Protecting your home and family can seem daunting, but there are a number of websites that can help you track the criminal activity in and around your neighborhood. You don’t have to wait until something bad happens. There are also several things that you can do around the house to protect yourself.
Sign up for email alerts
Websites like SpotCrime.com and MyLocalCrime.com give you the option to sign up for email alerts about criminal activity near you. Simply type in your physical address and both sites will show you incidences of arson, assault, burglary, robbery, theft, vandalism and shootings near your home. If you just want to check on your neighborhood without getting email updates, head to SpotCrime.com first. The site allows you to see the entire map without signing up.
Follow your local police department on social media
Technology can be our enemy or our best friend. In the case of police department Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, technology can provide peace of mind. Just follow along and opt-in to notifications on Facebook so you always see everything they post. In some cases, you’ve got a crime update in real time, via a service you already use.
Join a neighborhood watch group
Sometimes the people who live right in your neighborhood are the best resource for crime in the area. Although a neighborhood watch group may not have specifics on crime dates and types, they may know the parts of town that are more susceptible to such activity. Make sure the watch group members have an attitude of partnership with local law enforcement and work alongside them. That way, you’ll be involved in a helpful organization that benefits the neighborhood. The National Crime Prevention Council says that the mere presence of a watch group deters criminals and gang-related activity.
What can I do to protect my home?
The reality is, we are very unlikely to become the victim of a crime these days. Some people feel more secure in their home with an alarm system, but aside from granting some hefty peace of mind, you might find that a home intrusion prevention system isn’t worth much. If you’d like to skip the alarm system, there are a few measures you can take around the house that immediately make it safer.
- Maintain landscaping: Make sure to trim your bushes and hedges, especially those right in front of windows. A burglar is less likely to try and break into a house with a well-maintained yard, and short bushes mean they have no place to hide while breaking in.
- Adopt a dog: It’s pretty simple; dogs are a big crime deterrent because no one wants to be bitten.
- Install outdoor lighting: Look into installing one or two motion-activated security lights outside your home. Other lighting options, like small landscape lights along your walkway, deter bad guys from targeting your home.
- Build a fence: If your backyard is open, consider installing a fence to create a barrier between you and the outside world. Look into a six-foot privacy fence, which not only presents a daunting hurdle for criminals, but it also keeps nosy neighbors from peering through the slats.
Overall, you can do many things to protect your home and your family from crime. By utilizing one of the many websites available or getting in touch with local law enforcement and crime prevention organizations, you can feel empowered to keep your home safe.
What measures have you taken to protect your home?
Megan Winkler is an author, historian, Neurosculpting® meditation coach, certified nutritional consultant and DIY diva. When she’s not writing or teaching a class, Megan can be found in the water, on a yoga mat, learning a new instrument or singing karaoke. Her passion for a healthy mind-body-spirit relationship motivates her to explore all the natural world has to offer.