With the travel season upon us, many are leaving the house and hitting the road for graduations, vacation and warmer weather adventures. However, before you hit the road, here are six simple security tips that could save you and your loved ones from harm.
- For emergency situations use flashlights for light – not candles. During wind-related power outages like we just experienced in the Northeast, never use candles for light. Gusty winds can blow out windows and hurl objects through your home creating situations where candles can be knocked over, starting dangerous fires. Always use a flashlight for light and wait until after the bad weather has passed if you insist on using candles.
- Whether at home or in a hotel – never a trust a door chain lock exclusively for safety, as they are easily compromised. Always use a chain lock in combination with a cylinder, knob or deadbolt lock. Investing in a home security system should also be considered.
- Cover peepholes when staying at hotels or if you have a peephole without a cover at home. Some hotel room doors feature an uncovered peephole. As most one-way technology peepholes can be compromised, always put a crumpled tissue in the peephole so no one can see into your room. The same holds true if you have an uncovered peephole on your home’s front door.
- Never set your home address in your smartphone, GPS, and other device. If someone steals your phone or breaks into your car you do not want the thieves to have access your home. Additionally, if you carry any paperwork in your car that contains your home address, it should be kept in a locked glove compartment to minimize the risk of that information being misused for criminal purposes.
- Always keep your car key fob handy. Car fobs contain panic buttons, and can double as an alarm in case of an emergency. Pressing the panic button will cause your vehicle to repetitively sound its horn and flash its headlights. If your car is in the driveway this can draw attention to your location and scare potential criminals away. Also, consider wrapping your key fob in aluminum foil when in storage as some cars can be broken into using devices that boost and relay signals from remote key fobs. Wrapping a fob in aluminum foil when it is not in use can protect against such crimes.
- If you carry a physical car key, keep it in your hand when walking alone, especially in parking lots. This will shorten your overall exposure time to a potential attack by reducing the amount of time between when you approach your car and when you drive away.