Living in a “crime-prone” area can mean one of two ways. You can either be in a neighborhood that has a high crime rate or you can be in an area that is prone to crime (e.g. secluded areas that are targeted by criminals). Either way, you have to take certain measures to protect yourself, your family, and your property against those who mean to do harm.
You already know the risk of living in a high-crime neighborhood; don’t wait for the crime to happen to you. With these home security measures, you can reduce the risk of experiencing a crime on your property, and potentially avoiding thousands of dollars’ worth of loss and damages:
1. Fences and gates
Although a security fence and real estate gates might not provide 100% protection against trespassers, they do act as a deterrent for most criminals. When a burglar sees that you have a fence up, they see an obstacle that can slow them down. More importantly, they see a potential thing that can lead to their apprehension if they get caught.
When choosing a fence for your property, choose the highest and strongest type that is allowed by your local council. You may not be able to put up a six-foot-high security fence with barbed wire, but at least you can increase your property’s security as much as you’re allowed to with a durable and hard-to-climb fence.
Other than providing illumination, lights also serve another important purpose–to deter criminals from your property. Lights indicate that people are home and there is a possibility of getting caught. Lights also provide illumination that can make criminals easy to spot, and thus easy to catch.
That said, proper and adequate lighting is imperative to keep your property safe. Install bright, energy-efficient lights outside of your property to keep the surroundings well-illuminated. You also might want to put up motion-detecting lights to make it harder for criminals to sneak around. If you live in a secluded area, it’s also a good idea to install floodlights to keep the property well-lit during the night.
Inside, keep at least one room lit all throughout the night. Yes, this might be wasteful, but it can make potential criminals think that someone is still up, which may be enough to have them looking for an easier target. Alternatively, you can buy a fake TV light that makes it look like someone is watching TV inside the house.
3. Strong locks
Don’t settle for flimsy locks on your doors and gates. They may act as a deterrent, but when a dedicated criminal comes along, it won’t take them much effort to break your locks and get into your house.
For padlocks, ensure that you buy high-quality ones that are hard to pick and even harder to break with tools. Moreover, the hasp you’re attaching the padlock to should be strong enough to resist blows from a blunt object–at least not until you’re alerted of the disturbance.
For deadbolts, knoblocks, and other locks on doors and gates, replace the locks if they are too old or too flimsy. It’s also important to replace the original screw of the lockset strike plate with a longer one to prevent burglars from kicking down the door too easily. And please, do not store spare keys anywhere near the house. Keep a spare key with a neighbor or a close friend instead.
4. Security cameras
Security cameras are more of a necessity than a luxury in areas with a lot of crime. They act as a visual deterrent for criminals, but they also make it easier for authorities to apprehend the suspect if a crime does happen.
Install security cameras around your property, especially near your front and back doors. Make sure that they are visible to make criminals think twice before approaching your property. As an added security measure, put up a sign that says your property is protected by surveillance cameras. It might seem like overkill, but it will make you seem like a difficult target.
5. Home alarm systems
A home alarm system is a must for all houses, not just those living in risky areas. Having a home alarm system can deter criminals and even stop a crime in its tracks. More importantly, it alerts the police when it is triggered, ensuring that you receive help as soon as possible.
Similar to having a surveillance camera sign out front, you should also put up a sign that says your home is protected by an alarm system to deter criminals from your property.
Living in a high-crime neighborhood is tough; you never fully feel safe and you’re always worried about something happening to you, your family, or your property. With these security measures, however, you can give yourself a sense of safety while effectively preventing a crime from happening to you.