapon. Umbrella safety is good for everyone. Spread the word.