Criminals intent on robbing people's homes often see seniors as easy prey. Here are some basic steps you can implement to reduce the chances of being victimized.
Basic Home Protection
Home invasions have severe consequences. There are certain precautions you can take that will help keep you safe:
- Make sure all doors are locked when you are home. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, have a peephole installed in your front door. If you hear a knock at the door, first identify the person and then decide whether you want to be home for them or not.
- Always choose solid wood or metal for any door with outside access. The frame of the door needs to be strong, so either have the current frame reinforced or have a metal one installed.
- In high crime areas, windows need protection too. Place Plexiglas or security film on the inside to increase safety and make it more difficult for the glass to be broken.
- When you hear a knock at the door, bring your phone with you in case you quickly need to call for help.
- If you live in a house with a gate, always keep your gate locked. Those who want to enter know your phone number and will call. If you live in an apartment complex, don’t buzz in anyone you don’t know.
- Never leave the door key under the mat. Instead, give copies of the key to family members and a trustworthy neighbor.
Extended Home Protection
- Have a security system installed. If you live in a house, security systems are the foundation of any home safety plan. They will not only help thwart thieves, but are valuable in medical emergencies and fires, too. If you plan on spending a period of your retirement traveling, then a security system is a must.
- Have motion sensor lighting installed. These lights are a great way to know when somebody is outside your door and they will help prevent vandalism, too. The lights can be installed on both a house and in a hallway in an apartment building. For the latter, check with your superintendent.
- Consider an alert system. Learn more about Senior Alert Systems here.
- If possible, don’t have regular monthly checks (such as social security) mailed to you. Thieves can figure out dates and time of their arrival. The best way to receive money is through direct transfer.
- Protect yourself from Internet scams and identity theft by following these tips:
- Personal and bank information should not be included in emails
- Password change should be done frequently
- Shop at reputable websites only
- Don’t click on any links from random companies. They usually steal your information through phony emails that appear to come from reputable businesses
Damian Wolf is an entrepreneur and JD Security associate, involved in several projects about advanced home security solutions. He loves to write about home security and growing small businesses. Damian is also a proud father and beloved husband.