During rough economic times crime tends to increase. We've seen it firsthand even in Vermont, which in the past has been dubbed one of the safest states in the nation. Last week, a few days before Thanksgiving, Citizen's Bank in South Burlington was robbed! And as far as we know...we don't think the culprit has been caught yet. We've also had several home invasions including one in which the residents were home and were threatened with a weapon! Yikes! Pretty scary stuff. Thankfully, these criminals were caught! To ensure your family's safety this holiday season and beyond, here are a few tips:
Keep doors and windows locked at all times - even when you are home and awake.
Be cautious of unexpected visitors. If a stranger knocks on your door, you don't have to open it! You must also beware of scam artists selling fake products/services.
Install motion sensor lights outside of your house to deter potentials burglars.
Let your neighbors know if you go away on vacation and keep and eye out for each others' homes. Also register with FrontPorchForum.com! It's a great online tool to get connected to people in your community and keeps everyone posted on neighborhood activities, whether good news or bad.
Now, if your home is on the market for sale, you should also take extra precautions! Here are some tips to keep your home safe during showings and/or open houses:
Keep small valuables either out of plain sight or invest in a safe to keep passports, jewelry, cameras, laptops, iPods, and other valuable personal items locked up. Remember, potential buyers may be opening drawers and closets while looking at your property.
Keep pathways to and from the house clear. Don't give anyone a place to hide when approaching your home. Trim trees and shrubs that are near entrances to deter criminal activity.
Some potential buyers like to check out homes when no one is home, peeking through windows and trying to open doors. So keep your doors (including the garage door) and windows locked while your home is on the market.
Hopefully these tips will help. If anyone has anything to add - please feel free to comment!