The best way to improve your personal and home security is to look at it as if you were the offender. In simple terms, identify the weak spots, vulnerable areas, and concealment points to focus on improving them. According to a report by Macrotrends, the USA’s crime rate in 2020 was 6.42, and it even increased in 2021 to 6.81. As such, you’d want to upgrade your home and improve your situational awareness. These 10 practices will help you stay safe from a dangerous criminal.
1. Lock Your Doors
The first thing you should think of as you put yourself in the shoes of a dangerous criminal is the door lock. The main entrance doors are normally targets for criminals because back doors have locking mechanisms that work from the interiors. The lock you choose for your main door should be highly resistant to various burglary activities like drilling, force, and lock picking.
Smart door locks are the newest type of locks proven to offer security. Thankfully, they don’t need a key to open or close. You only need a digital key fob or a smartphone to enter the code, and they open or close. These locks connect to your smartphone to send alerts when necessary; therefore, you can install them in your garage during your next garage door service.
Alternatively, you can choose the electronic door locks for your main door. These locks have a digital keypad where you enter a special code to open or close. Just like the smart locks, you can connect the electronic locks to the alarm system or your smartphone to alert you in case of danger. You’re also lucky because you don’t have to walk around with a bundle of keys.
Lever locks are other options from the digital locks you can install for security purposes. Although the locks are traditional, they are still embraced for their easy-to-use and sturdiness properties. But deadbolt locks win big when it comes to home security. The double-cylinder option offers the highest level of security.
Some homeowners prefer to install two key door locks on their doors because they offer more security. A dangerous criminal may spend more time breaking the two locks, which can attract the attention of the neighborhood. Additionally, if one lock fails, you can use the second one as you look for a specialist to do repairs.
Interior door locks can also offer security if criminals enter through the main door. Burglars target the kitchen because they can get various appliances in the room. As such, install sturdy locks on the lower part of the door for kids to easily open when accessing the kitchen. Here are more tips to prevent intruders:
2. Install Fencing
Installing a fence is another best way to keep a dangerous criminal off your home. A well-installed fence makes it difficult for the criminal to enter or exit the home. Many homeowners make a mistake when choosing the fence type for security. For example, a long fence may be the worst investment because criminals can commit crimes without your neighbors noticing them.
When hiring fence companies, research secure fences that discourage criminals from accessing your home. A short fence is better because everyone can see the activities going on in your home. However, add electric wire if you build a long concrete or brick fence. On the other hand, picket fences with sharp points can deter people with ill intentions from accessing your home.
Thorny plants are also ideal for keeping a dangerous criminal off your home. Thorns will sting the criminals as they try to jump over and make it harder for them. Since criminals like doing their unlawful acts quickly to avoid getting noticed, they will turn off. Additionally, several attempts to climb through thorny shrubs will catch the neighborhood’s attention.
3. Hide Valuables
The third way to keep your items safe from dangerous criminals is to hide them in unpredictable areas. Criminals target the master bedroom because homeowners store valuable items and clothes in the cabinets. The second area the thieves will target is the kitchen because of the appliances and the utensils. Criminals also understand homeowners store valuable items in the garage to save space in the house.
Besides the living room, they’ll target the basement, where the study and gaming rooms are located. They’ll also access the office to steal computers and other electronics. That said, you must be very smart when planning on the areas to store your valuable items, like the laptop. And the kid’s bedroom is one of the safest locations you can choose.
Criminals understand kids’ bedrooms are stocked with toys and clutter. So, they will just proceed to other rooms with valuable items. When storing your items in the kids’ bedroom, place them on the highest shelf where they will not access them.
A book safe can save smaller items like books and cash if criminals enter your home. Alternatively, use your freezer because the dangerous criminal will never be concerned about the foodstuff. If you have an unfunctional freezer, it will be an ideal place to hide your laptop, mobile phone, and valuable necklaces.
On the other hand, a toilet tank can be the safest place to hide the items if it’s not in use. For instance, if your home has unoccupied rooms with toilets, you can turn off the water and use them for storage. Thieves will never think of opening the toilet tank when searching for items in your home. However, if you have bulky items, stash them in the dog or poultry house.
Finally, store the items in the car at night if your garage door is sturdy. Car’s power windows are harder to roll down than manual ones, which burglars slide down using duct tape. As such, getting into the car will become harder if they manage to enter the garage. Additionally, install an alarm system on your car and the garage door.
