Hello. My condiminium complex has had numerous break-ins (especially in vehicles) lately and a few weeks ago someone tried to break into my house through a window. We do have an alarm system and so that helps but I'm really worried about being safe when I'm by myself just walking down the street or in any situation. Any advice?
(Question originally posted and answered on www.allexperts.com)
Unfortunately, this is a common concern but you can create a safe place to live. Here are some ideas for you.
- Don't leave anything of value in your car. However, if you must, lock in trunk...out of sight.
- At night, if you are close to your car, keep your car keys near by. If someone tries to come in a window, press the alarm on your car to scare the intruder away. If you are not close to your car, know all your neighbors so you can call someone. Get their agreement to make noise and bang on your door. (911 takes time to respond. The neighbors next door can help immediately.)
- Keep apartment locked. Most burglars enter through unlocked windows or doors.
- Burglars don't like noise or light. Consider getting a whistle, a barking dog, leaving a radio on during the day or installing a motion sensor light.
- Criminals are a small group and they are primarily young and local. Your best protection are your neighbors. Get to know and trust them. Join or start a condo safety group. As a group, you have the power to educate and get residents involved so they can help each other stay safe. When young people learn your complex is not an easy target, they will stop coming into your area. Alert, informed neighbors will not tolerate crime. Help your neighbors take charge of their safety!
Your police departments may have crime prevention information. Your group can invite an officer to speak, if the police have the resources.
You can find my book, "Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods: Stopping Crime Where You Live" online or at your local library. Also, I will be putting more information on my website as I have a new book coming out. Stay Safe! Stephanie