Many Americans are becoming increasingly concerned with home security. We hear stories on the news about car thefts, robberies, and other incidents happening right in our own neighborhood. We may find ourselves longing for “the good old days” when it seemed that our neighborhood was safer.
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Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. There are people who seek to gain at the expense of others. Often, these people are closer to home than we’d like to admit and that “other” could be ourselves.
Most people will probably not want to live in a hidden bunker 30 miles outside of town and stock up on automatic weapons and ammo while never leaving the homestead. While that may be “safe” it might be a little over-protected and too far removed from normal life for most people’s taste. The typical person will probably want to live in town so they are closer to work and relationship opportunities and make frequent trips to visit friends and family, vacations, work trips, etc.
Here are some practical steps that ordinary people can take to make your home safer even when you are absent.
The biggest benefit of having a home security system with an alarm is actually not the alarm itself. It’s the deterrent. It may seem crass, but there is a lot of truth to that saying, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you!” When a potential robber sees a sticker on your window saying “Protected by…” they are very likely to move on to the next house. It’s just not worth the trouble.
This is the old-fashioned method of home protection. Neighbors used to actually know and trust each other and would gladly watch over each other’s home in their neighbors absent. Sadly, this is something that we have lost touch with in the busy hustle and bustle of modern life. If you’re not naturally charismatic, you could follow or a more formal and proven method by starting a neighborhood crime watch group if your neighborhood doesn’t already have one.
This is probably the coolest way to protect your home. Several years ago, this kind of stuff could only be found in James Bond kind of movies, but technology has now advanced to the point where average folks can spy on their homes while away and it’s actually quite affordable. If you don’t want to make the full investment, you can even get a dummy cam to deter potential thieves. You can connect your security cameras directly to your phone or laptop and view live feeds of your home. And when you’re not actively watching, motion detectors will pick up any suspicious movements and immediately alert you.
Crooks love darkness. While you (and your neighbors) probably don’t want to have bright lights that stay on all night, installing motion sensor lights can make your home safer without being a nuisance or hiking up your electric bill. If thugs are sneaking around your house after dark, they will likely be deterred by suddenly being bathed in light as they step into your yard. Plus, motion sensor lights are helpful when you return home in the dark and try to make your way to the door or have a hard time unlocking the door.
Most thieves are selective about the homes they rob. They try to find the easiest target with the biggest rewards. Don’t have your valuables visible when someone peeks through your window. Don’t make it easy for thieves to take an inventory of your belongings by simply walking around your house and peeking inside. Electronics like big screen TVs are common for theft. Make sure they can’t be easily seen from the outside. Keep jewelry in drawers rather than on top of your dresser where they can be seen. If the crook can’t see anything worth stealing he is likely to move on to a different target.