September is the Realtor Safety Month, a time to raise agents’ awareness about safety and ways they can protect themselves in the office, at home and on the job.

Many of the tips from The National Association of Realtors are valid for non-agents as well, especially the “10-Second Rule.”

Follow these guidelines to help you stay aware, and in control, wherever you happen to be.

The 10-Second Rule

Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination.

  • Is there any questionable activity in the area?
  • Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
  • Can you be blocked by another vehicle?

Take 2 seconds after you step out of your car.

  • Are there suspicious people around?
  • Do you know exactly where you’re going?

Take 2 seconds as you walk toward your destination.

  • Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
  • Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along the street?
  • Is anyone loitering in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door.

  • Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
  • Is someone following you in?

Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination.

  • Does anything seem out of place?
  • Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?

Make it a habit to employ the 10-Second Rule to increase awareness of your surroundings. It’s an invaluable tool that can help you stay safe.