Providing for security-at-home is a prudent precaution in today’s environment. How extensive your preparation for security-at-home will be, depends on your personal situation and the location of your home.
Retirement age people and women of any age can be at greater risk if they are perceived as vulnerable. One aspect of preparation is to change that perception. How vulnerable are we and is this an issue that we should care about at all?
The U.S. Department of Justice statistics show that 99 percent of all people alive today will be the victim of a crime at some point and many will be victims several times. And additionally, a person has a better chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime than being injured in an automobile accident. Since the risk is real security-at-home is something that we should take very seriously.
Many home invasions occur while one or more residents are home. Consider that an invader who doesn’t care if you are home or not is one who wouldn’t care if he injured or even killed you. In fact that may be the intention from the beginning.
Break-ins and home invasions are almost always crimes of opportunity. Our job in providing security-at-home home is to create the reality and perception that our home would be a hard target. We want the invader to have to look for an easier target. If we avoid the conflict we win.
As good as they are we can’t rely solely on our police departments. Police forces patrol, maintain peace, and investigate crimes after the fact. It is rare when a police officer is in the right place at the right time to stop a crime in progress. The ratio of police officers to citizens is about 2.4 per 1000. No police department can respond to every citizen’s need, no matter how great an effort is made by the officers.
What is the duty of the police to protect individual citizens? In 1981, the Court of Appeals for Washington D.C., ruling on Warren vs. District of Columbia, wrote that under American law the “government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.”
Protecting our homes is about much more than protecting replaceable possessions. It is about protecting your life and that of your loved ones. As with our discussion on healthy retirement, we have to take responsibility for our own security-at-home.
Creating the perception that your home would be a hard target could be as simple as faking it. Place signs outside alleging that the house is alarmed whether it is or not. You could also place dummy cameras around the outside that further enhances the illusion.
One last thought, if you dial 911 stay on the line with the operator in your safe room. Stay in your safe room especially with a weapon. Do not wonder around the house or outside. If you encounter a responding officer, he/she will probably not know whether you are the homeowner or the intruder. This could end badly for you and the officer.
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