Fifteen minutes… that’s the average response time for a police officer to come to your aid after the call is made. In some communities, it’s even longer. Obviously, this isn’t a workable scenario for law-abiding citizens. That begs the question of “What can I do to make myself or my home less of a target?”
The answer is quite a bit, but we need to clarify something first when it comes to making a correlation between your home and a target. All homes are targets, but the size of the target is dependent upon the individual living in the residence. I want to outline a few simple steps on how you can make your home more secure; without breaking your budget, because we all know… the economy is not good.
I spent a good amount of years in the Marine Corps, and one thing I learned is that criminals and terrorists have quite a bit in common.
One of the biggest areas is this: They both search for patterns. Patterns on the day-to-day activities at the home are a big one. Do you park your vehicles in the same spot every day? Criminals watch for this; they know who drives what car, and when they leave. If you get your garbage picked up at the curb; like I do, do you leave the can sit out all day…even if you could have taken it from the curb and back to the house before leaving? Yeah…you just made the target on your home bigger.
A criminal thinks; “There’s nobody home at that house!” Do any other readers get those annoying flyers hung on your mailbox, front door, or just thrown on the porch like I do? Leaving those items lying around tells the bad guys that there’s a good chance nobody is home at that house.
Lighting and Monitors
Winter is soon to be here, and we all know it’s going to get darker sooner. How about a few simple timers hooked up to lights to come on at different times? They don’t cost much, and it keeps the bad people guessing.
In the beginning, I wrote that the economy is bad. I also know not everyone can pay the monthly fees to have their home monitored by a security service. However, at the big box “Do it yourself” stores, you can buy window alarms; and other types of alarms, for $10-20. A few of those placed at strategic points of entry, can mean the difference bbetween just a broken window, or replacing half of your household goods. What do you think is going to be the cheaper route? If the doors in your home, which lead to the outside, don’t have quality locks; preferably deadbolts, you need to get some.
When it comes to the outside of your house, motion lights with a wide angle of illumination are a great deterrent. Realistically, your home should have coverage from these lights on all points of entry.
Another area of concern should be your landscaping around your home. If your landscaping looks like something out of a Tarzan movie, you need to cut it back. It conceals people… people you probably don’t want around your home and loved ones. Everyone loves to decorate their back patio/deck with items so they can sit outside, and or entertain. That’s cool; my wife and I do it quite a bit. Just remember, any of those items can be used to break a window. Something as simple as letting the grass go without cutting it, tells a burglar that the home may be unoccupied.
Through all of this, you may have said “There’s always somebody home at my house!” That may very well be true, but ask yourself this: “Do you want a criminal to think your residence is unoccupied; when in reality is isn’t, when you’re not there to protect them?”
Last, but not least, know the people around you. I’m not saying you have to be a “social butterfly” but get an idea of who is living around you. Being aware of your surroundings can stop some criminal activity before it has a chance to start.
Most of us have worked too hard for what we have to let some criminal take it. Look around your home, and if you can protect your assets better than you are currently doing, take the necessary steps! Fifteen minutes can be a lifetime. Semper Fi!
Steve Dailey is a land surveyor, and lives in NE Ohio. A Marine Corps veteran, Steve is married, has two sons, and three grandchildren. In his spare time, Steve enjoys pistol shooting, and being a member of Northeast Ohio Carry; http://www.neocarry.org/; a 2nd Amendment advocate group serving NE Ohio.