The unfortunate reality is that no home or neighborhood is completely safe from criminal activity. Whether it is simple break-ins and theft or crimes that are more violent in nature, all homeowners should always keep home security on top of mind. First and foremost, keeping yourself and your family safe from violence should be the primary goal. Statistically, most violent crimes occur at night. After all, it is much easier to break into a home to conduct violence when all of the home’s occupants are asleep.
As for non-violent crimes such as larceny/theft, they typically occur during the day between the hours of 7am – 7pm. The reason for this is because most burglars want to break into a home when nobody is home. This makes it much easier to go through the home’s items without any resistance. As with anything, preparation is key. Below we will discuss a few tips to decrease the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.
- Survey your exterior surroundings: Think of this as being overly observant of your neighborhood and the exterior of your home. Some common questions that you will want to think about are: What cars do your neighbors drive? When are your neighbors typically home? In doing so, you will be more likely to spot an unknown vehicle that may be canvassing the neighborhood for potential targets. In addition, this is also a good time to inspect your own property to eliminate any potential hiding spots for intruders.
- Assess all access points to the interior of your home: Once the exterior of the home has been assessed, now it is time to focus on the entry points to the interior of the home. Needless to say, some of the first areas to focus on would be your windows and doors. Hopefully you have already changed the locks on the doors upon buying the home. In addition, this is a great opportunity to ensure that your windows all lock as well. In particular, most homes have windows that do not get used as much. Oftentimes, these are the ones that give intruders access into the home.
- Adjust your habits around the home: It is important to remember that most criminals will profile their target for some time before actually committing the crime. For example, they may start to notice that the house is typically vacant between certain hours or that everyone is asleep between certain hours of the night. If possible, try to vary some of these schedules. Another idea would be to set various lights to turn on or off at different times. This will give the impression that someone in the house is awake during various times & may be enough to deter a criminal.
- Open the front door only when certain: Criminals are clever. They oftentimes will disguise themselves as a delivery driver or contractor so that you will open the front door when they knock. Keep in mind, packages being delivered may be left at the front door. With this said, nobody is entitled access into your home simply because they knocked or rang the doorbell.
- Light up the perimeter of the home: The last thing that a criminal wants to do at night is walk onto a lit up stage. In other words, a home that is well equipped with landscape lighting and motion lighting around the perimeter will likely deter a criminal. Have you ever noticed that many gas stations are extremely well lit at night? This is in large part to deter criminals that know their every move will be seen.
- Security alarm and cameras: Although this may seem obvious, it is certainly an important component to securing a home. Much like a well-lit home will deter criminals, so will a security alarm with multiple cameras around the home. In the end, it is easier for criminals to target homes that do not have any surveillance or security systems than those that do. Be sure to have your security alarm company provide you with yard signs announcing that the home is secured as well. Another helpful item to consider would be a doorbell camera as well. These cameras should also be able to send you alerts whenever someone is at the front door.
- Have a plan: Although it is not a pleasant thought, homeowners should have a plan in place for various scenarios in the home. For example, if an intruder breaks in from the rear window or door, what will you do to secure yourself and your family? Do you have a phone within reach to contact law enforcement? Do you have any self-defense items available?
When it comes to protecting yourself and your family in your home, you can never be too prepared. Oftentimes when victims of crime are interviewed they give the same response: “I never thought it would happen here. This is a quiet neighborhood and we’ve never had anything like this happen before?” Keep in mind, criminals are aware of this as well. This is why they are targeting some of these areas that may have likely become complacent.
Are you looking to buy or sell property in South Florida? Live South Florida Realty, Inc. has been a market leader for many years and we can assist you as well. Give us a call today and let us show you why!