Going Somewhere? These Tips for Safety May Help
With Summer comes time for boating, going on trips, going to the beach, and the potential to be a victim of a crime. Don’t let thieves ruin your vacation by stealing directly from you or your car, burglarizing your home while you are gone, or stealing your credit card or identity info.
1) DON’T Advertise your trip before you go, or while still on it. We know it’s hard to resist the urge to post every minute of your fabulous vacation on Instagram, Facebook, and other vanity social sites, but you are broadcasting your every move to potential thieves.
- Social Media can be exploited and unknown people in your circles will know when you are gone. Constant posting of pictures on social media will confirm it.
- Strangers may overhear your bragging about the trip you are about to take (or even acquaintances – children of friends, an older brother of your child’s friend, someone in the hair salon).
- Monitor what your kids are publishing. Instruct them as well about the risks of posting this information.
- If you must use an “Out of Office” e-mail reply, make sure it is not too specific.
2) Be aware when packing ahead of time.
- While loading up for your trip, be aware of your surroundings and those people who may be watching.
- Secure your pre-packed vehicle(s), campers, boats.
3) Make it look like you are still home.
- Have Mail, Deliveries, and Newspaper held or, better yet, have a trusted neighbor pick them up each day.
- Garbage and Recycling cans – have that same Trusted Neighbor put your cans out and bring them in at appropriate times.
- Have the lawn cut.
- Have a few lights and radios set on timers.
4) LOCK EVERY DOOR and WINDOW, SET Your ALARM. Make sure your alternate key-holders will be in town if there is an activation at your house.
5) While on your trip, be extra careful with bank cards.
- Call your credit card company first to let them know you are going (otherwise, their computers may spot your out-of-town purchases, deem them as suspicious, and shut the card down leaving you stranded.)
- Use a Credit Card rather than Debit Card so if it is compromised, thieves won’t get your real money out of your checking or savings account.
- Limit cash you carry, if you do have a lot, split it up in different locations in luggage or on your person.
6) Be responsible with firearms while traveling – if you take one along do not leave it in a locked or unlocked glove-box. Look up laws state-to-state that apply to gun storage or carrying.
7) Be aware at hotels
- Look up crime stats around the hotels you plan to use, adjust reservations as necessary.
- Do not let strangers follow you in through side entrances (where you had to use your card-key for entry).
- Do not allow the front desk to announce your room number to you aloud as you register. They should point to the room number written on your key-card holder.
- Empty valuables, GPS, I-Pods, etc. from your vehicle at night. Take them in the room.
8) When you return, BEFORE you go in the house, do a quick walk-around and make sure you don’t see any windows or doors broken or anything else wrong. If you do see where someone may have entered your home DO NOT GO IN! Back away and call 911. Wait for police to arrive and clear the interior for your safety.
Have a wonderful Summer!
For more Summer Safety Tips, visit:
Boating and Marina Safety – Just like your home, it is critical that you have your boat inspected regularly by a licensed electrician and that you are familiar with the electrical system so you can identify and correct any potential hazards.
Air Conditioners and Fans – Hot weather brings increased use of air conditioners. Contact with electric current from air conditioners accounts for a significant number of electrocutions and electrical injuries each year.
Pool and Spa Safety – The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that since 1990, there have been 60 electrocutions and nearly 50 serious electrical shocks involving electrical hazards in and around swimming pools.
Power Tools – According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are nearly 400 electrocutions in the United States each year.