Crime Prevention Tips
Most of these
crime prevention tips are specifically related to home security
but since it is an extensive list of tips, there are also some basic
generic tips about keeping yourself and those around you safe from
the 'bad guys'. Let's face it, we live in a world that can sometimes
be chaotic. It is in our best interest to take a defensive stance
when it comes to personal protection as well as protecting our homes
and our loved ones from becoming a statistic. Due diligence is required.
One of the best first steps that you can take is to enlist the help
of one of the home security monitoring
services that are available.
Get to Know
Be aware of what is happening in your neighborhood. Try to get to
know your neighbors. You might want exchange phone numbers with
them in case of emergency. Once you get to know your neighbors,
you might be comfortable with exchanging other information with
them such as some of the details about your daily routines. This
will make it easier to spot discrepancies.
Put Some Trust
in your Instincts
If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, leave as soon as you
can. Your instincts will tell you when something is not quite right.
Occasionally your instincts may be wrong but as the old saying goes,
"It's better to be safe than sorry." Use your instincts
around the house as well as when you are out in public. If you see
something suspicious then report it to the proper authorities.
Use a secondary blocking device on all ground floor windows and
sliding glass doors. Don't give a possible intruder more than 6
inches of wiggle room. Of course, they could always just break the
window or sliding glass door. Nothing can prevent that (other than
having bullet proof glass installed in your house). It would be
much cheaper to just have a home security system installed. There
are actually broken glass detectors that can be installed.
Although it may seem like a convenient thing to do, it is not a
good idea to hide your house keys in under your doormats, rocks
or planters. Burglars can spend up to a month surveying a possible
target. If they are watching, they will see where you hide your
Securing your doors will give you some peace of mind and it will
also help to deter intruders. Use four three-inch screws in order
to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in your door frames. Doors
that have glass windows or glass ornamentation should have double
key deadbolt locks. This is done so that a burglar cannot break
the glass and reach inside to unlock the door. Don't forget to secure
your garage door as well!
Don't be an
Try to avoid making yourself an easy target for the bad guys. It's
just like the school yard. If a criminal spots someone or something
that they perceive to be weak, they will exploit the opportunity.
Remember that bad guys are not the hero type. They exploit weaknesses
and use any advantage that they can find. If you look like the type
of person who is always looking out for bad guys, they will probably
sense this and move on to the next target.
Fool the Bad
Try to make it look like someone is always home. You can use interior
light timers in order to establish a pattern of occupancy. Keep
the bad guys on their toes and guessing as to when your home is
actually empty. Burglars like to strike when homes are unoccupied.
Take a class in self defense. Learn how to use pepper spray properly.
When used by surprise, pepper spray is an excellent distraction
that can give you the time that you need in order to get away from
an assailant. That being said, if you are confronted by someone
who is brandishing a weapon, you should follow their demands so
that you don't put yourself in more danger.
Make it a point to lock your doors whenever you leave your home.
Even if you are just going to the store, you should make it a habit
to always lock up. Even if you feel that you live in a safe neighborhood,
lock your doors and windows whenever you leave. Period.
Go ahead and light up the outside of your home. Burglars and other
criminals are like mushrooms when it comes to nighttime prowling.
Light is their enemy. Your exterior lighting should allow for at
least 75 feet of visibility in all directions. Use good lighting
along the pathway and at your door.
In this exercise you get to be the home security inspector. You
can start with a home "security" check. Begin at your front door
and work your way clockwise around the entire perimeter of your
home. Then you can move indoors and follow the same pattern. Look
for all of the little details that you may have missed upon first
inspection. Look for any loopholes that could allow an intruder
to easily enter your home. Then you can make a checklist and fix
these problem areas one by one.
Them Know You're Gone
It's best to not leave any signs that you have gone on vacation.
If you will be gone for more than a few days, arrange to have the
mail and papers stopped or picked up. If a burglar sees a bunch
of newspaper on the lawn then they can probably guess that the house
If for some reason you cannot or do not want to install a home security
system, do take some precautionary steps anyway. Make sure that
you are not an easy target. Do look for the obvious vulnerabilities
of your home and do put in reinforcements wherever possible. Also,
it doesn't cost any money to get to know your neighbors. You can
look out for each other.
Use a Deadbolt
A deadbolt lock, when used properly, can provide you home with good
protection. When you turn the key, the lock mechanism slides a strong
metal bolt from the door into the frame. In most cases, a burglar
would now need to find another route in order to gain entrance to
Keep up your
When you look at the statistics, you might think to yourself that
the odds of someone breaking into your home are slim. Donít think
that it canít happen to you. Don't make the mistake of letting your
guard down simply because you live out in the country or because
you live in an area that typically sees little crime. Crime can
happen anywhere, and it does.
Keeping up your guard on a daily basis can be made easier when you
can automate some of the home security functions. You might want
to use light timers or photocells to turn on/off lights automatically.
