We’re all spending more time at home than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this may make some people feel safer, particularly in that they’re avoiding the virus, others might be taking note of the risks inherent to their homes that they didn’t notice before.
If you’re self-isolating completely and live alone, you may even feel more in danger than you did before. This is in part because the pandemic has put a lot of individuals under personal and financial stress. Therefore, they may not be acting as they usually would. Whenever the United States undergoes an economic crisis, certain parts of the country may be more at risk for heightened crime rates. Individuals may be pushed to attempt break-ins out of desperation. Of course, some locations are always prone to crime. But no matter where you live, it’s impossible to predict the actions of others and to be sure that you’re really as safe as you need to be. This is why it’s important that we all take into mind some crime prevention and safety tips as we hunker down at home.
There are a lot of different steps that you can take in order to make your home as safe as possible. However, these will depend on where you live and what kind of home you live in. If you rent your home, you may not have the same rights to add in security systems of your choice that you would if you owned your home. With that being said, a lot of landlords are flexible with tenants with regard to adding in security measures. If you live in an apartment building, of course, you may be limited to the building security systems the owners have put in place. But nonetheless, there is almost always something that you can do in order to better safeguard yourself against potential intruders. Let’s look into some of the different crime prevention and safety tips that everyone should keep in mind, especially if they live alone.
1. Do Your Research Before Allowing Access
Think about how easily you may give out your address on a daily basis. This is particularly true during the pandemic, as a lot of individuals are taking greater advantage of delivery services (and in the process, providing delivery drivers with their locations). If you live in an apartment building, you may end up giving out even more information, as a lot of people give their delivery drivers their buildings’ security codes. While it may be tempting to do this in order to avoid the effort of meeting your driver or picking up your delivery at your building’s entrance, security codes exist for a reason. Some services vet their delivery drivers carefully, but others do not. Therefore, you should be careful and do your research when choosing a delivery service. Even if you trust that service, try to give out as little personal information as possible. The same can be said if you live in a gated community or even if your property is simply closed in with a motorized gate. Take the extra steps to meet your driver at the gate, versus giving them information that they really don’t need.
Another one of the more classic crime prevention and safety tips is to carefully look into a moving service before you use it to move into your home in the first place. It’s not unheard of for less reputable moving services to hire employees without properly checking their backgrounds. Some are even paid under the table. Therefore, you’re essentially allowing a lot of unchecked strangers into your home and letting them see what kinds of valuables you may own. When looking into residential moving services, don’t just take online reviews into account. While these can reveal a lot of valuable information, online reviews can be misleading. Try to on local social networking sites, like neighborhood Facebook pages, in order to get an idea of what word of mouth recommends. This will allow you to get an idea of what the community trusts. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the moving company before you hire them, either! This is your safety we’re talking about, after all.
2. Burglar-Proof Your Garage
Not all of us own garages. But those of us who do may be using them without applying any crime prevention and safety tips. We often don’t realize that our garages need to be safeguarded just as much as our homes. For one thing, garages are often (though not always) connected to our homes. A burglar could easily break into your garage and then move on to your home. However, even if your garage is disconnected from your house, you most likely house a lot of valuable items within it — most obviously, your car. Thieves aren’t going to go shopping for cars for sale if you’re going to leave your garage wide open. Unfortunately, if your car is stolen, you’re unlikely to get it back. Stolen cars are often broken up for parts, rather than being driven around by car thieves like we often imagine.
So what can you do to burglar-proof your garage? For one thing, you should invest in a garage door that locks remotely. Whereas old-fashioned garage doors can also be locked, these manual locks are often easier for burglars to break into. When paying for a garage door installation, you may want to take the extra step and pay more for a remotely locked garage door. Furthermore, if you’re investing in an alarm system, this should be extended to your garage. Keep in mind that most burglars like to work at night, which is why you may want to place motion-activated lights near your garage. This way, they’ll be scared away from your garage before they even begin the break-in process.
3. Cut Off Their Line of Sight
Burglars don’t simply go in blind when hitting a home. You don’t have to look far into crime prevention and safety tips to realize that most burglars will “case” a house before beginning the burglary process. This will involve checking out your home when you’re gone, looking through the windows, and seeing if you own anything valuable ahead of time. A burglar doesn’t want to waste their time and risk their safety if they don’t know what they’re getting into. If they can’t look into your home, they won’t even know if you have any valuables — let alone where you keep them.
