I was running the dishwasher yet again the other night and my daughter asked me who’s strangling the cricket in the kitchen? Fear not, there were no crickets in danger but the noise the dishwasher was making started to sound like a dog whistle. It was finally time to have someone come out and look at it. Since I was already going to be home for the day waiting I thought why not get the other home appointments out of the way at the same time. As a mom I am always multi-tasking and finding efficient ways of doing things but do I really know those repair people who are coming to my home? Most repair people are professionals and no need to be paranoid but the small percentage that are not, is what you need to worry about.
When you are calling into a big box retailer, very often they have a call center/scheduler group that has your name, address, and phone number along with the date and time of your appointment. It’s not as likely that someone being so heavily tracked would attack or rob you as it would be incredibility easy to put them at the crime scene. However, when you are dealing with local small businesses they may be the only person in the company. Major companies have the resources to do back ground checks and screen their applicants thoroughly. Many small companies do not so what do you really know about that person you’re going to let into your home?
Even though we live in a reasonably safe gated residential community it doesn’t mean I am anymore trusting of having strangers in my home.
Here are 12 tips to keep you safe when having repair people come to your home.
1. Always mark scheduled appointments on your calendar. If something were to go wrong, it would be easy for the police to see where to start asking questions.
2. When scheduling an appointment if the date doesn’t work, avoid saying we won’t be home or we are out of town. Simply say what other day’s do you have available?
3. When you schedule your appointment always ask for the name of the person who will be coming to your home. Don’t be shy about asking for an ID badge and their name BEFORE you let them in.
4. When that person arrives, do they look like a professional? Does their truck have permanent letters on it? Are they in uniform? Do they have a name badge? If it does not look or feel right it may not be and do not let that person in. No need for excuses, don’t answer the door. Call another company.
5. Always try to have someone else home with you when expecting a scheduled repair or maintenance person.
6. If you are going to be alone we highly recommend the use of pepper spray. Keep it easily accessible in your hand or pocket. It’s ok to let them see it!
7. Do not allow your children to interact with that person. Keep them busy in another room.
8. I have a screen door so I leave my front door open if I am alone. If I needed to yell, someone would hear me or I could get out quickly.
9. Don’t let the person get into your personal space and don’t turn your back on them. If something should go wrong you want space which gives you time to get away!
10. Try to stay in the same room with the person doing the work. You don’t want someone snooping around your house.
11. Keep the conversation to the topic at hand. Don’t discuss personal information. You may just say the right thing that a potentially bad person is waiting to hear.
12. Walk the person to the door when they are done and promptly lock the door behind them.
Other personal safety tips can be found on our Simple Self Defense for Women DVD. Please visit our website www.simpleselfdefenseforwomen.com for more details.
Remember, Safety Can Be Simple!
Tracy Vega, Co-Founder- Simple Self Defense for Women®