When it’s time to call in a professional for minor home repairs, you may pay attention to the scope of the job, how much it’ll cost, and the quality of the work. But you should also pay attention to your home security. While there are lots of maintenance workers are just there to do the job, it’s wise to take some precaution and prevent potential security issues.
1. Have people you know/trust do home repairs
Hire a repair worker that you have vetted and met in-person for a bid or consultation.
Personal recommendations, Yelp!, Angie’s List, Google Reviews, and other sites with user reviews are great ways to start your search for someone to do repairs. Once you’ve determined the legitimacy of the the business, set up a time to get a consultation and bid, ask for references, and ask specific questions about how they would do the work and what their process would go.
If you feel good following that in-person meeting, check their references and ask questions about any areas of concern you may have. A bit of research up front can weed out potential issues and begin the process of building trust with someone you may hire again and again.
2. Avoid leaving a key
Leaving a key for the repair worker to come into your home opens you up to potential problems, such as not returning the key or leaving and making a copy. It’s much easier to enter a home with a key than it is to forcibly enter. Don’t make a crime easy by handing out your house key.
If you can’t be home during the repair time, reschedule the appointment or get a trusted family member or friend to be home during the service call. If you’ve built a relationship with the repair worker and feel comfortable letting them in your house while you’re gone, a smart door lock lets you unlock the door for them when they arrive and lock the door as they leave.
3. Keep your valuables out of sight
When you know someone is coming over to make a repair, take precautions with valuables. This includes locking up your jewelry and medications, putting electronics away, as well as putting purses out of sight.
Some of the places where you can hide valuables might include a safe, a room where workers won’t go and that has a door to close, and drawers or closets. As soon as the repairs are finished, you can bring your items out and use them as you normally would.
4. Be aware of what’s happening in your home
Try to eliminate distractions so you can pay attention to where the workers are and what they’re doing. If possible, eliminate time spent watching TV, talking on the phone, checking the Internet, or making dinner. The more aware you can be why the repair is taking place, the safer you will be.
5. Be aware of scams
Unfortunately, sometimes scams happen. These scams can be uncompleted work that you’ve paid for, or they can be ways to check out your home for a ruse-entry burglary. Some popular scams include:
A person claiming to be a city employee or emergency worker without substantial proof.
A solicitor offering too-good-to-be-true prices for repairs.
Avoid these by asking for licensure, getting a contract, and checking references.
Celeste has dedicated her career to informing the public. Through her work as an editor and writer in newsrooms like KSL and Deseret News, as well as her work on SafeWise, she’s covered topics that help people stay safe and make well-informed decisions. Learn more