This week we have an interesting guest piece from Lukas Nicholson. Mr. Nicholson has worked in the home security industry for over 10 years and he enjoys keeping up with the latest developments and passing these on to his readers along with providing practical tips for staying safe. As a quick personal & legal note – there are a few suggestions that some may not feel comfortable with &/or could land them in trouble depending on what state you live in. Personally I subscribe to the “I rather be tried by12 than carried by 6,” but that is a personal, legal, & moral issue you should decide for yourself. So with no further ado…
Staying Secure in Your Home
Let’s face it. We live in dangerous times. We can’t be too careful of our own safety and that of our family. I listen in amazement to the stories my father tells me of things they would do as children. In the summer, they would disappear into the neighborhood for hours without his parents wondering where they went. The only time they locked the doors was if everyone left for the day. Those good ole days of trusting a stranger until he proves otherwise or leaving the back doors unlocked are, for the most part, long gone.
Now my father has a security system in his house and keeps personal protection by his bed. Some may think he’s paranoid, but I think he’s being pragmatic. Nowadays how many of us have a close relationship with our neighbors? Probably not many. If you’re like me and live in suburbia, you may not even recognize but a few of them. So it pays to make sure you take steps to protect yourself as much as it seems practical.
You can improve the security of your home in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that you will not only want to ensure your security now but especially later if your community is hit with an emergency situation. With that in mind we’ll look at some property and personal security tips.
If you’re inclined to look into purchasing a home security system, my site contains a great resource on companies and more information on how to choose the right system. Most of these systems offer the same thing, basic home security. The most important thing is to choose one that you will use. They do no good if they are never turned on. That happens more than you may think. If you go with a home security system, find out if it will still operate if the power goes down for any length of time.
Have a plan should someone break into your home while you are there. Don’t plan on crossing that bridge when the situation comes up. Practice your escape route, and this includes your children, so that when a situation arises you will be prepared. Get in the habit of quickly checking the exterior of your house for anything suspicious when you come home. You don’t want to walk into your home while a burglar is inside.
Another factor in keeping your home secure is making sure you have good locks on your doors and windows. You should have dead bolts installed on all of your exterior doors. Make sure your doors and frames are strong enough to deter a forced entry.
Keep your property well lit. Although lights at night may annoy the neighbors, it is a good idea to install motion detector lights around the home. Additionally, have your landscape work for you rather than against you. Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed so they can’t be used as hiding spots, especially up close to the house where they can provide cover for an intruder trying to break in through your window. (HTRC: 10 ways – Secure your home)
My father has made it a habit of keeping a flashlight and pistol near his bed. I think it is a good idea to keep some sort of defense nearby should you need it. If you are not absolutely positive you can use a gun on another person then opt for another means of protection. If a firearm is not for you, there are several other options for keeping yourself safe. (HTRC: Top Ten – Shooting Safety)
Personally, I keep a canister of bear spray nearby. If it can stop an 800 lb. bear in its tracks, then it will drop an intruder in his tracks. The only drawback is that this comes in a canister too large for pocket books. However, plenty of smaller mace and pepper sprays are available. The best feature about this or any protective spray is that you don’t have to aim perfectly. Just spray it in the general direction and get out quick! Otherwise you too may be affected.
Another option is stun guns. An assortment of these are sold online and often come as part of a flashlight. Keep in mind that these work only if you are in close contact with an intruder.
Whenever you consider protection for your house or your person, keep in mind that it should be something that you can use both now and in a future emergency situation.