This isn’t only for REALTOR safety, it is safety rules for everyone to remember. I especially like the one about how to protect yourself from a dog attack!
1. When showing properties
- Meet the client at the office before showing them any properties.
- Make a copy of their driver license and leave a copy at the office.
- Let someone at home or at the office know which properties you will be showing and call them back every hour. If you don’t call them then they should try to call you. If you don’t answer then your contact should call the police and tell them the last property you were at and which ones you were scheduled to visit.
- Don’t show properties to large groups of people (unless it’s a family with children).
- Never let the client get behind you. Just motion for them to go to the next room while saying something like ‘‘and here we have the master bedroom.”
- If they do get behind you then you can use the reflection in the windows and mirrors to watch what they are doing.
- Keep your cell phone with you while showing the property.
- Keep your cell phone charged up.
- Make sure your voice mail box is not full so you can receive important messages at any time.
- Even if your cell phone is turned off by your carrier for non-payment you should still be able to call 911 if needed.
2. Your car
- Keep plenty of gas in the car.
- Know your route.
- Know how to read a map or use your GPS.
- Keep a flashlight and tool kit in the trunk.
- Keep your valuables locked in the trunk.
- Make sure all of the tires (including the spare) are in good condition.
- Always look at the surrounding area before leaving your vehicle.
- Never let a stranger in your car. Just tell the client your insurance doesn’t allow clients to be in your car.
- Never leave your garage remote control in plain sight. It’s too easy for a thief to break into the car and then use the remote to get into the house.
- Never get in a car when a criminal tells you to do so. The only reason they tell you to do that is so they can take you somewhere else so they can do something bad to you.
- Keep smoke detectors in every main room (living, game, den) and in every bedroom. You should also have at least one on each floor and also in the garage.
- Change the smoke detector batteries at the same time that you set your clocks forward and backward.
- Also have a carbon monoxide detector if your property has gas.
- Have an emergency escape route as well as a meeting area, such as a large tree in the neighbor’s front yard. Practice evacuating the house with every family member.
- Make sure all locks are in proper working condition. Chain locks can be easily broken.
- Deadbolts are the best kind.
- Make sure all exterior lights are working.
- Keep several flashlights handy. One in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, and one in the garage. Replace the batteries when you replace the ones in the smoke detectors.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Also tell them the route you are taking and give them a picture of your vehicle as well as the license plate. If you change plans make sure to notify your contact.
- Don’t stay in hotel rooms that are higher than the 3rd floor. Fire department areal ladders seldom reach higher than that, especially if the fire truck can’t park close to the building.
- Check the hotel exits.
- Once again, keep a flashlight with you.
- Take all prescription medicines with you (and keep them in their original containers).
- When traveling to foreign countries make sure you take your documents including your passport and visa.
- Know the emergency contact number and location of the American Embassy. If the city you are visiting does not have an American Embassy then you should see if there is one from one of our Allies, such as Great Britain, Canada, Mexico, Australia, etc. They will often times help Americans in a time of crisis.
- Take a self defense class
- Take a first aid class. At the very least, everyone should know how to perform CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, and basic blood loss control techniques.
- If your clothes catch on fire, then stop, drop, and roll.
- The best kinds of fire extinguishers are rated for Class A, B, and C fires. A is for paper and fabric fires. B is for gasoline and grease fires. C is for electrical fires. Anything less than an A, B, C fire extinguisher is inferior. Why? Because when something catches on fire you won’t have the time to think about what type of fire it is. A few fire extinguishers are rated for A, B, C, and D. Class D is for metal fires such as aluminum and magnesium. Those fires are pretty rare so you probably don’t need one rated for all 4 classes. Keep one in the car, one in the kitchen, and one in the garage.
- Personal weapons are always a judgment call. If you choose to carry a gun, knife, mace, etc., then you should be familiar with how to use it. Never buy a weapon and then tuck it away for ‘just in case.’ Take a gun class, practice, and get familiar with it. And for goodness sakes, never point a gun at anyone unless you plan on shooting the person you are pointing it at.
- If you encounter a dog that appears to be vicious try turning sideways. When facing a dog straight on the dog will think you are an attacker, which will make it angry. If you turn your back the dog will see that as an opportunity to attack. But if you turn sideways and look away from the dog it will sometimes make it confused. When that happens the dog may walk away. I tried this technique one time on a German Sheppard and it went back inside the house.