How to Feel Safer in Your Home

They say that your home is your castle. And it feels very good to have a safe place to call your own.

Generally, your home IS a safe place. With a roof over your head and protection from the elements, you're far safer at home than you might be in a car, the outdoors, or a crowded public space.

But that doesn't mean the minute you get home, it's ok to get complacent.

A few simple steps can truly turn your home into a castle. Not just for comfort, for added security and safety – for you and your family.

Many of us had a fear of the dark as children. No wonder. It's unsettling when you can't see what's lurking in the shadows. But you can keep your home so much safer when you brighten the surroundings and put much of that fear to rest.

Install and maintain energy efficient bulbs in your outside lights. And keep them on at night, especially by entryways like the front and back porches.

Outdoor lights with sensors are particularly useful, as an early alert system to movement, and a deterrent to those who might breach your property (nobody who means to do you, or your property harm wants to be seen).

Inside, nightlights, especially when visible through windows, are also helpful, because most burglars prioritize empty homes first. And they can keep you safer inside your home, to prevent tripping hazards (so it's not YOU who goes bump in the night).

Before it gets too dark outside, close blinds and curtains. You may not be able to see outside, but you're not living in a fishbowl either. Let outside lights spook predators away, and don't give anyone an opportunity to "case" your place.

One mistake I see lots of folks make is building up landscaping around entry points of the house (like windows). It may look nice in the day. But at night, it's the perfect place to escape detection. Keep shrubs and bushes low and to a minimum, and take the time to keep them from getting overgrown.

Another good piece of advice is to get to know your neighbors. It's a shame we seem to have lost the community spirit that used to be common when I was growing up. What you want is someone who knows your name, has your number, and can alert you if they see something out of the ordinary.

And you can do the same for them.

A security system is a great way to also feel safer. That can mean fortifying your doors with both breach-free latches, in addition to a solid deadbolt. Blocking easily opened sliding glass doors. A camera system, and an alarm.

Or even just a curious (and often noisy) dog.

Any one of these things (or ideally, more than one) is a signal to a would-be burglar to move on… and find an easier mark.

Nobody should feel unsafe in their own home. But the sad fact is, robberies and home invasions do happen.

A few simple steps can protect your sanctuary – and ensure you're always a survivor, not a statistic.

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