For most of us it’s easy to let your home and personal security lapse. After all, how often is your life or property ever really in danger due to other people’s actions? Unless you live or work in “bad neighborhoods” or just have bad luck I would guess it’s a relatively rare occurrence… I know I’ve never been robbed or had my house broken into. Of course, more than 2 million burglaries are reported each year in the U.S. (at a rate of about one every 13 seconds) with two-thirds being home thefts, so somebody is getting robbed! Fortunately, it’s not me… cross my fingers. 😉
Regardless,, it’s understandable how easy it is to let things go and just live life without much thought to one’s security. I know I’ve done it and still do to varying degrees, my wife does it, my kids do it, and everyone I know does too. We’ll leave doors unlocked, windows wide open, and blare the television without a second thought.
With this in mind, I thought I would share some security blunders we should work to avoid whenever possible. Obviously, the first step in rectifying these problems is to be aware of them. The next step is then to take appropriate actions to remedy the problems.
The first type of blunder is making it easy to access your home or residence without the “bad guy” doing any work whatsoever. Why make their lives any easier? Consider these simple steps…
- Lock your door deadbolts at all times (especially while home) – this should be an obvious one but among the most likely way a burglar will enter your home is directly through the… can you guess… the front door! The next most likely is the back door, followed by the garage, and sliding glass doors. Granted, you really should beef-up your door locks and hinges (which are a discussion for a different day) but start with actually using the locks provided… doing so may cause burglars to simply choose to move on.
- Shut and latch windows in rooms not currently occupied – windows are another major source of entry for burglars. Believe it or not, many thieves prefer to enter and rob a home during the day WHILE the homeowners are there! That’s crazy if you ask me but it’s the trend. Windows are an easy entry, even those on the second floor and certainly any open windows where people are not currently occupying the room. So, if you choose to open all the windows in the house to air it out (I know I’m guilty) you might start to consider a different strategy.
Letting Your Guard Down
Letting your guard down while at home is another huge area of concern. Even if you’re great at locking the doors and windows, you still need to concern yourself with the “rush attack” which is nothing more than bullying their way in through your front door when you answer. This is probably the scariest scenario I can think of because these type of people are far more likely to want to terrorize you than to simply steal from you. Consider these concerns…
- Not checking the peep hole before answering – even though you’re expecting the UPS man today to deliver your 12-months of food storage from The Ready Store, there’s not guarantee that’s who’s actually standing on your front steps. I could be anyone, even a junked-out hoodlum and his three buddies looking for an easy score.
- Opening the door without a secondary latch – Even if it is the UPS man, the bad guys have been known to impersonate all sorts of business people. In this case you’ll want to utilize a good door security bar that is always latched (yeah, that’s the difficult part) in order to delay potential rush attacks.
- Not having a ready means of self defense within reach – in the unfortunate event that you find yourself in this situation, it behooves you to have some means of immediately defending–or at least deterring–an attack. Obviously, this means immediate access to a firearm (preferably on your person) but I know that’s not an option for many people so even something like a large can of bear spray within easy reach is better than nothing.
Obliviousness to Surroundings
Your security at home actually starts before you ever step foot inside. You need to think about your entire residence from the outside in…
- Appropriate lighting, especially around entry doors, pathways, driveway – If there’s one thing it seems most burglars don’t like it’s light. Be sure you have appropriate lighting anywhere you expect to enter your home, from the driveway to the front steps or backdoor… it’s a cheap and easy deterrent.
- Look around before exiting your vehicle – is anything out of the ordinary? Doors ajar, windows busted, lights on inside that you KNOW were not left on or vice-versa? Yes, there are reasons that things may not be the way you left them (such as other household members) but most people have a set way of being in life and you may be keen enough to pick up on anything out of the ordinary if you open your eyes and ears.
Sure, there are plenty of other actions and upgrades one could add to increase your general home security and personal safety but I would suggest these actions will have the greatest impact. That said, what might you add that I did not?