It is no surprise that people in urban environments lock their doors more regularly and take a defensive posture more readily than those in suburban and rural environments. Unknown is whether or not this behavior is associated with higher crime rates per capita in cities or the fact that one is more likely to encounter more strangers than familiar faces in cities. Regardless, there are proven tactics to better secure living spaces in urban areas.
Think of security as an onion. The core of that onion is the family and belongings being protected from accidents and criminal behavior. The layers surrounding the core are each independently functioning security protocols and equipment. Security protocols include things such as not walking down dark alleys at night and making sure to see who is at the door before answering it. Security equipment comes in all types and varieties, from early warning equipment such as alarm systems to defensive equipment such as custom locksmith-made door locks.
A serious crime committed in a neighborhood gets other homeowners primed to add to their own home security setup. This usually involves a call to an alarm company. This is a great first step in securing any home or apartment. Alarm companies today install perimeter and motion detection systems as well as smoke and carbon monoxide warning devices. They are all connected to a central alarm system that is monitored around the clock. Basic systems are often low cost or free with a monitoring agreement. Being connected to a monitoring agency is a layer of security unto itself because someone is there to send help to occupants who cannot help themselves.
Going beyond early warning of criminal entry, a developing fire or an appliance leaking deadly carbon monoxide is fortifications to deny or resist forced entry. The costs for these types of fortifications really have the sky as the limit, but even homeowners on a budget can install devices that help keep the criminal element on the outside. For apartment dwellers, a specialist from Davies Lock & Door Services Ltd. says that simply changing out the old locks upon moving in will improve security. There is no knowing who has a key for old locks. Also, some older locks are easy to defeat while custom locks made by a locksmith are not.
Additional Home Defense Measures
Even meager budgets can afford more elaborate security upgrades if they are added a little at a time. Security grates added to ground floor windows may not be affordable to add all at once but may fit into a tight budget adding one at a time. The addition of outdoor lighting that have motion detection switches is a good deterrent. Nothing startles intruders like a bright light suddenly announcing their presence. A well-trained pet dog is also a deterrent. Not a guard dog, but just a common canine who is part of the family and knows when and when not to bark.
Leading in home and family protection is all family members following standard safety and security protocols without fail. Locking doors and windows should be routine. Everyone who answers the door should know who is on the other side before opening it. Surveillance cameras are a great help here. Children should have clear instructions as to how to respond to strangers to prevent luring and abductions. Adults should not take unnecessary risks just for the sake of convenience.
As a planted onion develops its outer layers a little at a time as it grows, so should the layers of security for a family. It should be adapted according to risk and budget. However, above all personal security protocols should be things the whole family is willing and able to participate in. Add protocols and equipment a little at a time, and reassess the entire security system in place on a regular basis.
Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.