Conventionally, we actually live in a time where burglaries and property crimes are actually at a historical low. Numbers are steadily declining over the last few decades. However, this fact is of little solace to those affected by the nine million property crimes in the United States in 2010. This number includes vandalism, arson, larceny, and theft. In fact, certain types of property crimes are on the upswing, so there are still reasons to be concerned.
For their valuables, homes, businesses, and families, many are still looking at ways to potentially lower their risk of being property crime victims. The best way to do so isn’t actually a single method, but a three-pronged attack using preparation, tech, and information.
- When it comes to property crimes, some options don’t cost anything but some time. The vast majority of property crimes out there aren’t done by skilled people working their way into your home or business. Instead, they take advantage of mistakes and lapses in judgment. As a start, here are some things you can start working into your routine right away. Locking doors and keeping valuables out of site is important. For a business keeping extra inventory in a secured place can help thwart any robbery attempts.
- Be mindful of entry into your homes and businesses. This includes always keeping your doors locked and ground floor windows shut, which may seem obvious, but can be forgotten if you are in a rush. Along with these, avoid leaving things outside that could potentially be used to enter the home or building, and remove air conditioner window units during the winter months.
- Check your cars or keep cars within sight in the parking lot. Many cars have anti-theft and alarm systems that you can use, but implementing common sense is just as helpful. Be certain that you don’t leave your car unlocked or with the windows down during the work day. This is the easiest way for someone to steal your vehicle. Try to avoid leaving anything of value in plain sight as well.
- Get involved in the community. Even if you don’t have the time to start something like a neighborhood watch, doing simple things like reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement and enforcing community rules can do a lot to create an atmosphere that deters property crimes. Sometimes, these arrangements may leave you privy to information that could be useful, more on that in a bit. Business owners tend to look after each other if they see suspicious dealings in their building or next to it. This is not guaranteed security but it helps owners have a little bit more confidence their business will be safe.
Use The Right Tools
While these are all great starting points, you might be in an area where property crimes are relatively common. Perhaps you have valuables or inventory that you can’t stand to lose. For this reason, you may want to implement a security alarm in order to not take any chances. There’s a lot of misconceptions about these, though. There’s a feeling that they may not be worth the price, but the fact of the matter is that there are two main things to understand about security systems that mean that anyone can use them.
For one, the threat of a security system is one of the best things you can have to deter property crime. Be sure to use stickers around your property to let anyone who enters know that there is security in place. Many criminals will not want to take the risk and end up going elsewhere. The second thing is that the high-tech systems you see on television with tablet/smartphone capability, while effective, are not the only game in town. Advances in technology mean that there are now systems of varying complexity and price to match any user. Don’t be afraid to do your homework or contact a professional to find the right security fit.
A lot of the time, people don’t know they have a property crime issue until said crime actually happens. What we mentioned before about preparation attends to that, but there’s another part of the equation. The fact of the matter is that not all homes and communities are the same. Some places may have more potential for property crime than others. However, what is equally important to consider are crimes of opportunity. Many people don’t go out looking to steal something, until something crosses their eye that is improperly secured. As a result, not only do you want to look to areas of concern around you, but also have security measures in place for your valuables that people may want to take. Keeping company computers in front of windows on the ground level over the weekend could spell disaster as thieves will see this as an easy score.
The great thing about the times we live in is that not only is it easier to access this appropriate info, but there are more and more channels specifically dedicated to these purposes. As a start, you may want to follow an industry expert on social media. Alder's LinkedIn profile page has regular updates and insights on the world of home security. These range from handy tips to stories about new security tech that might be a good match for your home. In addition, many communities and neighborhoods are coming out with e-mail lists and similar alerts to let you know about potential crime issues. They often provide updates on property crimes that already take place as well.
The important thing to realize is that preparation and tool implementation do a great deal to cut down on property crime. But like anything else, you need to aim in order to hit the target. This is the true value of information services, making sure that you are responding appropriately to property crime threats in your area, rather than trying to use a one-size-fits-all approach. Put all this into action and you are that much closer to keeping your home and valuables safe.