You always hear the phrase, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone, but sometimes this is only apparent after the fact. I’m not talking about losing a significant other, a job, a pet, or otherwise.
While these are still emotional events, I’m talking about your personal safety within your home, apartment, or while out alone. When times get tough, eyes wander and crimes spike, especially when you’re a woman.
You need to protect your personal space and maintain your personal safety while outside the home. Here are some tips and preparation ideas to remain secure.
First things First! Background Check the Area
While this is obviously before you enter a neighborhood as a resident, check police reports of an area. Check the crime rate and of any suspicious activity occurring over the course of the last five years, perhaps even longer. It may also be a good idea to contact a current resident to ask about the living situation.
Ask them about suspicious activity within the neighborhood, any crimes in the area that they remember, and if the neighborhood is generally “safe.” Learn about the bad parts of neighborhoods before traveling to or through them and lock your doors while stopped.
Basic Bites: Lock your Doors and Windows
Check once, check twice. After closing your door with key in hand, try opening your door. Jiggle it a bit with a yanking action – just like an intruder would do. It’s a safe-check many people don’t think about, but the older a door is, the more likely its mechanics are to go kaput.
Hinges wear down and the locking mechanisms become less reliable. Latch those windows too, especially when the temperature is high and you’re constantly opening and closing the windows as the day warms and cools. Keep track of which windows you have open. It doesn’t take much to push upwards on the exterior of the window to slide it open. The same goes for a sliding door on the back patio.
Spray the Rays to Light the Night
Having the lights come on at night may seem like an energy burner, but not when you consider the helpful effects light provides. Set the lights to turn on with a timer or a sensor. Automatic lighting is especially important on those late work nights or during vacation.
When an outsider notices a house without any lighting during the evening, they’ll take this as a sign no one is home. The best setup is to have a light outside the front door as well as a light outside the back door with less emphasis on in-home lighting (you’d rather not light up the inside of the house to show outsiders what you have right?).
Sound the Alarm!
Alarms have two primary effects:
- They alert the resident and oftentimes the neighbors
- They intimidate the one breaking and entering. Tried and tested, alarms are effective. Once tripped, it goes off.
Wireless alarms operate using magnetic trips that can be used on windows and doors. When an outsider attempts to cross your borders, the alarm will sound.
Stay Away from the Stairs and Out of Alleys
Take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are some of the most dangerous places for an individual to be cornered in. Stairwells are perfect places for crimes to be committed; stairwells are isolated and largely sound-proof.
Taking the elevator offers some advantages. For one, elevators are much more public and centrally located than stairwells. In addition a person can choose not to board the elevator if a suspicious-looking person is already occupying the elevator.
If you’re in an elevator and someone suspicious boards, you can get off at the same time they get on. Elevators offer much more choice and windows of opportunity to escape an uncomfortable situation.
Alleys are self-evident and their dangers need not be explained.
Women shouldn’t be paranoid of having their house or apartment being broken into, but they should certainly be aware and take proper precautions. When times get tough, people become desperate. Eyes wander, and soon after, property goes missing.
Women have an even greater risk for being victimized but for reasons I shouldn’t need to disclose. It shouldn’t matter whether you are a man or woman when it comes to home security. Everyone should be taking tips like these to heart and with some planning your home will be guarded effectively, especially if disaster strikes.