I’ve always considered “home security” to be a misleading phrase. In truth, the greatest elements of your home security aren’t always located within your home. It isn’t necessarily the equipment that helps detect criminals encroaching on your property, and neither is it the reinforcements and upgrades that might prevent burglars from breaking and entering into your property. Don’t get me wrong – those tools can be immensely helpful when a criminal has selected your property. However, I think we can all agree that the best element of a home’s defense is what makes your home being targeted in the first place.
This benefit to a home’s security is called deterrence, and it is perhaps the most important aspect to your home defense – and you can influence it in several ways.
Boosting Your Deterrence
There are a few practical steps that any homeowner can take to make sure that their home is well-guarded. Here are a few additions to your home that can make the difference and deter people from your home:
Besides their functionality, home security systems or signage indicating that an alarm exists can help keep out unwanted visitors.
· 1. When this equipment isn’t affordable or obtainable, equipping false cameras or signage can help nonetheless.
· 2. Keeping a guard dog, or simply erecting signage that a dog exists (i.e. “BEWARE DOG!”) can scare the wits out of people who might otherwise consider targeting your home.
· 3. Joining or starting a neighborhood watch program can make a huge impact on crime awareness and deterrence in your neighborhood. FBI statistics indicate that it could make an impact of up to 40% in reducing crime in your area.
· 4. Keep an eye on foreclosed or abandoned homes, since these can quickly become dens of illegal activity when left unmonitored.
5. Finally, homeowners can make a great splash in their neighborhood crime rate by something that we might take for granted. In fact, simply maintaining your yard and keeping your home in good repair and nice appearances can, and does, reduce the incidence of crime in your area. This might seem unusual, considering most means of deterrence are based on fear and an increased difficulty of trespassing undetected. But despite how odd it may sound, the “broken windows” in your neighborhood should be addressed to positively influence crime around your home. Still skeptical?
No More “Broken Windows”
In the 80’s, criminologists developed a theory about the effects of vandalism and other kinds of disorder and disrepair; put simply, they put forth the idea that maybe people will be more likely to act out in criminal ways if it’s apparent that nobody cares about the state of their environment. Several municipalities in
gave the broken windows theory a spin in
practice and found the results impressively reduced rates of crime. Keeping
graffiti cleaned on a regular basis and public facilities properly maintained
made a notable and obvious impact in reducing crime. New
Similarly, I remember my college years spent in run-down campus housing, in a dorm situated in what used to be an old mill. I remember the fragments of beer bottles at the front door, the missing panes, and the graffiti vandalizing the campus mascot mural on the fourth floor. I also remember how much these behaviors changed when management switched out and began extensive renovations. Overnight, it seemed like students attending there were more concerned about the well-being of the dorms. While there was still vandalism, it died off over time when whoever responsible for the acts realized that their damages were constantly repaired and painted over whenever they were discovered.
Now consider this: how do you think this theory applies to your city? Your neighborhood? Your home? When a property is left damaged with wear and the lawn grows wild with age, criminals doubtlessly become more interested in targeting it as opposed to well-maintained neighbors.
Naomi Broderick is a stay-at-home mother and prepper enthusiast.
Thanks Naomi for an excellent guest post.
Staying above the water line!