Neighborhood Safety

Neighborhood watch sign in cow paddock, ScotlandNEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY TIPS

Meet the people who live near you. Get to know their names, what cars they have and exchange phone numbers so you can call anyone in your area should the need arise.

Watch for strangers. Once you get to know the people around you, you will be better prepared to notice strangers who seem to be hanging around a lot. Seeing someone you don’t know walk down your street once is not at all unusual, but if that same person were to be lingering and going back and forth on your block frequently, they may be casing the neighborhood and looking for a home to rob.

Similarly, if you note an unfamiliar car that is spending a lot of time driving on your street, it could be an indication that criminals are looking for potential targets. Warn a neighbor if you see someone looking
at their home, and don’t be afraid to call the police to report suspicious behavior. As it is often said, the best way to avoid being victimized by crime is to prevent it from happening.

Deter criminals from choosing your home. Even a well watched neighborhood can be struck by crime. A burglar looks for the easiest target possible, so it is up to you to make your house difficult to break into. The first step is keeping exterior and interior lights on during the night. Criminals prefer a cover of darkness, and will gravitate towards a
home that has no lights on at all. If you plan to be gone overnight, you can use automatic timers on the lights so that it will look like you’re home. When you go out for the night, keep a television on, or play a radio inside the house. This will give the appearance that someone is still home, which is a great deterrent to criminals. Experts often recommend choosing a talk station for the radio to give the impression that a conversation is taking place inside. A law breaker may still attempt to break into your home if they become reasonably certain they can do so without being noticed.

Criminals have developed methods of breaking into most any home or building, but even a highly experienced law breaker will only devote a very short time to getting inside. The longer it takes for them to make their way in, the better the chances are that someone might see them and call the police. You can take steps to make it not worthwhile for a criminal choose your house by beefing up your security measures.

Make your home a fortress. Burglars look for any easy entrance to a home. A pet door, busted window or unlocked point of access will let them get in quickly. Walk around your house and examine it to make sure there are no vulnerable points that law breakers can use to force their way inside. Fix broken windows, busted locks, and any other part of your house that is not secure immediately. Never leave a spare key under the doormat or in the mailbox.

Security windows are designed to not be breakable, so installing them will make your home more of a stronghold. You can even purchase bullet proof glass for extra security. These items can get expensive, so a good alternative is to install a second lock on the window. You can find them at any retail location that sells hardware products, and they do not cost much.

Other areas to reinforce with extra locks and deadbolts are the front and back doors. A criminal may take the time to break or disable one lock on a door, but they will think twice about messing with one that has multiple security devices. Glass sliding doors can also be better secured with a security bar. A solid bar will prevent a door from being opened, and it cannot be moved from the outside. You can also find steel pins that lock into place at the bottom of a sliding door to make it impossible to open.

Utilize an alarm system. Hiring the services of a professional security company that will install an alarm in your house will be reassuring, but can also be very expensive. People who can afford it may want to pay extra for the peace of mind it comes with. Not only will your home be monitored at all times, criminals will also be discouraged from attempting to break in when they see the signs and window decals that inform them of the alarm.

Of course a burglar will not know if you don’t really have an alarm in place. People who can’t afford to install a home alarm company can still buy signs and stickers that announce that they have one. Place a
sign in your yard and the decal on your window to give the appearance that you are guarded by a security service. You can also purchase other warning signs such as Vicious Dog an NRA sticker to make
criminals think you have attack animals or guns on the premises.

When you leave your home, do you lock the doors and make sure the windows are closed … every time? Even if you will not be gone for long it is important to thoroughly secure every part of your home.

Hide valuables. It only takes a few minutes for a break in to occur. In fact, most criminals move as quickly as possible to avoid the possibility of being caught. Someone could come home at any time, so they work fast to collect your valuables and get away.

Burglars know where to look for items of value in any home. They will target key areas such as dressers, desk drawers, jewelry boxes and bathroom counters. Before leaving, they will also look in common
hiding spots like under the bed or mattress, inside the toilet tank, in the back of the refrigerator or freezer and under rugs that may conceal a hidden compartment with a secret stash of valuables. Some people think that keeping their things in a small safe will make them secure, but if the invader can pick it up and carry it with them, they will.

One of the best possible hiding spots for your most beloved treasures is within a diversion safe that is designed to look like a standard household product like shaving cream or a soda can. The look and weight of these products are duplicated exactly, so a burglar who is looking through your home will never spot them. Of course the goal is to ensure that people do not break into your home at all, so always remember to lock your doors and windows. Do it without fail, every time you leave the house.