As thefts and burglaries have become the common part of society these days, preserving valuable things has proven to be much harder than before. Thieves usually target your useful belongings such as gadgets or money. However, during times of crises such as fire or flood, there is a high chance that you lose important documents and things of great sentimental value, as well.
Because of this, you can never be too careful when considering the best ways to safeguard your valuables. Follow our tips to make sure you have done absolutely everything in your power to protect your possessions.
Don’t Leave Your Items Anywhere
It is important not to leave your belongings unattended and out in the open for everyone to see, especially during a crisis. If it is visible to others, even when you think it’s in a safe place, it is a great temptation for stealing. One careless second is enough for you to lose the thing that was precious to you.
If you are planning on leaving your home for an extended period, make sure your valuables are properly stored and secured. Also, have in mind that it is not a good idea to leave your bicycle and other equipment outside, as locks have nothing on quick and skilful thieves.
Out of sight is a much better protection than chain and lock. That said, keep your things in a locked and secured storage room, garage or pantry.
Always Lock Your Doors
Be sure to always lock your doors when you are leaving home, even if it is just for a minute. There are cases of people leaving and not locking their house for hours and hours without consequences, but during a crisis, one minute is enough for someone to come in and take your valuables away.
If you own a pantry, garage or storage room, be sure to secure them with a lock and key at all times. For maximum protection, consider additional solutions like a guard dog or an alarm security system.
Keep a List
Having a list of all your valuable belongings is useful. If you have the time, try to take some pictures or even videos and catalogue everything. It might seem redundant, but it is beneficial to make a whole inventory, with serial numbers and notes about the properties of each item that is valuable to you. This will come in handy, especially during a crisis where there is so much confusion going on.
Having a list as well as pictures and videos will help you with possible insurance claims, and you will get the compensation faster. Be sure not to store images and lists on your mobile phone, but email them to yourself instead, so you have access to them at any given time.
A home safe allows you to store valuables and protect them from thieves, fire and water. We understand that a home safe is not a perfect compensation for the bank’s safety deposit box. However, it can protect things like Social Security cards, passports, insurance policies and any other documents that authorise you.
You are also able to store some personal treasures, like old photographs, stamp collection or even emergency cash in your home safe. But, don’t forget taking another safety measure and seal every document in a Ziploc bag, in case the water during a flood finds its way in.
More important documents, such as the original copy of your will, heirlooms, precious metals, jewellery and significant amounts of cash, should be stored in the safety deposit box of your bank, where it will be the safest.
Mark Your Things For Easy Identification
To help track things back to you quickly if they ever get lost or stolen, write or engrave something on them, like your name, initials or social security number, for example.
Another smart thing to do is to personalise your phone, laptop or other belongings in a way that is unique to you and your style. That is because these objects are not very likely to be sold on the black market and can be easily recognised and tracked back to the original owner.
Secure Your Windows
When renting or buying a place, take time to assess the security of the building and the area surrounding it. From experience, ground floor windows pose the most significant problem when it comes to safety. This is because they provide easy access to the house and allow any object placed near them to be stolen in no time.
That being said, avoid keeping your valuable belongings near windows and remember to secure all ground floor windows with racks for extra precaution.
Make Sure Your Things Are Insured
Make sure to get a content insurance policy for your belongings. That way, if the worse happens, you will still have a guaranteed compensation. As mentioned previously, for the things you have insured, try to have a list with pictures and all of the essential details describing them. Doing this will support your claims and speed up the payment.
Don’t Let Others Know You’re Away
If you go away for safety during a strong storm or flood, try to make it look like you are there 24/7. Invest in lighting up your house with a motion-sensor lighting system, outdoors and indoors, as well - this will scare looters off before they even get to the front door. Potential thieves won’t be able to get into your house without stepping into the spotlight first.
Furthermore, arrange for your mailbox to be emptied regularly, as packed mail just screams out that you are away and the house is open for burglaries. Have your friends and family periodically check your home, to send a message that someone is around. Thus, deterring potential criminals from your property. Also, if you have a landline, plug out the telephone, as its unanswered ringing is another visible sign that no one is around.
Some might think why bother so much - if it is destined to get lost or damaged, there is not much you can do about it, especially when faced with natural disasters you have no power of. The truth is, there are situations with inevitable outcomes. However, in most cases, altering your habits and making ways to protect your belongings can make a significant difference and save you from many losses.
Just by making sure no one notices you are not home and keeping valuable things away from windows, you have done a lot for the safety of your belongings. Just by moving jewellery, money and necessary documents to a bank’s safety deposit box, ensuring your valuable possessions, etc., you have already tremendously upgraded their safeguarding.