5 ways to crime-proof your home this week (without spending a lot of money)

 

Welcome to SmartWater CSI’s new blog!

In the coming months, we’ll discuss crime prevention and deterrence in neighborhoods, private homes, retail stores, on construction sites, at public utilities–wherever crime occurs.

Thank you for joining us; we hope you’ll find our posts entertaining and informative!

Let’s jump right into our first topic, shall we?

The FBI has released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report for the first six months of 2013.

The good news is, crime is down in almost all categories across the board, with property crimes down by about 5%.

That’s great–but there’s still a lot of room for improvement, especially if you live in the Southern or Western United States.

How can you reduce your chances of being a victim of crime in 2014?

Here are a few quick and inexpensive tips for securing your home, which you can implement quickly and easily:

1.   Straighten up your yard

 Thieves target properties that look as if no one is home—or no one cares.  Pull weeds, pick up trash, get rid of those broken-down cars. Not only will you discourage burglars, but your neighbors will appreciate it, too.

2.   Plant thorny bushes along fence lines and under windows

 Roses, blackberry brambles, bougainvillea, cacti…there are a host of prickly plants you can add to your landscape to discourage burglars and beautify your property. Be sure to check the planting zone map for your area, to see which plants will perform best where you live.

3.   Prune trees and bushes

Since we’re talking about plants, let’s have a look at the trees and bushes you already have in your yard. Are they overgrown? Trim them back.  Overgrown shrubbery provides great hiding places for criminals, and allowing tree branches to hang over your roof is like setting out a ladder for someone who wants to break into your house through an upstairs window. Trim shrubs to under 3 feet tall, and make sure tree branches don’t hang down lower than eight feet off the ground.

4.   Shed some light on the subject

 Being seen = Being caught. Criminals lurk in the shadows. Change burned-out lightbulbs, inside and outside. Install motion-sensor lights over doors and near your driveway. Try to make sure the lights don’t shine into your neighbors’ windows, though, or you’ll quickly negate the goodwill you generated by improving the look of your yard! Install timers on indoor lamps, in more than one room, to make it appear as if someone is home, even when you’re not.

5.   Keep doors and windows locked

 Seems like this should go without saying, but you might be surprised at how many burglars gain access to their victims’ houses, just by trying the front door. Lock up, whether you’re home or not!

You don’t have to run out and buy an expensive alarm system, or install surveillance cameras around your home. Though those can be effective crime deterrents, not everyone can afford to take such extreme measures.

By implementing the small changes above, you can dramatically decrease your chances of being the victim of crime in your home.

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