Calling attention to the very real danger of violent attacks against real estate agents, the North Carolina Association of Realtors and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission have released a safety guide to help them stay out of harm’s way.

The 20-page North Carolina Real Estate Safety Guide, which uses the Washington Real Estate Safety Council’s Personal Safety Guide as a model, offers a number of safety tips that are designed to minimize risk of being exposed to potentially dangerous situations.

Among the tips:

  • Keep a cell phone at your side, with emergency numbers set to speed dial.

  • Tell someone where you are going, who you are with and when you will be back.

  • Meet new clients or customers at your office, verify their identities, photocopy their driver’s licenses.

  • Have a prearranged distress signal.

  • Have a “buddy” who you can call when your instincts tell you that something is awry.

  • Don’t wear expensive jewelry.

  • Dress for the weather and wear shoes that you can run in.

  • Park in well-lit areas and don’t get blocked in.

In 2000, 21 U.S. real estate professionals were murdered while on the job, and 206 agents died as a result of violent assaults between 1982-2000, according to the guide.

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