batten down the hatches

When you batten down the hatches, you prepare yourself for danger or a forthcoming difficult period, like a ship preparing for a storm.
“Here comes that trouble-making guy. Batten down the hatches!”

calculated risk

A calculated risk is a risk taken with full knowledge of the dangers involved.
“The company took a calculated risk when they hired Sean straight out of college.”

throw caution to the wind

If you throw caution to the wind, you start taking risks and stop worrying about the danger involved.
“I decided to throw caution to the wind and invest in my best friend’s new company.”

(a) close shave

The term a close shave is used to describe a situation where an accident or a disaster nearly happened.
“I almost hit the child who ran out in front of my car. It was a close shave

(the) coast is clear

To say that the coast is clear means that there is no danger in sight or that nobody can see you.
“OK. The dog has gone inside. The coast is clear.”

cry wolf

To cry wolf is to call for help when you are not really in danger. As a result, nobody believes you when you really need help.
“There’s Mary screaming again! Does she really have a problem or is she just crying wolf again?”

dice with death

If you put your life at risk by doing something very dangerous, you dice with death.
“Going mountain-climbing alone is dicing with death.”

dicey situation

Any situation that is potentially risky or dangerous is called a dicey situation.
“The politician put himself in a dicey situation by getting involved with an intern.”

false move

In a dangerous or risky situation, if you make a false move, you do something which may have unpleasant consequences.
“He is under close surveillance. If he makes one false move he’ll be arrested.”

fraught with danger

An activity or situation that is fraught with dangeris full of risks or serious difficulties.
“His journey across the mountains was fraught with danger.”

by a hair’s breadth

If you avoid or miss something by a hair’s breadth, you manage to escape from a danger by the smallest possible distance or margin.
“A slate fell off the roof and missed the child by a hair’s breadth.”

hang on for dear life

If you hang (or hold) on for dear life, you are in a dangerous situation and grip something firmly so as not to fall.
“Andy took his mother on the back of his motorbike where she hung on for dear life!”

live to tell the tale

Someone who lives to tell the tale survives a terrible experience.
“Only two members of the expedition lived to tell the tale.”

look before you leap

This is something you say when advising someone to think carefully about the possible dangers before doing something.
“Don’t decide too quickly. Look before you leap!”

(a) no-go area

A no-go area is an area, particularly in a city, where it is dangerous to go.
“Tourists have been advised to avoid parts of the city which have become no-go areas.”

out of harm’s way

If you put something out of harm’s way, you put it in a safe place where it won’t be damaged.
“I’m going to put this glass bowl out of harm’s way so that it doesn’t get broken.”

play with fire

People who take unnecessary risks or behave in a dangerous way are playing with fire.
“Driving alone on isolated roads in this weather is playing with fire.”

put your head on the block

If you put yourself in a dangerous situation where you risk losing your job or your reputation if things go wrong, you put your head on the block.
“Jenny asked me to recommend her son for the job, but I’m not putting my head on the block for someone I hardly know.”

ride it out / ride out the storm

If you manage to survive a dangerous or very unpleasant situation, like a ship sailing through a storm, you ride it out.
“His business was hit by the recession but he managed to ride it out.”

risk life and limb

If you risk life and limb, you are in danger of death or serious injury.
“The roads are icy today; you’ll risk life and limb if you go by car.”

in safe hands

If something is in safe hands, it is being looked after by a reliable person or organisation, and is therefore at no risk.
“I’ll look after Jamie while you go shopping. Don’ worry – he’ll be in safe hands.”

on the safe side

If you do something to be on the safe side, you do it as a precaution, to avoid any risks.
“I think I locked the door but I’ll check again to be on the safe side.”

hang on for dear life

If you hang (or hold) on for dear life, you are in a dangerous situation and grip something firmly so as not to fall.
“Andy took his mother on the back of his motorbike where she hung on for dear life!”

live to tell the tale

Someone who lives to tell the tale survives a terrible experience.
“Only two members of the expedition lived to tell the tale.”

look before you leap

This is something you say when advising someone to think carefully about the possible dangers before doing something.
“Don’t decide too quickly. Look before you leap!”

(a) no-go area

A no-go area is an area, particularly in a city, where it is dangerous to go.
“Tourists have been advised to avoid parts of the city which have become no-go areas.”

out of harm’s way

If you put something out of harm’s way, you put it in a safe place where it won’t be damaged.
“I’m going to put this glass bowl out of harm’s way so that it doesn’t get broken.”

play with fire

People who take unnecessary risks or behave in a dangerous way are playing with fire.
“Driving alone on isolated roads in this weather is playing with fire.”

put your head on the block

If you put yourself in a dangerous situation where you risk losing your job or your reputation if things go wrong, you put your head on the block.
“Jenny asked me to recommend her son for the job, but I’m not putting my head on the block for someone I hardly know.”

ride it out / ride out the storm

If you manage to survive a dangerous or very unpleasant situation, like a ship sailing through a storm, you ride it out.
“His business was hit by the recession but he managed to ride it out.”

risk life and limb

If you risk life and limb, you are in danger of death or serious injury.
“The roads are icy today; you’ll risk life and limb if you go by car.”

in safe hands

If something is in safe hands, it is being looked after by a reliable person or organisation, and is therefore at no risk.
“I’ll look after Jamie while you go shopping. Don’ worry – he’ll be in safe hands.”

on the safe side

If you do something to be on the safe side, you do it as a precaution, to avoid any risks.
“I think I locked the door but I’ll check again to be on the safe side.”