Articles Tagged ‘Security’

Don’t put your boxes by the curb

Friday, December 24th, 2010


Drive through any neighborhood on ‘trash day’ following the holiday, and you’ll see empty boxes upon empty boxes showing what a wonderful Christmas everyone had. Even though the economy is slow this year, you’ll see that plenty of people received new desktop computers and printers, laptops, televisions, appliances, and more. A box showing a picture of a jewelry armoire will state something quite loudly: there is a lot of jewelry in this house! What a perfect opportunity for burglars to decide which house will be their next conquest.

One way to discourage theft is to conceal what items you now own. Break the boxes down and put them into trash bags (not the see-through ones). If the burglars have to guess what’s in your bags, but the neighbor has his boxes out for all to see, which house do you think they’ll choose? This won’t protect you completely, but it certainly will not invite these unwelcome intruders in, either!

You have all of these nice, new gifts; could you remember each item and prove ownership? What happens if you do have a burglary, or a fire, or a tornado? The holiday season is the perfect time to update your personal property inventory. Take photos of all the gifts before putting them away. Individual photos should be taken of high-end items. Don’t forget about clothing. A photo of a leather jacket is important if you need to file an insurance claim.

For your written report, record the manufacturer, serial number, model number and other identifying information. Also record the date and purchase price. Keep the receipts and put them with your inventory record.

While you have your camera out, take pictures of all of your holiday decorations. Think of how much money you have invested in creating this festive atmosphere. How many ornaments are on your tree? With each one costing an average of $3 to $5, it adds up quickly.

If you have high-value items, such as a Christmas Village, take pictures of the entire display. Then also record each building, including the name, model number and other pertinent information. Many collectibles have identifying marks; take a picture of those as well. Do you store your items in their original boxes? If so, and they show pricing or the manufacturer, photograph the items next to the boxes.

Since you just received new items, you might be disposing of others. Be sure to remove those items from your inventory listing. Delete the photos of these discarded items as well. This will ensure that the record of the contents of your house is completely up to date.

If you don’t have an inventory, now is the perfect time to create one. Or, if you choose not to do it yourself, contact a service provider near you. The cost of this service will quite often be less than just one gift you recently purchased or received.

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC

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