Every city has its share of crime to worry about, and Minneapolis is no different than any other urban area. People are often cautious about how they take care of themselves when out in public, but are more lax when it comes to protecting their home. It is necessary to find ways to protect a home, the people in it and its possessions without needing to live on high-alert 24-hours a day. Technology has made surveillance easier and more effective than ever. When it is used alongside other simple safety tips it is easy to feel confident that a home is protected.
Be a Landscape Minimalist
Lush gardens, large hedges and numerous trees are beautiful, but they shield the view of the home from the road. Criminals use this cover to hide in and wait for the opportunity to enter a home. Keep all greenery cut low around the home and plant plenty of thorny bushes near windows to discourage burglars. Make certain road traffic and neighbors are able to spot anyone suspicious in the yard. Even if the neighbors are not always home or pay little attention, the risk of being caught will keep most thieves away.
Invest in Great Lighting
Outdoor lighting is available in a range of styles and homeowners should consider purchasing several types for the outside of their home. Install bright lights at every exit and keep them all on whenever away from home past dark. Install motions sensors to trigger when anyone comes within several feet of the home. Install ambient lighting, either solar or electrical, that can remain on at all times. This will prevent the yard from ever being totally dark and is a safety feature with multiple benefits. It can dissuade intruders and be a lighting source to prevent family members from tripping when they come home late. Solar lights help to protect the home in many ways because they have the added benefit of providing light even when the power is out. Should a disaster like a house fire occur, they make it much easier to evacuate a dark home safely and quickly.
Keep Homes Looking Occupied
Leave a radio or TV playing while at work or away for several hours. Install timers on certain lights that will turn them on and off and random times. This will make it look as if someone is in the house. Never allow mail or newspapers to accumulate. Both should be put on hold if going on vacation or picked up by a neighbor or relative daily. Carpool occasionally so a vehicle is left in the yard on random days. This makes it difficult for any passerby to determine the family schedule. Minneapolis winters often involve a lot of snow, and undisturbed fields of white around a home is an easy sign of an empty house. Ask neighbors or friends to create some tracks whenever the home is empty for more than a 24-hour period.
Use Security Systems Adequately
Use all surveillance and alarm systems every day. Choose systems that connect to mobile devices so cameras can be checked during the day. Have alerts sent to the device if an alarm of any type is triggered. This includes smoke alarms and those that detect potential intruders. The early warning makes it possible to contact the appropriate authorities immediately for assistance. Do not be afraid to advertise the use of these systems. Put decals in the windows provided by the security company and install exterior cameras in areas where they are easy to see, but difficult to reach and disable.
Staying safe at home from injury, during a disaster and from criminals looking for trouble is something everyone must make a priority. With some common sense tactics, they help of friends and neighbors and a reliable security system, every homeowner can reduce their odds of being a statistic. Educate children in how they can contribute to the effort by teaching them to arm the security system and to never tell anyone when their home is empty or when they are home alone.