There are things you are probably already doing to be safer on a daily basis. You know you need to put your phone down when you’re driving, you lock the front door every time you leave the house, and you understand the importance of choosing complex passwords that hackers can’t guess.
These are a great start if you want to be safer every day, but there’s much more you can do. Some, like the ones on this list, you may not have thought of:
- Don’t drive a dark car
- Keep an emergency kit in your trunk
- Turn off GPS and geotagging
- Lock upstairs windows
- Have a family code phrase
- Have a fire drill at home
- Add important emergency numbers to your phone
Don’t Drive a Dark Car
Car accidents aren’t an uncommon occurrence. Not only are multiple car accidents happening every day in cities all across the United States, but you’re likely to be involved in a car accident at least once in your lifetime.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting into a crash. Things like not using your phone and maintaining your vehicle are a good start, but you should also pay attention to the color of your car. Car crashes are 22-percent more likely, and claims are likely to be more expensive, if you drive a dark-colored car. That’s because dark cars are harder to differentiate from dark roads, and they are harder to see at night.
Do yourself a favor and drive a lighter colored car instead and you could find yourself in fewer car accidents.
Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Trunk
Do you have what you need in your trunk if there’s an emergency? A spare tire and a tire iron are a good start, but you should have more in your trunk to keep you and your family safe and comfortable.
Your emergency car kit should include:
- Jumper cables
- Tool kit
- Drinking water
- Car charger
- Fire extinguisher
- Warm clothing and blankets
- Cat litter for traction
Your trunk should also contain a first aid kit. If you have kids, you may also want to include things like a change of clothes, extra diapers, and nonperishable snacks.
Turn Off GPS and Geotagging
It might be fun to have geotagging activated on your social media accounts, but it’s not a good idea. Not only do your friends know exactly where you are, so do other people. Someone who makes you feel uncomfortable could show up wherever you are, but you could also return home to find your home has been burglarized.
While you’re at it, you should disable your phone’s GPS too. You could be inadvertently adding your location to metadata every time you upload a picture, revealing your location to a tech-savvy burglar.
Lock Upstairs Windows
You already know it’s important to lock your doors when you leave the house. You may also know to close your windows, but are you paying attention to your upstairs windows?
Thieves have been known to break into second story windows to gain easy access to a house. That’s because many times, those windows aren’t locked. All they have to do is scale a ladder at the back of the house and open the window to sneak inside.
Open the upstairs windows to let the fresh air inside when you’re at home, but when you leave the house, close the windows and make sure they are locked. While you’re at it, make sure you keep ladders locked inside your garage so burglars aren’t tempted to try to break into your upstairs windows, whether they are locked or not.
Have a Family Code Phrase
Does your family have a code phrase? A code phrase can be very helpful if you have children, but it can be helpful even if you don’t.
A family code phrase can help your teen secretly tell you they need a ride home, and it can make sure a stranger isn’t able to pick up your child at the playground, but it can also get you out of a sticky situation. For example, if you and your family have a code phrase, you can call a family member and say the phrase over the phone and they will know to come and get you from an uncomfortable situation.
Have a Fire Drill at Home
There’s a reason why places of employment and schools practice fire drills. It’s the only way to know what to do in the event of a fire! You should have one at home too.
Which window should you crawl out of if you’re trapped upstairs? Are the kids supposed to come and find you first, or should they climb out their window and meet you in the front yard? These are the types of things you should practice so everyone is more likely to make it out of the house if there’s a fire.
Add Important Emergency Numbers to Your Phone
You know you can call 911 in the event of an emergency, but there are a lot of emergency situations that don’t require you to clog up this emergency line. Instead of trying to do a search on your phone real quick while you’re in the middle of an emergency, program important emergency numbers into your phone like:
- Local police department
- Family doctor
- Poison control
- Local fire department
- Water company
- Power company
- Tow truck
- School or daycare
Most phones allow you to program emergency contacts into your phone too. These contacts will appear on your phone’s lock screen so you can call immediately. A family member, your child’s school, and the local police department are good numbers to program as emergency contacts.
There are always things you can do to be a little safer, but sometimes you don’t know exactly what those things are! Whether you’re worried about home break ins or how to stay a little safer on the road, these tips will bring you peace of mind.