It is definitely getting cold out there, and although we’ve had a few bouts of “Indian Summer”, I think that it’s probably safe to put away your shorts & sandals at this point. Alas, poor summer—I knew it well. So it goes. Break out the sweaters and scarves. The cold weather should be a reminder of certain things that you don’t think of at other times of the year, and some of these concerns should be directed towards your jewelry. Ah, yes, but…. wait—what??
The winter months bring with them certain issues that should be addressed, not the least of which involve heightened security, which is often overlooked at this time of year. First, let me address the issue regarding snowfall while on winter vacation to a warmer climate. Most certainly, you should be aware of the fact that even though you may have contracted to have your driveway plowed in your absence, tell tale signs of you being away could be blatantly obvious to the trained eye. Three or four days after a snowfall, if the driveway is plowed and there are no tracks to the door, any idiot can see that there’s nobody home— unless your garage is attached to the house. Ask your plow person to walk back & forth to your door once or twice. No plowing service? At the very least, ask a trusted neighbor to walk up to your door a few times after a snowfall when you’re away—it’s better than nothing.
While we’re on the subject of vacation, please bear in mind that without “due diligence”, your friends and family are not the only ones who will know you’ve gone elsewhere. It’s always a good idea to have your mail held, and your newspaper delivery stopped—even if it’s just for a few days. Light timers, although they may sometimes be obvious to the professional thief, are also a very good (and inexpensive) security measure, because most home burglaries are not of a professional nature. And as long as we’re talking about winter vacations—do yourself a favor and minimize the amount of jewelry you bring with you, especially if your vacation plans involve public transportation and staying at a hotel.
Lastly, please remember that fine jewelry should never be left in an obvious place (especially when you’re away), such at a jewelry box on top of your dresser—whether you have an alarm system or not. If there’s a break-in, this is the first place that a thief will look. It will be chilly enough during the next few months, and the last thing you need to do is add to the misery by leaving some of your most valued (and often irreplaceable) possessions unnecessarily exposed while you seek temporary respite from the cold. The shock of returning to freezing temperatures is difficult enough to deal with; it makes no sense to ignore taking measures that can reduce the possibility of returning home to a chilling and most unwelcome winter surprise.
Joe Brandt is a local resident, and President of J.L. Brandt Company, offering diversified fine jewelry advisory services to the general public since 1928. Readers are invited to submit questions or comments to JLBCO@hotmail.com.Names or contact information will not be used for publication, and all inquiries will be answered promptly.