Statistically, we are in a low period when it comes to crimes. That still doesn’t bring comfort to the millions affected by property crimes and more serious crimes each year. As a result, there’s no time like the present to reevaluate some of the security measures that you have in place. Sometimes, that one purchase or change to your routine can make the difference in keeping your family and valuables safe. Here’s some practical advice you can start using right away.
When it comes to keeping safe, the best place to start is with the common-sense tips that don’t cost a dime. It’s easy to miss something in the hustle-and-bustle of daily life, but spending a little time now can save you money later. For one, always make sure that your doors are locked and ground-floor windows are close, especially when you aren’t at home. However, you may also want to look outside to make sure that there are no items nearby that could be used to enter the home. In addition, you also may want to avoid having any bushes or shrubs nearby that people could use to hide in. Another way you can discourage criminals is with good external lighting. A lot of property crimes are crimes of opportunity when something presents itself as unsecured. The appearance of security can do just as much as the real thing when it comes to these situations.
At the same time, you don’t want to run the risk of advertising any potential opportunities for criminals to enter your home. For example, in the age of social media, it’s tempting to let people know that you have a vacation planned or need to stay late for work, but this could also be a big red flag that your home will be unoccupied. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but there’s no need to invite trouble. A big part of safety is also being proactive. If you see suspicious activity in your area, don’t be afraid to report it to law enforcement. Next time, you and your home could be targeted.
Another major part of being safe is staying informed. This doesn’t mean you have to be overly paranoid. Just find some good sources with a steady stream of information on ways you can keep safe. A great place to start is industry sources like Alder Home Security’s Twitter. Local community organizations and law enforcement are also good options to follow. It’s important to realize that while many of the things we mentioned earlier are good practices no matter where you live, all homes are different. Some people live in areas where crimes are sadly more common. Some people have certain valuables in their home that warrant extra caution. Following both local and general information will help you put together a security plan custom-suited for your needs.
Another area where it is difficult to straddle the line between safety and paranoia is when it comes to children. We want our kids to be safe, but at the same time, you want them to be kids! When helping your kids learn about safety in the home, there are a few things you can implement that hit that balance. Teach your children not to open the front door for someone that isn’t a trusted family member. Simply tell them to get you first and explain that someone who is a friend won’t mind waiting. In the same vein, teach your child about emergency services, including how to call them. Walk them through several situations where it is appropriate and not appropriate to call for help. For older children, have them create a simple text code on their phone that they can reach you at quickly if they find themselves scared on in danger.
When it comes to people buying things for security purposes, most people think of home security systems first. There is a good reason for this, but a lot of people hold misconceptions about what these systems are that hold them back from buying one. The first thing to understand is that advances in tech mean that there is a home security system for everyone. This includes every time of home, but most importantly, every price range. Don’t feel that price is an issue, and be sure to talk to your home security professionals to find a solution. Another thing to realize is that the vast majority of the time, the threat of a security alarm does the job. Use stickers and other items to make it clear to potential intruders that a security system is present. Often times, this is enough to deter potential burglars. If not, many systems can directly let law enforcement know so they can respond.
However, if you are looking to make security-based purchases, another thing worth investing in is a good fireproof safe. While they may not pose an immediate danger, losing original copies of documents like passports, wills, and birth certificates can be problematic. In addition, you may want to store other items like spare keys and titles to your vehicles, investment information, and even an external hard drive with copies of family photos.
When it comes to family safety, there is no one cure-all solution. Instead, you want to take a different approach, attacking the problem from as many different angles at once. By keeping safety in your mind when you purchase, make decisions, even teach your children, you’ve crafted a safer lifestyle for everyone just by doing what you normally do as a parent and provider.
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