Stay at home moms (and dads!) have a big job—keeping their families happy and SAFE. However, since they are home all day when many others may be at work, they are a target for scammers, thieves and other criminals. Luckily, if a stay at home parent can take a few simple precautions and make their homes much less tempting to someone looking for an easy target. If you or someone you love is home during the day much of the time, you may want to keep the following five important tips in mind.
1. Know Your Neighbors
Make it a point to get to know those who live and work around you. Who else is home during the day? Maybe there is another stay at home parent who can be there for you if you ever need help. If you do not know anyone nearby, at least make it a point to take note of the closest place you could go in case you get an uncomfortable feeling—such as a fire station, police station or even a nearby retail store. By doing this, you will feel more confident in case things get scary.
2. Learn Routes
If you pay attention to when the meter readers come around, when to expect garbage collectors, delivery people and others, you will know if something is amiss. While not every day will be the same, it’s much easier to recognize something that seems like it could be a problem if you know what the regular routine may be.
3. Be Cautious with Deliveries and Repairs
While from time to time you may have someone over for repairs or deliveries, it is important that you make sure you are inviting the right person into your home. Make sure you talk to someone from the office before opening the door and do not be afraid to ask for identification. It does not take that much effort to assure you stay safe.
4. Have an Evacuation Plan
Talk to your kids about what you would do “just in case.” This means having a plan in place if there is a fire, flood, storm or intruder. Review your plans regularly to make sure no one forgets. This could be a lifesaver!
5. Keep a Phone Handy
Are you constantly losing your cell phone or misplacing the receiver for the wireless phone? This could be dangerous. Make it a point to keep up with your connection with the outside world. You’ll be able to call for help if you need it and you’re there to answer calls from your kids, the school or anyone else who may need to reach you.
The key to staying safe may be different for you depending on your particular situation—for example, if you lie in a house, apartment, rural, suburban or urban area. Spend some time thinking about your particular situation and make a safety plan. The time you put into this project could be some of the most valuable you ever spend!