Many of us have resolved to improve our lives this new year by spending more time with family, being thankful for our blessings, adopting an exercise regimen and practicing patience with co-workers. Resolutions can be life changing especially for those of us who have a plan and stick to it. The feeling of accomplishment and self gratification are immeasurable.
I wonder though, how many of us vowed to make personal safety and home security a priority this new year. My guess is not nearly enough! Consider that every few seconds a violent crime is being committed in our country. In the time it takes you to read this article murders, forcible rapes, burglary, theft, assaults, and many other types of crimes will have been committed. We live in a dangerous society were statistics show that nearly 1 in four of us will fall victim to a violent crime at some point along the way. So chances are good that you've been victimized or know friends, co-workers, or family members who have been.
You may be surprised to know that there are several things you can begin doing today that will drastically reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime; by actively adopting some new principles you will become a "tough target" and criminals don't like "tough targets" it's much easier for them to move on and find an easier target.
Basic Safety Tips to Help Avoid Crime
Be alert and aware at all times! Easier said than done; just look around you the next time you are out and about. Most of us are doing everything BUT being aware.
Here is a simple exercise that will help you develop your awareness skills. Go to the mall or other busy area and park your vehicle near the main entrance. Now take out a piece of paper and pencil; now start people watching! Pick ten people (one at a time) and jot down everything you see them doing incorrectly as it relates to awareness and crime.
Most of us are creatures of habit and criminals know this. Vary your daily routine to ensure that you don't become too predictable.
Think about it, if I know that you'll be at work Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 6 pm; then your home becomes an easy target for me. Instead come home at lunch once in a while. Vary the times you leave and get home if possible. If not, ask a friend of relative to drop in from time to time and choose multiple routes to and from work.
Lock your doors; this includes the home, office and car. Locks are our first line of defense.
You would probably be surprised at the number of people who become crime victims simply because they did not lock up. A friend of mine recently left her vehicle running for about 2 minutes while dropping her child off at daycare. When she returned to her vehicle her purse and laptop were missing. In addition to a laptop and very expensive purse the criminals got cash, credit cards, drivers license, check book and much more. This could have been avoided by simply turning the engine off and locking the doors.
Make your home or business a "tough target" by using floodlights or spotlights around the perimeter, using motion sensors, door and window alarms, and reinforced deadbolts. Entryway security is crucial yet relatively easy to secure.
Be informed and educated about crime and trends within your community
Knowing the crime trends within your community will give you the ability to better prepare and protect yourself and family.
Get actively involved
Join or start a neighborhood watch or other anti crime association. Engage local law enforcement to determine the resources available to you. Take advantage of resources such as home security evaluations and self defense training classes.
I challenge you to make personal safety and home security a priority this year.