4. Park Your Vehicle in a Safe Location
You’ll always go for picnics and coffee dates with buddies. And a dangerous criminal may spot you as you park your car to get into a cafe. Public parking spaces are always a target for criminals because car owners leave their cars to engage in other activities. So, they carry out their unlawful activities without being noticed.
Park your car in a well-lit space with a good public view. Normally, a dangerous criminal will spot a car parked between long trucks because their acts will not be easily noticed. Secondly, find a parking area that is security patrolled. Areas with banks, government agency offices, and police stations are well-patrolled.
There are areas with CCTV, like the mall parking spaces and other shopping centers. They are the safest places because the CCTV footage can help search for criminals in case of burglary. Ideally, park the vehicle close to other shoppers’ cars because criminals find it difficult to determine the owner’s whereabouts.
Finally, visit the auto body repairs shop if your vehicle door locks aren’t functional. An alarm system will also help because any time it goes off, it catches the public’s attention. Ensure your car windows are tinted to deter the burglar from seeing what’s inside.
5. Place Surveillance Cameras
Surveillance cameras in a home or commercial buildings are a recommendation when insuring the property. This is because they deter crimes by reducing the number of people trespassing. A report shows that surveillance cameras deter approximately 575 crimes annually. This includes crimes in public areas and private properties.
Surveillance cameras help monitor Scenarios and activities in case a crime is committed. This helps the detectives to identify and search for the criminals. The ability to help the authorities gather evidence makes the cameras ideal for your home. However, if your building supply store can’t help you install it, find a professional to help you determine the best camera locations to capture all details.
Surveillance cameras will help you maintain the records of different activities. For instance, you can keep records if the delivery or a pick up company sends employees to your home. If a new person is sent to your home, you’ll use the records to confirm it’s a new face and inquire from the company. This helps minimize crimes because criminals can pose as garbage collectors and steal from you.
6. Stick With a Group
Criminals want to commit a perfect crime, targeting people who live or walk alone. In those few seconds before facing you, they assess whether they run an increased risk of being injured or caught. So, they’ll check the stride length, body weight distribution, and speed before determining whether to steal from you.
Walking as a group will help everyone stay safe because criminals will never want to take risks. They understand as a group, you’ll resist them and cause alarm in the area. So, before leaving the cafes, find a group of people with whom you walk home. On the other hand, if you do morning runs or mountain climbing, find others to do it as a team.
If you live alone, find a relative and accommodate them in your home. This will make it easier to resist the criminals if they break into your home at night. And in some instances where the criminals at home capture one person, the other person may activate the alarm or scream to alert the neighbors.
7. Adopt a Dog
Research shows that dogs are major deterrents in attempts of burglary and other crimes committed around homes. As such, adopting even a small pooch will keep the criminals off your home. A dog will make noise to get the attention of the household members and the neighbors in case a strange person accesses the home.
Belgian Malinois and German shepherds are examples of the breeds you can train to protect your home in case of burglary. Apart from making the noise, a trained dog will catch or injure the thief to prevent him from committing the unlawful practice. Suppose you have puppies at your home; find dog trainers to start coaching them at an early age.
8. Keep an Eye on Strangers
Parties and other functions may attract criminals because they steal from visitors and drunk people. Once you enter a public gathering or a party, keep an eye on strangers to identify anyone with ill intentions. Usually, the criminal will dress smart to avoid being noticed. But there are signs you can observe to identify a thief.
A criminal will avoid eye contact whenever you look at them. Sometimes, they may fidget when you speak to them or appear nervous if you inquire about them. Another trait of a thief is looking around to identify the vulnerable person. Criminals will also visit funerals where people are emotionally drained and grieving to take advantage of them.
9. Keep a Light On
You’ve always seen motion sensor lights; they are very helpful because criminals never want to carry out their evil plans in the light. Your criminal law attorney will always advise keeping your security lights on at night to protect your home. And you can add to it the patio and living room lights. Criminals will conclude you aren’t asleep, so they can’t carry out their mission without being noticed.
10. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you live in an area with dedicated concert halls, nightclubs, amphitheaters, stadiums, and parks, you must be careful in protecting your home. Several people normally attend concerts; criminals may pose as an audience and later steal from the neighborhood. So, whenever you hear of a DJ service in the neighborhood, keep alert and implement safety measures.
A dangerous criminal will always assess if they run an increased risk of being injured or caught before committing a criminal offense. Protect your home by installing lights, surveillance cameras, fences, and alarm systems. When taking a walk, keep your situational awareness into practice. This will help you take good action if you suspect someone has bad intentions for you.