Tips for Home Visits
There are times when non-law enforcement professionals need to enter a potential home Meth lab. Social Service workers and Child Protection Service employees, in particular, are exposed to the dangers of clan labs in the course of their work.
The following tips can serve as a guideline for home visitors’ safety. Before embarking on such a visit, talk to a supervisor for any further instructions and rules your agency or service may have in place.
Before You Go:
ö Ensure that you have obtained as much information about your client as possible.
ö If possible, canvass the area around the home’s address. Assess potential safety concerns and take precautions.
ö Communicate your schedule and likely route to your supervisor. Notify your office of your arrival.
ö Carry only your ID, a cell phone and/or pager, and keys.
ö Do not wear clothes and shoes that can impede your movement. Pants are best.
ö Wear a name badge if you have one, but don’t wear one around your neck. A clip-on is best.
ö Park within direct sight of the home’s entry. Park in a well-lit, unobstructed area. Don’t park in the driveway of the home.
ö As you exit your car, be attentive to people in the area and any unsecured dogs.
ö Be aware of any Meth paraphernalia in the area surrounding the home.
ö Keep your hands as free as possible. Do not be distracted by talking on a cell phone. Carry a personal alarm if feasible – a clip-on one is best.
Safety During the Visit:
ö Present yourself as calm, confident, observant and in control.
ö Position yourself between the client and an exit.
ö Sit in a hard-backed chair.
ö Have an excuse to leave prepared in advance.
ö Be aware of your surroundings and leave if your instincts tell you to.
ö Pay particular attention to the client’s protectiveness relating to certain rooms of the house.
ö Leave the home immediately if you smell chemicals.