Are you preventing a thief from entering your home by simply passing them onto to your neighbors’ home?
According to the FBI’s latest figures there are nearly 2 million burglaries within the United States each year. That’s more than one burglary every 15 seconds.
Could you be next?
Could your home become a statistic this coming year? Have you already ‘had your turn’ so to speak and are very keen that you won’t be burgled again? Burglars look for an easy target they want a home with quick entry and exit points with minimal chances of detection.
There is a lot you can do to make your home a harder target stronger doors, locked windows, bolts, alarm systems, video surveillance; these are all effective measures and well worth consideration. Around 30% of burglaries happen through an open window or door – so that’s one thing we can all check without spending a cent.
If not you then why the nice old lady at number 42?
Most burglars, whilst they may not have graduated top of their class, aren’t stupid and they don’t want to be caught. If your home has all its doors and windows locked and an alarm system clearly visible and your neighbor has no security system and a weak looking back door then chances are it won’t be you that is targeted. But why should it be them?
I don’t want bad things to happen to me or my family but I don’t want to be safe and secure at someone else’s cost. By making my home safer am I simply pushing the thieves on to my neighbor? I don’t want a burglar to pass by my home on the way to someone else’s, I want them to pass by my home and decide the whole idea just isn’t worth it.
How can I make my home safer and everyone else too?
On average 2 million burglaries happen every year but this doesn’t have to be the case. Figures can fall. If a crime is too much hard work and chances of detection too great then people won’t bother. Securing your property is a great idea but why not make your whole street, your whole neighborhood, a safer place?
Get to know your neighbors.
You may already know your neighbors well but if you don’t this could feel like a daunting task.
- Start with a simple ‘good morning’ and a friendly nod as you pass in the street.
- Play out with your kids when the weather is fine children are much better at making friends than adults.
- If someone new moves in, start as you mean to go on and take them a little house warming gift.
It won’t take long before you know all the faces even if you aren’t sure of every name. Knowing who lives on your street means you know who doesn’t. This doesn’t mean that you should call the police if someone has a friend over who you don’t recognise and it doesn’t mean that you are spying on your neighbors through your lace curtains but it does mean that you are aware of your environment.
What can we do for each other?
- As you get to know your neighbors better speak with them about security and safety.
- Perhaps you could set up a group where you could discuss improvements that could be made and where you can share worries and ideas.
Most burglaries happen between 10am and 3pm, times when most people are not home. However, once you start viewing an area for protection not as a single dwelling but a whole street then it’s very easy to see that there are no times when all the houses are empty, there are no ‘safe’ times for thieves on your street.
- Watch each others’ homes when someone goes on vacation
- Collect their mail for them and put out and return their trash cans as you are taking yours.
- Are you a two car family? You could offer to park your car in their driveway to stop it looking too empty.
The power of hello.
‘Hello’ isn’t just a great way to get to know your neighbors. Say a friendly hello to everyone you pass on your street, they may be just out for a walk or visiting with a friend on your street, in which case you have left them with a positive impression of your area. Or they may be looking over each house trying to work out which home is easy pickings in which case your friendly hello lets them know they have been spotted and will make them feel identified.
Share your experiences.
Share your experiences of neighborhood safety and security with friends and family. Encourage others you know to take similar actions. Use social media sites to swap tips and ideas.
2 million burglaries happen within the U.S. last year, you can help make next years’ figures much lower. Make common thieves realise that it’s just not worth their effort.