When used in conjunction with a home security monitoring system,
this can be a pretty good setup. Tip! Even when you think that you
have thought of everything, think again.
A barking dog can be one of the best deterrents in preventing burglaries.
If you were a burglar, what would you do if you heard a large dog
barking? Most would just turn and flee and find another home to
target. Some burglars can get around the dog problem buy offering
them snacks or by causing them harm. This is one reason why it is
a good idea to not rely on a dog for complete security.
Security Plan in Action
Does your family have a plan in place in case of emergencies? One
way to keep your family reasonable safe is to have a family security
plan. The first thing that you will want to do is organize a plan
of action and write it down on paper. Then you can present it to
your family when you have a family security meeting. Go over the
plan on a regular basis so that everyone in the home knows exactly
what to do in case of an emergency. Your plan should cover several
different scenarios so that you will be prepared for the types of
events that are most likely to occur.
Get a Home
The very best way to secure your house and the people who live there
is to get a home security system. You can install one yourself but
the best way to be secure is to hire a monitoring
company to install a security system that will be remotely monitored.
First, you need to get estimates from three security alarm companies.
Then you can select the company that you feel the most comfortable
with. However, do keep in mind that you should not depend entirely
upon an alarm system to protect you and your family. You should
still take the extra steps and go a little 'overboard' in your efforts
to secure your home. Install locks, do a home security survey, talk
to neighbors, etc.
You should make it a point to be a little pessimistic when it comes
to home security. Don't assume that the world is full of honest
people. If you lose the keys to your home or move into a new home,
change the locks immediately. Then you won't always be wondering
who has a key to your home.
and Quality Locks
Solid doors and locks are your first line of defense. Many residential
doors typically feature hollow-core construction and low quality
locks. This is especially true with new construction. The builders
are always trying to cut costs in order to turn a profit. What you
really need is solid core doors and with quality locks. A solid
core door, strong locks with reinforced strike plates, and reinforced
window devices will stop most forced entries. But don't stop there!
There are many other steps that you need to take in order to completely
secure your home.
Be Aware of
Who is standing next to you? Do you know who is behind you? To protect
your family, the best defense is awareness. When you are out in
public you should be constantly scanning your surroundings for possible
threats. Pretend like you are one of the presidents security guards.
When defending your home, you should employee similar vigilance.
Is there a car that you don't recognize patrolling your neighborhood?
Keep your eyes peeled and your mind open at all times.
Second Layer of Protection
Assume that the bad guys can somehow manage to penetrate your fortress
and enter your dwelling. Now is when they should run up against
your second line of defense. Get a diversion safe. Hiding valuables
in these types of safes is a good way to keep your valuables out
of sight. Have a family emergency plan. Consider having a panic
room (see below) in your house. Learn how to use pepper spray. Use
video surveillance so that you can at least identify the bad guys
if they get away with some loot. Consider getting a dog.
- Safe Room
You might want to prepare a room within the interior of your home
where your family can safely retreat if there is a home invasion
or other type of threat. Make sure that your panic room has a phone.
You might want to keep other types of communications devices in
there as well. Cell phones, computers, ham radio, these are communication
devices that you can use as a backup. Keep about 3 days worth of
water and nonperishable food in your safe room. Depending on your
comfort level and your expertise, you might also want to keep a
weapon in there.
Take pride in the fortress that you call home. The first step in
creating a fortress is to make your home more difficult to enter.
Remember, the burglar will simply bypass your home if it requires
too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess.
If you have groundfloor windows or sliding glass doors then there
is no way that you can make your home impenetrable. This is a fact
that you will have to live with. Get a good security system and
a dog. Knowing that your home is securely monitored and that you
have a guard dog as a backup will help you sleep at night.
Many intruders simply knock on the front door and then enter when
the homeowner opens the door. It may seem obvious but it is a good
idea to install a peephole or viewer in all entry doors so that
you can at least see who is outside without having to actually open
your door. Door chains cannot be trusted. They can be easily broken.
Of course, donít open the door to anyone you donít know.
If you can't beat them, join them. Or, in this case, if you don't
want to join them, beat them. Not literally of course (although
that may be needed in certain scenarios). Join the bad guys in mind
and spirit only. Put yourself in their shoes. Try thinking like
a bad guy. If you were a burglar, how would you go about entering
your home? Where is the weakest link?
Try casing your
home just like a criminal would. Sit in your car at the curb or
the end of the driveway and imagine that you are going to try to
break into your house. Try doing this at different times of the
day. There might be certain times of day that seem more vulnerable.
Write down your
thoughts and plans. When you are done, go over the plans and turn
them into the steps that would need to be taken in order to get
into the house and commit a robbery. Now, reverse roles again and
become the homeowner. Go through each of the steps and figure out
the best way to stop the bag guys at each of these steps. This is
a good way to expose your vulnerabilities and to get them fixed
from the inside out.