Personal Safety-Tips to Follow When Viewing Homes

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Real Estate

Hello & Welcome Back to #FabulousFriday!  Open houses are a fun way to view property potentials.  But when viewing vacant properties--it's a good idea to evaluate the situation and pay attention to your personal safety.  As the old saying goes, the best defense is a good offense.  Here are the top tips when viewing vacant open houses:

The Best (Self) Defense is a Good Offense

Even if you’ve never taken any self-defense courses, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself – mainly by being prepared, aware and savvy.

When walking, keep your purse close to your body. Don’t carry it by the handle or strap.

Never leave your purse lying on a counter, even if you’re right next to it. A thief can easily grab it and run as you watch. Always keep purse closures fastened.

At night, walk only on heavily traveled, well-lighted streets. Avoid wooded parks, dark parking lots and construction areas after sundown.

Walk near the curb rather than near buildings, alleys or shrubbery.

If you believe you’re being followed as you walk, turn around and look. If you’re in danger, you can prepare to deal with it.

If you’re accosted while walking by someone in a car, run in the opposite direction the car is traveling. In the time it takes the car to turn around, you can be gone.

Always check for intruders in the back seat of your car before entering.

If a car is following you, don’t drive home. Drive to a police, fire or gas station, or any other populated, well-lighted area. Remember your horn is a good alarm.

To prevent carjacking, lock all doors when you’re driving.  Also, even if you are just stopping in for a quick look around, be sure to lock your car doors before entering the open house.

When stopped in traffic, leave enough space between your car and the car ahead for quick escape.

If another driver bumps your vehicle, don’t stop. Drive to a police of fire station, or a well-traveled area to inspect the damage, or attempt to get the vehicle's license plate number and report it immediately to the police.

When returning to your parked car, look around for anyone or anything suspicious before approaching your car. If you feel someone’s watching you, go back to the open house and ask someone to walk you out to the parking lot, or call the police.

If available, take freeways rather than side streets through high-crime areas.

While driving, stay in the center lane. Avoid being blocked into the curb or shoulder lane.

Above all, if there is no escape, don’t resist.

When walking to and from your car, have your keys in you hand. Keep the key you intend to use poised in a position so you can use it as a weapon. Know which way your key goes into the lock.

If you find evidence that an intruder has entered the home, DON’T ENTER. Call the police immediately from a nearby house.

If you’re hesitant about entering an elevator with a stranger, wait for the next elevator. When in the elevator, stand close to the control panel and know where the alarm is located.

Carry a whistle in your hand or around you wrist. Use it if you feel threatened.

Your best defense against attack is awareness. Remain alert and aware of your surroundings.

There is safety in numbers-be sure to invite your real estate agent to view the property with you.  In the meantime, check back next Friday for more tips and tricks.  Warmly, Susan