Feeling safe in your own home shouldn’t be a luxury; it’s a necessary component of a peaceful existence. Without proper security steps taken, you or your possessions might be in danger, and even in instances where no trouble occurs, you’re still running the risk of having to deal with stress and anxiety regarding your safety. The following will explore a few ways that you can help keep your home safe regardless of the season.
First and foremost, if you have a reason to believe that you or someone you live with has been selected for a crime, it’s vital that you report this to the appropriate authorities. Security measures can help increase your safety, but they do not replace taking action if someone has left you feeling like you’re in danger. If someone is really determined to cause trouble for you, they can figure it out.
One of the best ways to deter crime on your property is to make it appear like someone’s always home. When asked, burglars cited cars in the driveway, music playing, or the television being on as major indicators that someone was home. More often than not, this deterred them from entering the property. It’s worth noting that the majority of break-ins happen in the middle of the afternoon on workdays. It’s common to think of evenings as the prime time to protect your house, but midday security measures are also vital. Something as simple as leaving the radio on can communicate to those looking to commit a crime that your property is not the place to do it.
With public social media accounts and google maps, the average person can find out way more about you than you realize. Even if you don’t post your street address, but the number of your home is in a photograph, someone clever can figure out where you live. Even if you don’t have any pictures of the number on your home, someone can look at exterior photos and where you list as your school or workplace and figure out where you live. Be extra cautious about what you post online regarding your home. Beyond your location, you want to be wary about posting about valuables you might have or vacations you’re going on.
It’s common to post about moving into a new home, getting engaged, or spending a week in the Bahamas, but all of these posts can set you up for a crime. If someone can figure out where you live and what sort of valuables you have, your home might become more tempting for a break-in. It’s best to keep jewelry photos to the minimum and only post your vacation pictures after you get home.
A special note needs to be made regarding gun ownership. Guns are one of the most valuable items to burglars as they can be sold for so much (many criminals are looking for guns that are registered to someone else). If you have pro-gun car stickers or post about gun club memberships or hunting trips, you might think people would avoid your home for fear of running into someone with a gun, but in actuality, they are far more likely to target your home.
If you know you’re going to be away from home for a while, ask a trusted friend or family member to stop in regularly. Dying plants in the windows, an unshovelled driveway, an overgrown lawn, and an overstuffed mailbox are all strong indicators that no one is home. If you ask a friend to tend to the home while you’re away, you can avoid sending these signals. You can also ask your neighbors to keep an eye open while you’re gone, promising to return the favor.
Studies have found that neighborhoods where neighbors know each other and are comfortable speaking up if someone is snooping around the house next door are far less likely to deal with crime. Most burglars do study locations before they take action, and if your neighbor who’s watering their garden asks a newcomer politely who they’re looking for when they knock on your door, and no one answers, your street has suddenly become one that isn’t ideal for crime as there’s a high chance someone will see something.
The above information should help you keep your home safe all year round. Again, if you have a reason to believe you’ve been targeted for a crime, nothing replaces reaching out to law enforcement.