The best offense is a good defense-especially when it comes to safety. Here are some quick tips that offer you different ways to feel secure anywhere.

• Don’t attach those savings cards for drugstore or grocery store discounts to your key chain. If you lose your keys an unscrupulous person might go to the store and gain access to your address or banking information. Potentially, someone could steal your car or break into your home.

• Keep your wallet and keys separate. If your purse is stolen or lost, someone will not only have your address but will also have easy access into your home.

• Don’t toss that mail! Instead, get a small paper shredder and destroy any mail or paperwork with your name or personal information on it especially junk mail. Identify thieves often search garbage cans for unused credit card offers or old utility bills.

• Never hide your keys. Leaving keys under doormats or in mailboxes allows anyone to get at them. Instead, entrust a neighbor or friend with a spare set.

• Buy your own locks. If you need to change the locks on your doors, it’s fine to have a professional do it but don’t let him supply the locks, too. Buying your own set ensures that you are the only person who has keys to your door. If you lose your keys, change the lock. Sometimes keys really are stolen.

• Hide your garbage cans. Ask a neighbor or friend to bring your garbage cans in on days when you are not home. Garbage cans left sitting on the curb are a sure sign that no one is home.

• Fire up your grill – not your home. Make sure your grill is at least six feet from your house or outdoor structures even if you have a gas grill. If your grill is sitting on a wooden deck, place a piece of slate, a grill pad or other nonflammable material underneath it to catch falling sparks. Never leave any grill unattended.

• Tidy up your yard. Toys and lawn furniture can become flying debris when it’s windy outside. Have children put all yard toys in the garage at night and stake down any furniture that stays outside all year.

• Park at an angle. If you break down on the highway, don’t parallel park on the side of the road. Instead, if there’s enough room on the shoulder so that you are not jutting into oncoming traffic, pull in diagonally. This will attract more attention and let people know you’re stranded as opposed to taking a voluntary break.

• Prevent whiplash. Make sure your headrest is adjusted correctly so that it will prevent you from getting whiplash in an accident. The top of the headrest should be as high as the top of your head. If it’s not, your head can snap all the way back in a crash, resulting in a whiplash.



The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Texas Cooperative Extension is implied. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin. For more information, call your Rockwall County Extension Office – 972-882-0375.

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