Recently there seems to have been an increase in criminal home invasions, car jackings, burglaries, and other crimes against the home, property and person. If you have never been the victim of such an offense, or have never been sent to assist someone who has, it is difficult to imagine the depth of despair these events leave the victims in.
Below are a few ideas, suggestions, thoughts, for you to consider when thinking about your personal and home security. Everyone has a slightly different situation, so there is no “one size fits all” plan for your particular needs. However, by considering a few basic techniques, you may come up with a good overall plan for your own needs.
Home and Personal Security Thoughts:
Security for your family, home and person has always been a serious matter. Most likely the same problem existed in antiquity. In recent years crimes against the person have become even more frequent. Home invasions, burglaries, robberies, and strong-arm crimes can catch the unwary at any location whatsoever. The person who is observant, aware of their surroundings, and who take a few simple preparations will be much safer than someone who floats through their environment ignorant of their surroundings.
These few thoughts may prime your own thought process, increasing the safety for your family’s own particular situation.
Doors and Windows:
Replace old style lock sets with the newer “pick and bump resistant” ones, for your outside entrances.
Use separate deadbolt locks, besides the doorknob set, on outside entrances.
(Key-way on outside of lock, knob on inside. If glass door also use key on inside, hang key away from door.)
Lock doors, windows when leaving house.
Lock doors, windows when sleeping.
If windows are open at night make window stops (admits air but prevents person coming through).
Nail, pin, wooden dowel, etc, not reachable from outside.
Use pin-lock to stop glass doors from being slid open from outside. Sliding glass doors are crooks favorite.
Use “smash-resistant film” on glass doors, sliding glass doors, & windows accessable from outside ground level.
Don’t leave ladders or other items around that can be used to climb to upper windows.
Never leave keys “hidden” around outside of house, in doormat, ledge, fake rock, flower pot, electrical box, etc.
Install “peephole” in solid doors, check outside before opening.
Alarms of various types:
“The Family Dog” can be a very good “first alert” if properly trained.
Learn if your dog is on alert, or is just having daydreams.
Let it see outside when alerting, even if it is having daydreams.
If your dog is actually a very good alarm.
Never scold it, when you just don’t want to be bothered.
(Neighbor scolded his dog, burglar took his truck wheels.
Truck was in the driveway, dog heard but neighbor couldn’t see.)
come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.
Some are “monitored” by the alarm company,
Others are monitored by you. (alarm calls your phone, the police or trusted neighbor)
Vehicle keys by bedside can set off your car Panic alarm.
(Test it for distance!).
Properly placed and aimed motion-activated lights are handy for you.
Bothersome to burglars.
Too many bushes and other hiding places around your house are bad.
They allow burglars to lurk around or to hide while gaining access.
“Safety In Your Vehicles”
Most newer cars automatically lock their doors when moving.
Go one better: Lock the car doors when you first get in.
Lock your vehicles when leaving them, at home or at store.
When returning to your parked car, be aware of your surroundings. “Situational Awareness”.
Set your automatic lock to only unlock the drivers door with first signal.
Keep records and photos of any serialized equipment you own.
Keep descriptions, photos of all other valuables.
Mark your un-serialized possessions (T.V., Electronics, etc)
(Your City may be participating in Operation I.D.)
Keep alert around your neighborhood for suspicious vehicles, etc
Ladies should not use first name on phone listing, mailbox, etc.
If you return to find your house broken into, don’t go inside, call the police.
Most home invasions are accomplished with very little or no “forced entry”
Other home invasions are accomplished with violent forced entry.
The above tips are to help prevent the less violent intruders from entering your home.
Violent home-invasion criminals may require a more drastic response. That is not partucularly the subject of this post.
Without compromising your family security in any way, please consider these three additional thoughts:
First, realize there have been instances where family members were wandering around, or returning home, when they were not expected. This middle of the night surprise can cause initial distress and fear with other family members.
Second, understand that there have been instances of innocent people going to the wrong house/apartment. Were they drunk, tired, stupid, or just careless? Who knows? Some neighborhoods have houses that all look alike. “Cookie-cutter” developments. That is why, if you live there especially, you lock your doors and secure your windows; to prevent neighbors from making that mistake too easily. A secured house also helps you to know immediately when the invader is most likely breaking into your home uninvited.
Third, “Call 9-1-1” as soon as you know there is an intruder. And stay on the phone until the police arrive.
(“disclaimer: Laws change, check for the latest version”)
Utah Code 76-2-405.
Force in defense of habitation.
(1) A person is justified in using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon his habitation; however, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if:
(a) the entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth, and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person, dwelling, or being in the habitation and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; or
(b) he reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.
(2) The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.
Amended by Chapter 252, 1985 General Session