(This is today’s bit of advice from the book Safety Toolbox.)
When you decide that the best shot for the circumstances is a safety, there are a wide variety of factors to be evaluated. These considerations are necessary to help fine tune your options and select the most effective shot within your skills.
KNOW EFFECTIVE table layout analysis
The table layout provides defensive and offensive opportunities to apply your various shooting tools. Rules of the game may provide more opportunities or restrict your choices. Know what can be done and cannot be done within the rules.
The beginning of the game with many balls on the table has dozens, even hundreds of choices. Do not play a safety just to do so. Have a reason and purpose in mind. Competitive games require serious consideration of the expected benefits of a successful effort.
The mid-game has fewer options. You need to be a bit more inventive about your shot considerations and selection. The end-game, with a few balls remaining in play, requires more precision in cue ball and object ball placement. The slightest mistake loses the game.