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.
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.”