Crime statistics and studies by insurers show that certain types of homes and neighborhoods are more vulnerable to crime. Could your home be vulnerable to burglary?
If your home fits any of these descriptions, you may want to consider ways to improve home security and develop a crime prevention plan to keep your family safe.
- You live in a ground-floor apartment.
- Your home is surrounded by thick foliage and trees.
- The windows and doors of your home are old and in disrepair.
- Your street is dark and without lights.
- You are often away from your home because of business.
The first and best defense against burglaries is prevention. Make your home undesirable to intruders. Criminals are opportunists and are more likely to avoid your house if there are barriers and risks to gaining entry.
Defend your home from burglars when you are away by disguising the fact that nobody is home. Take steps to protect your valuables and keep your home safe. The following tips will prevent your home from looking like you are not there:
- Set your lights, TV or radio on a timer, so it automatically goes on and off at certain times during the day and night.
- Stop newspaper and mail delivery so papers and mail do not pile up on your porch or mailbox. This is a clear sign that no one has been home for days.
- Tell your neighbors that you will be away and when you will return. Or you can hire a house sitter to stay at your home.
- In the winter, hire someone to shovel your walkway. In summer, don't let the lawn get overgrown.
- Leave an extra car parked in the driveway.
- Do not leave a recorded message on your phone at home that you are out of town. Your message at work should simply say you are out of the office.
- Do not close all the blinds and curtains. Leaving a couple of blinds or curtains open indicates someone is home.
If you have a housekeeper who comes weekly, consider asking him or her to come the week or weeks you are away. The housekeeper's presence is another sign that someone is home.
Consider an Alarm System
Industry studies indicate homes are safer with security systems. Not only do they provide swift warning of intruders, they can deter criminals from trying to enter your home in the first place.
Advances in technology have made home security systems more affordable. Home security is a growing option for the middle class and working families. Home alarm systems used to be a luxury only the rich could afford.
The new wireless alarm systems are easy to install and are portable. This is particularly attractive for renters because they can take their alarm systems to their next home.
With the wide variety of wireless components now, you can customize your home security. You can 'build' your home security system, piece by piece, depending on your needs and budget.
Walk your property and critique for yourself whether it is secure from burglars. Imagine how you would try to gain entry into your own home if you were an intruder.
Wireless systems can include security cameras, motion detectors, flood alarms for your basement, or a medical emergency. Here are more wireless alarm products to think about:
- Door and window sensors that detect when an intruder tries to enter.
- Motion detectors that alert you to movement in hallways, rooms, or the perimeter of your property.
- Keypads that allow you to arm your security system from anywhere in the home.
- Home security cameras that record the movements of intruders, and can be used as - evidence by police.
- Door chimes that alert you when a young child slips out of the house without your knowledge.
Insurance companies are so confident in the effectiveness of home security systems that they typically discount the cost of coverage after owners or renters install a quality home security system. Check with your insurer to make sure you are getting the discounts you currently qualify for and to learn about additional discounts when you add or upgrade a security system.
Patricia Deiparine is the owner of
Northwest Safety Products. We offer affordable, quality home security and personal protection devices. Our featured product, the Voice Alert Security System, is a newly patented wireless security alarm solution for small business and residential applications. We also offer pepper spray, stun guns, personal alarms, and other self defense items.