Protect Your Residence During National Crime Prevention Month
Note: Audio podcast companion episode for this post available at the bottom of the page.
October is National Crime Prevention Month. Celebrated since 1984, after a Presidential proclamation, it’s a perfect time to assess risk and take action to enhance your safety and the safety of your family members.
But where should you start?
I suggest beginning with your home.
Get a Crime Prevention Inspection From Police
Whether you live in a house or apartment, contact your local police department on their non-emergency phone number and ask if they have a crime prevention unit. Most police agencies have specially trained crime prevention specialists who will come to your residence, conduct a security inspection, and offer recommendations to increase safety.
Protecting Your House
Here are some suggestions if you live in a house:
Walk around your home and look for thick shrubbery near doors and windows where a criminal could hide. Cut shrubbery down and back as much as possible. The idea is to create open sight lines from your driveway and street so anyone near the house can be easily seen.
Test your outside lights and replace any burned out bulbs. Are lights bright enough to illuminate doors and other potential areas of risk properly? If more light is needed, install brighter bulbs or add additional outside lighting. Ideally, all sides of your home should be illuminated. Keep lights on from dusk to dawn.
If you have a ladder in your yard, bring it in. An easily accessible ladder is an invitation for a criminal to break-in through a second story window.
If you have a patio door, secure it using what’s called a charley bar (available at virtually any hardware store) or by placing a wooden dowel in the sliding door track. You can also purchase a pair of locally activated door or window alarms for less than $25.
Ensure you have and use a peephole or an outside camera for your entrance door. Have and use a security chain or take other precautions before opening the door to anyone you don’t know. Have a portable or cellphone in hand when answering the door in case you need to call for help.
Consider installing a home alarm. Many modern alarm systems are modular and wireless. Professional monitoring is available costing roughly $15 to $25 per month, but if that’s not affordable you can have an alarm sound locally if a break-in is detected. Many modern systems can be set to notify you through a smartphone app allowing video and audio connection.
Keep doors and windows locked whether you are home or out.
Protecting Your Apartment
If you live in an apartment with a first floor outside entrance, all of the suggestions about securing a house will apply.
If you live in a building with an interior entrance door, ensure the hallway leading to your door is well lit. Have and use a door peephole or video camera to monitor the area near your door. Use a security chain or take other appropriate precautions before opening the door to someone you don't know, even if your building requires an access card or code to enter the main lobby.
Consider installing a modern modular wireless alarm if your budget allows.
More Crime Prevention Tips
Here are other Stay Safe blogposts focused on helping to keep you safe:
Are You Practicing Safe Parking in Lots and Garages?: https://www.frea.support/single-post/2019/03/18/Are-You-Practicing-Safe-Parking-in-Lots-and-Garages
Are You as Safe as Possible When Walking in the World?: https://www.frea.support/single-post/2019/03/05/Are-You-as-Safe-as-Possible-When-Walking-in-the-World
How to Avoid Danger When Walking on Campus: https://www.frea.support/single-post/2019/08/26/How-to-Avoid-Danger-When-Walking-on-Campus
"Online Dating: Tips to Help Keep You Safe - Part 1 and Part 2: https://www.frea.support/single-post/2017/10/09/Online-Dating-Tips-to-Help-Keep-You-Safe---Part-1; Part 2: https://www.frea.support/single-post/2017/10/01/Online-Dating-Tips-to-Help-Keep-You-Safe-%25E2%2580%2593-Part-2
Please think about how you can take action to help keep you and your loved ones safe during this National Crime Prevention Month and every day of every month!
This post is part of our"Stay Safe" Mini Tip Posts to help Keep You Safe.
Listen to the companion audio "Safe Living Today" episode for this blogpost by clicking the audio player below:
Stephen Carter is a former Chief of Police, Corporate Security Director and safely leader for one of the world's largest financial services companies. He is now the CEO of Stress Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to helping people enhance physical and emotional wellbeing through stress mastery using mind-body methods. He is the host of the, "Safe Living Today" and "Mind Over Stress" podcasts.