September is REALTORŪ Safety Month, and a good opportunity to consider how safe – or unsafe – you are during the course of a typical day.
Many real estate professionals have home offices. Whether you work at home or not, you should consider these additional steps from the National Association of REALTORSŪ to secure your home.
Burglars usually leave if they can’t break in within 90 seconds. Anything that slows down a thief by even a minute or two can keep your house from being robbed.
- Make sure that all doors to the outside are metal or solid hardwood and have good, sturdy locks.
- Keep your doors and windows locked, even if you're at home. Always lock up your home when you go out, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
- Make sure all porches and other possible entrances are well lit. Heat- or motion-sensing lights are a good choice for outdoor lights.
- Know the location of all your house keys all the time. Never use hide-a-keys or leave the key under the doormat, in a flowerpot, or anywhere outside the house. You may think you're being clever, but experienced thieves know all the tricks.
- Watch your trash: Just bought a new entertainment system? A bunch of empty boxes out by the curb triggers an alarm to would-be thieves. Instead of putting boxes out in plain sight, cut them down, and stuff them in trash bags.
- Clearly display your house number, so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
- If you see a screen that has been cut, broken windows, or a door that’s been left open, don’t go in. Call the police from a neighbor’s house or a public phone.
- If you hear a noise that sounds like someone breaking in or moving around, quietly call the police and wait calmly until they arrive. If you can leave safely, do so. Otherwise, lock yourself in a room you are in, pretend to be asleep.