HOW TO HARDEN YOUR HOME AGAINST CRIME
According to the FBI, 2009 crime statistics:
There were 69,191 home robberies.
Three things need to come together for a crime to be committed:
We can’t control a criminal’s desire or ability to commit crime, but
we can deny a criminal the opportunity to victimize us, so here is where
we must focus our energy and resources.
We can deny a criminal
the opportunity to victimize us in your home, when we develop a
defensive strategy utilizing the concentric rings of security concept.
This concept uses three complete rings of physical security around your
home. The outer most ring is the third ring. The second ring is inside
the third ring, and first ring is inside the second ring. Each ring is
progressively more difficult to penetrate, and ring one is the most
protected, because it serves as the last final defense. Ring three
represents the yard or other area immediately surrounding your house.
Ring two represents the physical structure of your house with a focus on
doors, window and other entry points. Ring one represents a safe room
created inside the physical structure of your house.
RING #3: EXTERIOR PERIMETER
setting predictable patterns. Criminals or those with criminal
mentality may live in your neighborhood. They may even live next door.
Alcohol and/or drug addictions can quickly escalate and turn a good
neighbor Sam into a conniving thief who is ready and willing to
victimize you and your family. Furthermore, one of your neighbors could
have a boyfriend or relative with criminal intent or addictions. Because
of their close proximity, these individuals can develop a working
knowledge of your activities and patterns: what cars you drive; when you
and your family leave and return from work; when the kids leave for
school; when your kids are home alone, and when no one is home. These
patterns can be minimized by varying your time schedule as much as
possible. I little pre-planning and effort can go a long way in
protecting you and your family from victimization and physical harm.
Keep financial information secret. Remember the old WW II saying,
“Loose lips sink ships”. It was true then, and it’s true today.
Criminals will target your house, if they know, you have something of
value; furthermore, the higher the value, the more determined their
resolve to obtain it.
Instruct all family members, relatives,
friends and visitors to keep your financial secrets: cash, gold and/or
silvers stores; food, water, survival supplies, firearms and ammunition
stockpiles; valuable antiques, silverware or jewelry as well as a cadre
Do a public information background check of family
contacts: new neighbors, daughter’s new boyfriend, son’s new girlfriend,
mom’s new boyfriend, dad’s new girlfriend, repairmen/women, and people
from the office that come to the house, potential business
partners/contacts, etc. Any one of these contacts can be in a position
to obtain your family’s personal financial information and/or personal
identity information as well.
Install exterior lighting. Spot lights are the best. They should
illuminate the front, back and both sides of your house. There should be
no dark or shadowy areas, where a criminal could hide. Motions sensor
activated lights are more desirable, since they only turn on, when the
sensors detect activity, so they are less disturbing to neighbors and
require less electricity.
Add fences and lock gates. After all,
if a criminal is too lazy to get a regular job, any additional barrier
could cause just enough effort to deter him or her. Obviously, the
taller the fence the better; however, wooden fences can provide a
criminal with a hiding place from which to launch their attack from both
sides of the fence. Wooden fences also prevent neighbors, passersby or
even police patrol units from looking into areas surrounding your home.
hiding spots. Cut out or shorten bushes, trees and shrubs near your
house. Tall bushes and shrubs, in close proximity to your house, provide
an easy hiding place for criminals, from which they have quick and easy
access to you and your family, while leaving or entering your home.
This not only gives a criminal the opportunity to harm you, but it can
also provide them with access into your home, where they have additional
opportunities to harm the rest of your family.
Keep a note pad
handy. Use it to log suspicious vehicles, license plates and persons who
traffic through your neighborhood. Criminals have been known to walk or
drive through a neighborhood several days before committing a burglary
or violent crime, so they can locate and identify vulnerable homes and
persons. They may even knock on your door (or that of your neighbor) and
act as if they accidently knocked on the wrong door while looking for
someone, or they may just ask for directions. The note pad can be used
to write down the physical and clothing description of the individual as
well as any vehicle or accomplice descriptions before informing the
police. When you write down a clothing description, you should start
from the head down to the feet: hat, shirt, pants and shoes.
write down a physical description, remember the obvious: sex, race,
build, age and height and so on. If this is too difficult, you can try
using yourself as a measuring tool for comparison: was he taller or
shorter than I am? If I’m 5’ 10” and he was a few inches shorter, than
he was be able 5’ 7”- 8”. This same technique could be used to describe
body built and age. You should also look for specific identifiers:
scares, moles, missing fingers, ear rings, beard/mustache, number and
locations of piercing as well as the last known direction of travel and
any possible accomplices.
When you write down a vehicle
description, you should also start from top of the roof down to the
tires. Once again remember the obvious: car, truck, van, SUV, small,
midsize, full size, two door or four door, color, year, make, model and
license number. If this is too difficult, you can try using your own
vehicle as a measuring tool for comparison: was it bigger or shorter
than your vehicle? Was it older or newer than yours? Does it look like a
friend’s car? If so contact the friend and get the information about
his car? This same technique could be used to develop an accurate
description of any almost any item. Also, look for specific identifiers:
rust, dents or other damage, bumper stickers, cracked windows, “Mag”
tires and loud mufflers as well as last known direction of travel.
a neighborhood watch program. You and your neighbors can begin looking
out for each other. Two eyes are better than one, and two dozen eyes are
better than two, and when there all looking for criminals and criminal
activity, they have a much greater chance of finding them. A successful
neighborhood watch program must maintain frequent communications between
its members. Nowadays, this can be done through emails. This method
will not only make for easy daily communications, the previous days
communications would automatically serve to create an informational data
base going back possible for months. This data base could be searched
after a crime was discovered in an effort to identify possible