Protect yourself from Auto Theft
Did you know that nearly half of all auto thefts are due to driver carelessness, such as leaving doors unlocked or leaving keys in the ignition? Although there may be little you can do to stop a determined thief, here are some tips you can consider to discourage thieves and make your vehicle as difficult to steal as possible.
Keep your vehicle locked at all times. When you park your car, even in your own driveway, roll your windows all the way up and lock the doors. Resist the temptation to leave windows cracked open during warm weather.
Always take your keys with you. Keep spare keys secure, never in your vehicle. Many people make the mistake of hiding a spare key in the wheel-well or a different place under their car for emergencies. The problem is, just like putting a spare house key under your doormat, criminals know all the hiding places.
Never leave your car running and unattended. This type of crime is especially prevalent at gas stations, ATMs and convenience stores. If you’re not behind the wheel, turn your vehicle off.
Keep personal items out of sight. Never leave valuables like a laptop computer, briefcase, purse, wallet or cellphone in plain sight. Leaving anything of value on display, even small change, is enough incentive for some people to break in. If you must leave valuables in your car, lock them securely in the trunk, lockable glove box or console.
Watch where you park. Parking in a well-lit area will help deter criminals. Thieves are less likely to target your vehicle if passersby or cameras can easily see them. At home, lock the garage and your car. If you use a parking garage, try to park near a security camera or attendant.
Invest in a vehicle security system. If your car doesn’t have an electronic engine immobilizer, consider having a professional install an approved system that disables the ignition and activate it every time you leave the car. Audible devices such as a horn alarm deter theft by emitting sound that calls attention to an unauthorized attempt to steal or enter your vehicle. Finally, consider a vehicle tracking and recovery system. If your car is stolen, it can be tracked and recovered using GPS, transmitter or similar technology.
You can’t stop every crime, but by following a few precautions, your car can become a less attractive target to would-be thieves.
Adopting a Pet
Adopting a pet brings the need for consistency, reliability and affection — it’s a serious responsibility. You can expect more walks, more play and one more family member at (or under) the dinner table. It can be a vastly rewarding lifestyle change for the whole family, but it can also be a stressful one if you’re not prepared. According to Diane Wilkerson, PAWS Chicago Lincoln Park Adoption Center director, here are a few tips to consider when adopting your first family pet.
Be sure you’re ready. Before adopting, you want to make sure your lifestyle is compatible with a dog’s or cat’s needs. Ask yourself if you have the time and finances needed to care for a pet.
Looking for a purebred pet? Find a responsible breeder. You can locate a knowledgeable breeder or find a local rescue association for a specific breed though the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Consider adopting from a local shelter. “When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter or rescue organization,” Wilkerson says, “you are truly saving a life and are making more space available for the shelter to save more homeless pets.”
Ask questions. During your adoption search, be sure to meet a variety of pets and ask plenty of questions to learn about what each pet could require in a new home.
Gather the gear. Stock your home with the necessary essentials your new pet will need, such as food and water bowls, safe toys, grooming tools, a collar and bedding.
Socialize and exercise. Playing and socialization are very important for both dogs and cats. Cats should receive at least 15 minutes of interactive play at least three times a day, and dogs need at least four walks a day to pack in exercise and play outdoors, according to Wilkerson.
Certain dog breeds are associated with certain risks. Please feel free to contact me to learn more about your homeowner policy to ensure that you are covered.
From the first time you bring your pet home to the first time they excitedly welcome you at the front door — a tail-wagging, leg-rubbing furry friend can fill you with a lifetime of unforgettable family firsts. Enjoy your family’s newest member.