by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Keeping an eye on unusual activity in your neighborhood can often be the best prevention against a home invasion or other crimes. This is often the best way to preempt and prevent such crimes and the best initial defense.
The problem is though that people tend to just behave like victims, in the main. They often walk around with this to them invisible sign around their necks that reads “I am a soft target”, “I am a victim”.
People have to be alert. The best eyes and ears for the law enforcement are the residents. They know better than anyone if something appears out of place.
Be aware of, say, any unfamiliar vehicle(s) in the neighborhood or a stranger or strangers who seems to be paying close attention to a particular home or homes.
Then, depending on the circumstances, follow the rule of “observe, record and report” or, where you are permitted by law and are happy to do so, act, as appropriate.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times, lock your doors, and not leave the keys in your cars in the driveway. If you see something suspicious, call your local police department, or, if this is not a feasibility, act in a manner permitted and with caution.
A home invasion can happen anywhere, at any time, but your own precautions can make this crime happening to you less likely. This is the same also for muggings. If you keep and eye on your surroundings, watching your “six o'clock” as the military guys call it, then all the likelihood is reduced. But bad things do happen to good people, so it's good to be prepared.
Things a homeowner can do to avoid such an incident include keeping bushes near the home trimmed to prevent hiding spaces for burglars, having outdoor lighting on motion sensors, and keeping an eye on your neighborhood. In addition to that I would suggest defensive landscaping.
What is defensive landscaping?
Defensive landscaping are thorn hedges, spiky shrubs and such like, including plats such as “Spanish Bayonet”, that people just will not want to want through. In addition, have gravel pathways and gravel areas surrounding your home. The noise of someone walking across such areas should be enough to put a resident on his or her guard and also alert neighbors in case that no one is home next door.
If you have a security system installed turn it on. It does no good if it is not turned on. Even if you only go to the stores, turn on the alarm.
Always be aware of your surroundings and those of of your neighbors. Keeps your doors locked, even and especially when you are at home. Use a door chain and have it in place at all times. It is easier to take it off to let someone in rather than to have it put on as and when needed. Often you may forget to put it on and then it is too late. Fix a spyhole in the door and use it.
Do not answer the door if you do not know who is on the other side, and even if you can see the person through the spyhole. You don't know him or her and are not happy about the situation then you do not open the door. If you have have a bad feeling about someone outside your door or in the neighborhood, call the police right away. That's what they're there for.
Home invasion prevention tips
- Keep your doors locked.
- Install motion-sensor lighting.
- Keep hedges trimmed near the home.
- Install deadlocks and sturdy window locks, as well as a peep hole in your door.
- Don't answer the door when home alone unless the person is known to you.
- Have a neighbor collect the mail and watch your home when you're away.
- Never leave notes on the door, even when home.
- Be creative and careful about where you hide spare keys.
- Install a security system -- and turn it on.
- Start a Neighborhood Watch program.
- Make sure garage doors are secure.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police.
© M Smith (Veshengro), April 2008