Stay a step ahead of would-be thieves

Many of us own a few items that are worth a bit of money. They could have valid street value or they could be sentimentally priceless. Either way, it’s important to do what you can to protect yourself and your belongings. Something that has been in the family for years shouldn’t be at risk, nor should that valuable item that you’ve held onto in case of a rainy day. There are many ways to protect from theft. There are even helpful methods in place for after the fact that help track your property down.

Let’s take a look at some tips that can help protect your valuables:

1. Photograph your stuff

It’s wise to have pictures of studioyour valuables along with a written description of each. Detail it’s condition, there may be one-of-a-kind flaws that will help identify it (any unusual features or marks must be documented!). You’ll need to describe your items competently when making a claim with your home property insurance policy. Visual proof can also help back up your claims of specific values of things lost or stolen.

2. Keep copies

Now that you’ve taken those photos of your possessions be certain to keep copies in physical and digital form. Consider even leaving a set (photos or digital files) with a family member. It’s good insurance in case your computer gets stolen, too! You can’t rely on a single source to store the pictures. If your stuff is stolen and you have no documentation of it, it’s a safe bet that you can kiss it all goodbye. Other digital storing options include cloud storage and image sharing websites. They all add up to greater protection.

3. Mark your Stuff

This is the coolest ‘spy tech’ way to prove your ownership of valuables. The Smartwater Solution is a colorless liquid that is invisible, although it can be seen when scanned under ultraviolet light. Such secretly marked items are easy for police to detect (they won’t miss the indicating glow!). Forensic codes are applied to each bottle of Smartwater so that stolen items can be further identified. Of course there are never any guarantees, but if your stuff is stolen is there a stealthier way to retrieve it?uv light

4. Know the distraction

Criminals are unscrupulous. They will attempt anything to get into your home, even if they have no idea if what’s inside is worth the effort. One devious method they employ is to distract the homeowner while an accomplice gets in elsewhere (like a backdoor). Unfortunately these animals employ this technique most often against the elderly. Be suspicious of any stranger who knocks at your door. Also, don’t hide spare keys under the mat or somewhere equally easy to locate. Keep your house well-lit, especially dark corners that could accommodate hiding. Of course a close circuit TV camera will serve as a great deterrent.fakeout

5. Hide your stuff

Inside your home, hide away – or preferably – lock your valuables in places that won’t be conspicuous to burglars. They know the common hiding spaces, like the jewelry box and the bedroom drawers. Obviously you shouldn’t keep anything of value out in the open. Make it a routine to return everything to an ambiguous spot that is not easily noticed. You may consider a safe or safety deposit box for protecting those really expensive or sentimental items. Electronics like laptops are an easy mark for burglars – store them away too or keep them with you. Don’t have a lot of your belongings visible from the window. Arrange your rooms so it looks as though the place is barren from the outside. There is no reason to entice would-be robbers with a sight of goodies they would risk incarceration for.

Mankind has a crazy element it’s true. Protect yourself as best you can. After all, the best insurance… is you.


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