By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
REALTOR® Safety Month is a reminder to real estate professionals that safety needs to be a priority. Everyday situations can be potentially dangerous: You’re meeting with strangers all of the time and often in vacant homes — extra precautions need to be taken.
Have you ever felt your safety at risk while working in real estate? If so, do you carry a safety device with you as added protection? Take our poll below.
<br /> <a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/3725435/” mce_href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/3725435/”>Do you carry any of the following personal safety products with you when working in real estate? (Check all that apply.)</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”><a href=”http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/” mce_href=”http://polldaddy.com/features-surveys/”>survey software</a></span><br /> While you can encounter dangerous people while working in real estate, that doesn’t mean you should go arm yourself with a handgun to take to your showings, says safety expert Robert Siciliano, CEO of RealtySecurity.com in Boston, and author of “The Safety Minute: Living on High Alert” (Safety Zone Press, 2003).
“Your brain is your best defense mechanism,” Siciliano says. “Know how to understand and remove yourself from a dangerous situation and understand the basic safety techniques. Once you understand that, you can determine what — if anything — you want to carry for personal protection.” (Read: Real Estate’s 6 Most Dangerous Everyday Situations)
If you feel you still need added protection, Siciliano says that some real estate professionals have found a ballpoint pen is all they need. “It can do a tremendous amount of damage if stabbed into the chest, throat, eyes, or groin,” he says.
Some real estate professionals take pepper spray or a stun gun.
“But realize these can also be used against you,” Siciliano says.
If you carry a gun or knife, Siciliano recommends being properly trained on how to fight with these weapons.
“Just carrying a gun and knife is a false sense of security and can put you and your client at risk,” Siciliano says. “You need to be properly trained in how to fight with a gun or knife the same way law enforcement would.”
View a Buyer’s Guide slideshow of personal safety products.