Protection of your home and family is paramount. Chances are you may never fall victim to crime, but simple measures can be implemented to help insure your safety and minimize the opportunity for someone to violate you, your family, or your personal property.
Experiencing afternoon burglaries in your neighborhood? Do you know the crime demographics of your immediate area? Do sexual offenders live near your home? Are your children safe when they play outside in their yard or neighborhood? Are your children visiting and communicating with chat rooms?
A family’s home is their castle, and their neighborhood is their playground. Therefore, it is important to know who lives in your neighborhood and to recognize recurring service-related vendors; if so, you’ll be more in tune with someone driving or walking the neighborhood that seems suspicious. In my neighborhood community, we have a free private social network called Next Door that most of our neighbors subscribe to and is a very real way to stay in contact and have eyes and ears on suspicious persons or activity. The site is www.nextdoor.com and is available to over 89,000 communities across the country. Recently through the use of this online tool, neighbors described two suspicious individuals driving around the streets in a pick up truck scoping out houses. The police were called and the suspects were detained and then arrested when the police discovered stolen items and burglary tools in their truck. It is advisable to join or initiate a good neighborhood watch program with direct communication with your local police department.
It is imperative to have a robust alarm system to include window/door break alerts, cameras at access and egress points, and motion detectors that can be monitored in real time through a central monitoring station when you are away from your residence. Intrusion lighting is recommended in backyards and in areas that are dark and can afford a perpetrator a place to hide. Arming your system when retiring for the night is peace of mind for family members. Furthermore, design and implement an escape plan that is rehearsed and completely familiar to the entire family if the need arises to flee and family members are separated.
Is there anything more disturbing than crime committed by child predators? To discover if there are sexual predators living in your vicinity, visit www.meganslaw.ca.gov. As we are all aware, women are also preyed upon by sexual molesters. I recommend a professional self-defense class that will provide basic knowledge to help defend in the event of attack.
You may also consider owning a dog that is more than just a wonderful pet. A well-trained dog will be protective of its owners and home. Not only will the dog alert if someone attempts to break into your house, but it can provide you with time to notify the police or to take evasive action by stalling a predator if he/she gains entrance.
Another tip to protect your home is to record all of your valuables on video as well as any serial numbers of the items that have a high net value. Jewelry and other items (i.e. paintings, antiques) should be appraised, photographed, and added to your “valuable personal property” insurance policy. Keep the recorded items in a safe location in the event you need to provide evidence of theft to the police and your insurance company if the items are stolen or damaged. Thieves know they only have a matter of minutes to grab what they can, so don’t make it easy for them; store jewelry and small valuables in a safe.
If you have children, completely restrict their access to sites intended for adults such as dating sites, adult chat rooms, and porn sites. You can restrict certain sites from being viewed and set up a monitoring of your child’s social media contacts and connections.
Owning guns is a personal option, but folks who choose to have weapons should know how to use them and be proficient. Weapons must be kept in a secreted location using a tamper-proof locking system and, of course, inaccessible to children.
You and your family should always feel safe in your home and neighborhood. Take the above steps to feel peace of mind.
Ron Williams, CEO