Your Home Is Your Castle
A safe haven of retreat. That’s where your family is, your possessions, the comfort of familiarity. But how safe is it? Is yours a summer castle with doors wide open to passers-by, or is it a secure fortress?
Statistically, 1 in 6 homes in the United States will be victims of burglary this year. To avoid being a victim yourself, there are several ways to protect yourself. You can employ safe practices in your home, add security measures to your home, and protect the value of the things inside.
The easiest way to cut down on the risk of robbery is to make sure you don’t make yourself an obvious target. When you step out of your door, check that the door is locked and you have the keys – although it’s generally a good idea to check those in the opposite manner. Keep lesser-used doors locked at all times unless you are using them. If you have a back door, lock it every time you come in through that door. Close windows when you leave a room; in general, just don’t leave clear avenues of entry to your home.
If you go on a trip, don’t broadcast the fact that your house is empty to any mischief-makers who may come by. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail or newspaper while you’re gone, or ask the post office to hold your mail. Nothing says “I’m not home” like a stack of newspapers covering your driveway. If you can, leave a light on inside the house. Better yet, put one on a timer to turn on at dusk and off late in the evening, so it looks like you’re still there. And it’s generally a good idea to avoid broadcasting the fact that your house is empty over the internet or through other social media.
For extra security at home, get a security system. These can be set to your windows and doors, turned off and on automatically or as part of your evening routine. Some can connect to your smartphone, making security that much more convenient. Some people also like to have the added security of personal weapons or perhaps guard dogs. With either, use caution, as they are supposed to be able to hurt people. Handle your weapon or dog with care and make sure others in your household know how to be careful so no one gets hurt unintentionally.
If you have valuables or sensitive documents in your home, make sure you keep them in a safe and secure location. Safes are, in fact, very useful for this purpose. Don’t make them too prominent, though, or they may become easy targets. An added advantage of such locations is that, in case of a house fire or other emergency, you will know precisely where your valuable or important objects are and can get them out quickly.
As a final measure of security, take out warranties on your home and your possessions. If you are robbed, you don’t want to make things worse than they already are. If you can recover some of what you lost, it can add greatly to your peace of mind.
Such security measures for your home are up to your own discretion. Depending on where you live, how much you need home security, or how much you need for your own peace of mind, you may want to employ multiple measures to prevent burglary or other home damage. The important thing is that you try to keep your home, family, and yourself safe.