1 W ago

Safe at Home

Crime is a creative career. So when routine, established targets for robberies (such as convenience stores, churches, office buildings, etc.) took on self-protective technologies such as video surveillance systems, this opened up “private residence” as easier mark to enter for profit. Home invaders recognize that they won’t have to disable complex alarm systems, especially if a home is occupied, or be caught by a silent alarm button. To ready home ground for this kind of intrusion is to (1) be aware of its threat and (2) use cautionary, practical steps as listed below:
• Install solid core doors with a peephole. Use the peephole at all times before opening a door, even to a family member. Burglars are on record as using a family member as ploy to gain entrance. All doors in a residence should be locked at all times.

• Windows, if any, on all doors should be high enough to prohibit a hand breaking through. Use three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in all doors. Never rely on chain-latch devices to act as safeguard when partially opening a door.

• Carry your cell phone at all times while in-home, not in a trendy, obvious place (i.e. on your jeans waistline, etc.) 9-1-1 should be on speed dial in all phones. At-home children (latch key kids), seniors or the infirmed need to stash land-line phone(s) in spots throughout the home for emergency use.

• Signals: a coach runs a game with signals. Develop a set of your own with those you live with to communicate threatening situations. Live alone? Develop a plan with the neighbor across the street or next to you who can see a window or porch light; hear a specific sound that shouts ‘need help’. Make sure that neighbor knows what to do if a signal is given.

• Highly visible alarm decals, beware of dog decals, neighborhood watch decals, etc. tell an intruder you are a savvy resident.

• Use secondary blocking devices on all sliding glass doors; use them when screens are being used for ventilation during the day as well as when doors are locked down. All accessible windows should have secondary blocking devices installed on them.

• Exterior lighting should encompass 100-foot visibility. Indoor lights (all hallways, basement/attic areas) should be maintained for usage with periodic checks during the day.

• Alarm systems are coming down price-wise. Even the appearance of an alarm system (studies have shown) may discourage a robber from violating your home and some insurance companies give discounts on home owner policies if you install one.

• Dial-up the police if you notice strangers around your area; alert your neighbors and friends to this fact as it is happening. Likewise teen-agers, especially in groups, as home robberies usually are always carried out by more than one person.

• Steer clear of virtual tours for any reason. These open up your floor plan, out-in-the-open valuables, etc. to anyone with computer savvy.

• Ruse: the wolf at your door no longer has obvious, pointy ears! Some come dressed as police or perhaps a sobbing woman whose car broke down. Always ask for identification plus a phone number of someone to call to confirm the stranger at your door is who they say they are.

• Dogs can sense character often better than we can. A pet that barks is a huge deterrent to illegal trespassers and can make you feel safe-at-home!