I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and while I am sure crime existed, the most heinous thing I was ever aware of was the neighborhood teens toilet papering someone’s trees. Now that I live in the burbs of Atlanta, I am much more conscious of crime and I find myself becoming slightly paranoid about keeping my family and our belongings safe. Of course, there is a fine line between staying safe and becoming paranoid but common sense protection from criminals is a subject that everyone should be familiar with. So, how can you ensure the criminals don’t get the best of you? Here are a few tips:
Common Sense Protection from Criminals
1. GPS car tracking: I am lucky that most criminals aren’t looking to steal a 12 year old pickup truck but if you are driving something nicer than I am, consider GPS car tracking. Locks and alarms might deter your average criminal but if someone really wants your wheels, they are going to get them one way or another. Being able to track down the car after it is stolen is a huge help when it comes to retrieving your wheels!
2. Take a Self Defense Class: My son and I started taking martial arts about 6 months ago and a portion of the class is teaching self defense. They stress getting away, not beating the snot out of somebody. There are many self defense classes out there so find one that teaches you to break an attacker’s grip, make a lot of noise to attract attention, and disable your attacker if you CAN’T escape.
3. Don’t let people know you aren’t home: Protecting your home from intruders can be tricky but there are several ways to outsmart someone who wants to break in. Try to leave lights on a timer if you are going out of town or have someone come over to pick up your mail and newspapers. If you can vary your schedule, that is helpful, too. Always leaving to go to the gym at 10 AM is a big tipoff that you aren’t home. And whatever you do, DON’T announce on your social media sites that you are leaving for vacation!
4. Buy a dog: Okay, this might be more than you want to commit to but many criminals will completely avoid the house with a dog for the one right next door with NO dog. Why? Dogs make noise and attract attention. Burglars do not want to attract attention! Don’t want a dog? Consider putting a dog bowl and some well used toys in the back yard to make the criminal THINK you have a dog!
5. Don’t act like a victim: This is especially important for women! Men who are preying on women look for those who appear weak. The women who are insecure, look lost, have their hands full, and generally seem like they are an easy target. Hold your head high, walk with purpose, park under a well lit lamp post and keep your hands free, preferably holding a pointy key or can of mace. Don’t make it easy for criminals to target you.
Common sense protection from criminals means knowing what the threats are and educating yourself as to how to avoid them. While I like to think that my middle class suburban neighborhood is completely free of crime, I know that isn’t true. Hopefully these tips help you protect yourself, your family and your belongings from criminals!