Home Security

Start with basic measures

What do you really need to maintain your home security and keep your family safe? Security and alarm sales companies trade in homeowner insecurities to sell myriad products designed to turn our castles into fortresses. But is all that gadgetry really necessary? Of course you can spend a big pile of money, but without taking the basic steps first and possibly changing some of your habits, it might be for naught.

Actions you can take

Burglary is a crime of opportunity. If you and your neighbors work to prevent the opportunity, you and your home will be that much safer.

Basic home security measures include the following:

Additional measures that may help secure your property.

Neighborhood Watch programs

Neighborhood Watch programs exist in many cities across the US. It's an active and productive partnership between homeowners, neighborhood residents, and law enforcement that has reduced crime substantially by raising awareness of what can be done proactively to prevent becoming victims. If you know of a program in your neighborhood, participate; if there is no program, start one. This is not a social activity, you don't need to be best friends with your neighbors to protect each other's home and family, however the benefits are many including reduced risk of crime, mutual protection, and ability to address neighborhood-related issues that may come up at a city level.

To start a Neighborhood Watch program, check with your neighbors to find out if others are concerned or interested. Contact your local police department and find out if there is a program coordinator or crime prevention specialist. If the police have a Neighborhood Watch program in place, they can assist with the details of organizing.

Suspicious of your neighbors?

Not all of us get to live in "Leave it to Beaver" neighborhoods. Sometimes our neighbors can be the problem. All the more reason to know who they are and band together with likeminded neighborhood residents to be vigilant. By working together you can create a neighborhood that is safer.

Work with your neighbors and local authorities to protect your home and property. As a by-product of September 11, the Federal government is working with various organizations to control gangs and facilitate homeland security and emergency preparedness. The closer to home you keep your organization, the more autonomy you retain. Awareness, the free flow of information, and proactivity are the hallmarks of healthy citizen initiative and will provide the bedrock of your neighborhood safety program.


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