Home Safety Tips

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With the sad economy and people losing their homes, jobs, cars, etc., we need to rethink our own home safety. I live in a neighborhood that was 0.05% crime, it is now up 300%. People who have lost everything are reduced to crimes. Here are some tips for home safety that I have researched and compiled and feel this will be helpful to most.

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Anything you own, if you do not want to have it taken, do not leave it in an unlocked car, on a porch, in the yard, or on a table in an unlocked home. Don't leave your purse or wallet in a store shopping cart.

It may cost a few extra dollars a month, but leave the porch lights on at night. I have a large pair of men's work boots on the porch and also leave a TV on. Do not let mail or deliveries on your porch, pile up. If you have a garage, park your car inside, that way no one knows if you are home or not. Check window and door locks often, particularly after any service calls or workers have been in your home. Burglars do not want it to be a big job to get into your house so make it hard for them to do so! Walk around your house, view it like a potential robber. What do you see? Make notes. Thorny Rose Bushes are great in front of basement windows. Single glass panes in basement windows? Invest ASAP in Glass block protective windows.

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The number one deterrent of a robber? A Barking Dog! Also, if you have a newer car with an alarm or beeper, keep it next to your bed, if you hear something, Press it and sound the alarm!

Make a plan of action with your family for fire safety or home invasion. Always have flashlights available and check the batteries in your smoke alarms often. Make everyone conscious of potential dangers of not locking up the house. There is a big difference between an Entering charge and a Breaking and Entering charge, it goes from a misdemeanor to a Felony, so don't unintentionally invite strangers inside!

Don't accept blocked phone number calls, our rule is this "If you don't unblock, we don't talk!"

Last but, not least do not leave valuables in window and door view areas especially handbags on a table seen through a window. Stay safe, be aware of your surroundings. God Bless America! Please feel free to add your opinions and tips!

Source: various police tips, internet safety article, and tips from our house

By Missy MM from NE, OH

October 14, 20100 found this helpful

I like the idea of the men's boots on the porch! I'll have to tell my mom. She's been a bit nervous about being alone in the country since my stepdad died, even though she has 2 big dogs.

Another tip you could add, especially for a woman living alone, is to have a man record the message on your answering machine.

Thanks for the ideas!

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

Leaving the porch light on usually advertises to would-be thieves that no one is home and attracts break-ins. It is not a matter of cost, but depending on the source of your supply of electricity, it is a finite resource, using it unnecessarily is bad for the planet, and robbing your grandchildren.

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

I always have at least one German Shepherd. Right now, I have a German Shepherd and 2 other dogs.

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

Stngray, My next dog will be a German shepherd and or Shepherd mix, great dogs!

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

Merry50, I so disagree. Light up the neighborhood, lots more can be seen, it makes the whole neighborhood feel better, its proven! And, would be robbers say they prefer dark, unlit places. Using lights cost way less than leaving on all plug-ins such as computers, surge bars etc. There are ways to cut electricity down, lighting is not one I will turn off for neighborhood safety sake. Our neighborhood has united! :)

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

Great idea lionpridej! Thank you!

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

I most definitely agree about leaving the lights on if you live in a high crime area! Light it UP - and often! If you only turn your outside light on for a few hours each evening, you are showing people that #1-when it's not on in the evening, you probably aren't home and #2- you are giving people a nice,dark yard to lurk in & watch either you & yours, or your neighbors!

We went from a nice,quiet neighborhood to several low-income houses with juvenile delinquents & gang members. The block I live on does not have a street light so it's dark around here and my house sits along one of the outlets for the drainage canal for a flood retention pond in our neighborhood & we have had people running from the police go right down this canal & across my yard while the police helicopter chased them. My neighbor has had the police have to drag a store robber out from under his backyard shed where the guy tried to hide! We installed a motion sensor light on our back porch to keep them out of our yard & it is never turned off. Over the years we have had 5 tires slashed (expensive tires) several car windows broke, & my son's car seat stolen.

Things escalated in the last 3-4 years with a bunch of juvenile delinquent gang members/ drug dealers down the road. We've (us & our neighbors) caught them several times hanging out around our houses-watching, during all hours of the day & even coming into our driveways to look into our car windows to see what's in there! I've watched them walk by a house, go through the front yard & grab what they could get their hands on, I've even watched them go into people's back yards. We've also had some lately who will have a guy stand halfway down the street & watch a house while another guy goes up & knocks on the door then hides real quick-if someone answers the door & comes out to look, they know someone is at home! My neighbors have had their cars broken into, one neighbor had someone go in through his back door in the middle of the day & steal his computer & big-screen tv last spring!

