In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to worry about the safety of our homes. Unfortunately, many of us do. You’re not alone if you’re seeking more ways to keep yourself, your family, and your home safe. The following will explore some of the things you can do to decrease the risk of crime on your property.
Before we begin, it’s important to emphasize that if you or any member of your household feels particularly unsafe or has any reason to believe they’ve been targeted for a specific crime, you must reach out to the authorities. Of course, the following measures can help keep things safer, but if someone is determined to gain access to your home or people within your home, the authorities need to be notified.
Update Your Locks
It might sound simple, but having updated locks can make all the difference. When interviewed, burglars often cite walking through the front door as their most common point of entry. If you’re recovering from a past break-in or are suspicious of someone who previously lived in the property you can get the locks completely changed. If you are nervous about waiting for an appointment, there is such a thing as emergency locksmith appointments. These also come in handy if you find yourself locked out.
Befriend Your Neighbours
While we’re talking about neighbors, it might be worth your while to have a friendly chat from time to time. It turns out that having someone from next door ask a few questions like: “Hey! Are you looking for Jim? I can take a message for you,” will deter the average burglar. A close-knit community takes time to build, but having everybody look out for everybody else can keep the risk of break-ins down.
Make It Look Like Someone Is Home
There are several things that you can do to make it look like someone is home, even if the place is empty. The most effective method is to leave a car in the driveway (this was the most commonly cited deterrent by burglars). You can leave the television on or the radio on. This is the second most effective method. The third most effective is leaving lights on.
You might be tempted to focus on these tips at night, as this is when movies tend to show us robbery scenes. It turns out that the darkness is great for cinematic effect, but in actuality, most robbers do their work during the day. Usually, in the afternoon before kids get back from school and adults off work.
Don’t Post Your Vacation Pictures While You’re Away
Social media can get people into trouble. We all know that by now. But many of us don’t realize how it can make us targets for crime. If you’re posting pictures of the whole family halfway across the country at your cousin’s ranch, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that your home is empty. Wait until you’ve returned to post your photos. While you’re at it, when you go on holiday, ask your neighbors, a friend, or a family member to stop by and collect your mail and newspapers. If you live in a snowy climate, have someone come by and plow the driveway and front steps.
Clean Up Trees, Bushes, And Shrubs
One of the things that makes a place an excellent site for a robbery is whether or not there are tall bushes, trees, fences, or shrubs blocking the street view of your windows. When these things are in place, it’s easy for someone to remain unnoticed once they’re inside the property. They’ll be able to walk around and take their time, knowing that no neighbors driving by will be able to see them or what they’re up to.
Consider A Dog
We know that a dog isn’t the right choice for everyone. Dogs are big commitments (sometimes living for 15 to 20 years), and this means that you need to carefully weigh whether or not you have space for a furry friend in your life. If you do, a dog is an excellent deterrent to all sorts of crimes. Yes, most household pets aren’t vicious, and they’re not going to attack people (they’re more apt to lick an intruder to death than bite one), but the average burglar isn’t going to take the risk. There’s a chance your dog could be one of the more aggressive ones.
Test Your Security Systems
If you have a system in place, it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s working every so often. This doesn’t mean trying to break in or anything crazy like that, but it can be as simple as peeking to make sure that all the indicator lights are on, that any apps associated with your security system are functioning, that your antivirus software is thriving (there are files called EICAR files which you open and download that aren’t viruses but which antivirus software is designed to recognize as a virus), and maybe you want to test your firewalls using a port scan. Make no mistake; digital attacks are just as common as burglaries (more, in fact), and they can end up costing you a lot of money.
Know What Makes You A Target
There are some counterintuitive aspects of drawing in a burglar. One of the most shocking is an association with guns or rifles. You’d think that a pro-gun bumper sticker or membership at the local shooting range would deter robbery as there’s a higher chance there’s a gun in the house and so a higher chance of them being in a less than ideal situation. The opposite is true. Guns are worth a lot of money, and knowing there might be one inside can tempt burglars. Likewise, things like engagement announcements on Instagram (with a picture of a shiny new ring) or a thank you for the birthday gift post can alert burglars to the pricey goods in your home.
The above tips should help you create a safer environment for your family and yourself. Again, if you have any reason to believe that a crime is likely to take place, your best course of action is to report the issue to the authorities.