Therefore, you should try to block any kind of access they have to your home’s interior visuals. One way to do this is by planting large trees or shrubs to create privacy. You can also take a lot of these steps while considering window replacement and additional accessories. When adding new windows to your home, you should think about adding in automated blinds. Not only are these blinds easier for you to use, but they will block out more for potential burglars to see. Automated blinds range in capabilities. Some are activated by little more than voice commands. However, the heavier the blinds, the less that burglars will be able to see. Therefore, crime prevention and safety tips often advise investing in these types of blinds versus flimsier alternatives.
4. Invest In Security Cameras
Did you know that an estimated 67% of burglaries could be avoided through the installation of security cameras? This may be among the more obvious crime prevention and safety tips. But a lot of homeowners don’t like the idea of investing in CCTV systems, in part due to the money required and in part due to the fact that it may feel like they’re intruding on the privacy of others. However, you need to remember that this concerns your personal safety. For that matter, security cameras often don’t detect any action, as their true value is in dissuading attempted break-ins. While it’s important to catch burglars on camera when a robbery does occur, most homeowners don’t want to catch a criminal after a crime happens. Rather, they would prefer that a crime doesn’t happen in the first place.
Security cameras are among the most effective types of burglar detection systems on the market. Again, experienced burglars will case a home before breaking in. Part of this involves looking for security cameras. While some cameras can potentially be disabled prior to a burglary, most burglars realize that what they can potentially get by doing so isn’t worth the risk of being caught. Therefore, most burglars will decide against breaking into a home if they see cameras. While the initial impulse one may have when installing security cameras is to make them less noticeable so that they’ll catch criminals in the act, they should actually be more visible. Of course, security cameras are not only limited to organized cameras scattered around the property. More recently, cameras have been added to front doors, where they can catch people entering and leaving the house. You can actually monitor these cameras on your phone, which will allow you to stay safe and know who is at the door before you answer it.
5. Utilize Enhanced Alarm Systems
There are a number of different security measures you can potentially add to your home. However, most lists of crime prevention and safety tips will still advise adding alarm systems to your home. These systems will alert you to the presence of an intruder. Although some can be set off by a simple mistake when a guest is entering your home, the inconvenience will be worth knowing you’re protected. Burglars do not notice alarms as easily as they’ll notice cameras, but you can potentially add in signage that will let them know that you have these systems in place. In fact, some homeowners go so far as to add in this signage without actually owning alarm systems.
Making your home appear to be protected, and letting burglars know that you take your personal protection seriously, is really half the battle when it comes to safeguarding your home against intruders. This is why you’ll often see homeowners add a “guard dog” sign to their property. They may not even own a guard dog. However, this will make a lot of burglars think twice about taking on the hassle and potential danger of breaking in.
6. Add An Electronic Keypad
In many areas, electronic keypads have largely taken the place of traditional locks. While this may seem flimsy in theory and is definitely prone to user error, electronic keypads can really throw off burglars. Many burglars know how to pick locks in order to break into your home, but an electronic keypad cannot be picked.
With that being said, you do need to take extra steps in order to make your electronic keypad as effective as possible. Change your security code on a regular basis — perhaps every month, even. And make sure that you cover your keypad from view whenever you use it. That way, a burglar that is casing your home won’t be able to pick up on the code, even if they’re closer than you think. These steps will ensure that the keypad is working to its best ability. And of course, you can still have your normal locks in place as a backup.
There are a lot of benefits to taking extra measures to enhance your home’s security. Crime prevention and safety tips are about more than just making you physically safer; they’re also about giving you peace of mind. We all have enough to stress out about during the pandemic. The last thing that any of us want to be worried about now is the safety of the homes that we’re being forced to occupy more than usual.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to guarantee that burglars will never try to break into your home. But if you take crime prevention and safety tips into mind and really take your own personal safety seriously, chances are that you will become less likely to be the victim of a break-in. For that matter, you’ll be able to know that you’re doing everything that you can to keep yourself and your home secure. At the end of the day, that is truly a responsibility that you owe yourself.