However, while all of this has been escalating the last couple of years & nearly everyone on my block has had some sort of crime committed against them (broken window, slashed tire, something stolen,etc), We have been very fortunate so far to have not been hit once(Knock on wood!). I think the reason is two-fold. first, as soon as I realized these people were prowling the neighborhood at night (I've taken my dog out at 2AM & seen them in the streets during summer), I put an energy saving light bulb equal to 1oo watts in my front porch light & began leaving it on all night long!

If I knew we were going to be out of town for a few days, I would leave it on 24 hours a day for the week before we left, so that to anyone watching the house at any time, it would look like I'd forgotten to turn it off, instead of like we weren't at home! This light was SO bright that it would light up not only my house, but the street & the yards across the street-my neighbors loved it! Also, while a lot of my neighbors like to work hard in their yards & on their house to make them look nice & fancy, I have kept mine as plain as could be so that if anyone pays attention to it, they will think we probably don't have anything worth stealing inside, judging by the look of the outside.

Late this summer we finally installed a motion sensor floodlight on the front of the garage because that nice,bright light bulb in the porch light was a major bug-magnet. Now, whenever anyone even steps into the end of our driveway, we light the whole street up!

And as far as I'm concerned, It's money spent wisely & a good investment because it's a lot cheaper than having to keep replacing windows & tires!

And now I will step down from my soapbox! Sigh!

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

Well said Lyonpride! Light it up! We are sorry for what you have been through. Our neighborhood is going the same route in a downhill spiral with renters & when talking to the Police, Technology being a great thing, hampers their job as a Policeman told us "Times have changed. Now when a band of thieves get together to do the break-ins, there is one person at their place on the computer watching the Police scanner, while the others are out at planned robbery locations, as soon as Police are dispatched to a robbery call, the one on the computer sends a Text message that Police are on the way to that address & to get out of there. Technology is good but, its hurting our pursuits. Neighborhood watches should be set up, get a big dog, be leery of strangers on cell phones lingering about." I hope this helps others as it has us, stay safe!

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October 20, 20100 found this helpful

That's a great idea having the car alarm remote next to your bed at night! Also, getting a home security system is only about $20 a month if you have a land line. It really is worth it for the added peace of mind. And, if you don't get the security system, have the sign in front of your house warning that you do have it, and buy portable alarm devices that hang on door knobs and begin sounding if the door opens. You can find them online for about $10 each. Keep your cell phone charging next to your bed at night so you can always dial 911 even if the phone lines are out/cut.

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October 23, 20100 found this helpful

Great ideas tojoymoto, Thank you!

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July 2, 20120 found this helpful

There is 2 views on leaving porch lights on but I leave mine on because it helps my neighbors to be able to see my front door during the night. They can just look out their window and check on things. Also I was told this many years ago, if you have a answering machine leave it on 24/7. You hear who is calling and you can answer it. Sometimes crooks call to see if you are at home and if you answer they say they have the wrong number and if you don't they figure you are out. With the answering machine they will not know if you are there or not.Thanks for all the other good ideas!

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July 2, 20120 found this helpful

Here in Australia we have an advertising campaign that suggests that people make April 1st each year the day to change the batteries in our smoke alarms whether they need it or not, therefore not running the risk of being an "April Fool" for being caught out in a fire. I'm not sure if April Fool's Day is upheld in the US however it could be adapted to something like 4th of July or similar, something that happens every year at the same time. The advertising campaign is replayed each year and seems to be having success.

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July 10, 20120 found this helpful

Good tips, but crime keeps getting worse and worse. We live in a small town. My neighbor parks his truck in his driveway directly under a street light. He had one of those huge mounted tool boxes in it. Theives took it. Not sure how they did it so fast, because it was bolted down, but they did. And recently a fellow kicked in a door to rob a house, the people were not only home, they were trying to push the door shut to prevent him. So far I have not been bothered. Probably due to my huge rotts who, although they live inside, are sometimes seen in the fenced in yard.

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful

Another thing I do when shopping at a grocery store or any other store that I use a cart with, is twine the child safety belt through my purse several times and then lock it. Also if I am gardening behind my home I lock the front door so no one can enter my home without my knowledge. The same way goes with my front yard and my back door. Many times I see people posting their vacation plans, etc on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. This is like an invitation to crooks to visit your home while you are out of town.

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