From WISHTV8 in Indianapolis comes an interesting story. Apparently, a couple went to a concert and returned home to find that $10,000 worth of their stuff was gone. They caught it on video tape, but something didn’t seem right. As the article says, “It’s as though the men knew exactly how much time they had…” Well that’s weird. How would criminals know exactly how long you’d be gone? Even if they scoped out your house, and knew you left, they wouldn’t know you’d be going to a concert, or for how long.
It’s getting to be that time of year again; birds are singing, grass is turning green and burglars are on the prowl. Wait…what? Yep, unfortunately, when you get to spring/summer it means an increase in home burglary and home invasion. But, there are things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Let’s take a look at those tips:
1. Keep Bushes Around House Neatly Trimmed
That’s right, not only will it make your neighbors happy, it’ll give thieves less of a place to hide. One of the first things you need to know about home defense is this: Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Which means, if they have to stand in front of your house, trying to open a window or pick a lock and they have nowhere to easily hide (i.e. tall, unruly bushes) they’ll be less likely to pick that house; all for the simple reason that they have less of a place to hide. And did I mention it’ll make your neighbors happy?
2. Have Neighbors Pick Up Your Mail When You’re On Vacation
When we get into summertime, people love to take vacations. Whether its the beach, or getting away to the cool, peaceful mountains, summer = vacation in America. And that’s great. But you don’t want to leave a giant “Rob Me” sign when you go on vacation. Whats that? Of course you wouldn’t do that? Well, only sort of. A mailbox overflowing with mail and a driveway filled with daily newspapers is basically robber-code for: I’m not home. Please steal my things. Seriously, folks, have a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers when you’re gone. If you don’t want to do that, then have the post office and newspaper company hold your mail.
3. Close Your Garage Door
What? My, garage door? You’re either thinking one of two things right now: A. I always close my garage door, or B, why does it matter if my garage door is closed. My response? No you don’t, and it matters because people will steal from you. Think about how easy and inviting an open garage door is to a thief. First of all, there’s a good chance he can wander in there, and break into your house, unnoticed by neighbors, through your inside door. But, even if that’s not his final plan, he can just as easily wander into your garage and steal those nice power tools (insert whatever other expensive things you have in your garage) you got for Christmas last year. Now, for this one, I have a little help: get a Garage Butler. They’re cheap, and they will automatically close your garage door if you leave it open for a certain period of time.
4. Have a Well-Lit Exterior, or Purchase Motion-Sensor Flood Lights
I’m guessing this one isn’t a surprise (hopefully none of these are). As I mentioned above, thieves like to rob places that are…well…easy to rob. They don’t want to risk your nosey neighbor peering out the window and seeing them, all lit up, right in front of your house. So, if you put in motion detector flood lights you won’t waste electricity, but you’ll still have the necessary (and startling) light coverage you need, when you need it.
5. Invest in a Security System of Some Sort
Security systems are cheap these days. No, really they are. You can get a top-of-the-line, sophisticated, sleek looking security system without breaking the bank. And it can be simple. You can choose just to cover windows and doors, and maybe a motion sensor or two. The great benefit is this: If someone breaks in while you’re sleeping or away, and you have a monitored home security system, then someone else will be notified. And, they can contact local emergency personnel, who hopefully, can nab the bad guy, and throw him in jail for a very long time.
I hope these tips are helpful. They are not comprehensive, but they are designed to get you thinking about securing and protecting your home, just using common sense. If you have any great tips to add, post them below. We’d love to hear them!
If you lived in ancient Rome or Greece (or anywhere in the ancient world for that matter) you were limited in your options of protecting your home. Sure, if you were a king, emperor, provincial governor or any other member of the elite class, you may have had some options when it came to security. But, if you were an average Roman, it was a sturdy door, your slaves, and you to fend off any would-be attackers…oh, that and a giant Beware of Dog sign. A giant Beware of Dog what??
Apparently, things don’t change much over a few thousand years. You still see beware of dog signs to this day, but none quite as elegant (or permanent) as the Cave Canemmosaics placed outside Roman villas. This particular one was found in the excavations of Pompeii, rediscovered in 1824. Source
Moats and Gates
This is a pretty slick idea. You have a city or personal castle that you want to protect against raging hordes of barbarians, or nighttime thieves…what do you do?
You build an enormous ditch (read river) around the outside of your property and fill it with water. This, like guard dogs, is apparently a pretty natural thing for humans to do. I say that because moats were used in ancient Egypt, Europe in the middle ages, and ancient Japanese imperial cities. Source
They were used to protect fortified cities, sacred temples and shrines, the palaces of noblemen and kings. Safe to say, if you were inside of one of these moated castles, you were living in a relatively safe place. And, let’s be honest…it looks really cool.
The gates idea goes hand in hand with this. Even if you got through the moat, the gate was going to keep you from getting in. Basically, in the middle ages, you would have two of these gates. The idea is that the guards would trap you between these two gates. Then they would drop heavy items on you, or shoot you with arrows through…wait for it…murder-holes. Yeah, they were serious about security. Source
In Ancient Rome, it was a big no-no to bring the armies of Rome into the city itself. It had been done, but always with great damage to the Republic. But, at the time of Caesar, and later, Augustus, the state organization switched from Republic to Empire. Still, the people loved their traditions, and weren’t interested in Roman armies hanging around. So, if you’re the Emperor, you’d like some military protection in the city of Rome, but can’t have the military itself. What do you do?
If you’re a genius like Augustus you create a paramilitary force called the Praetorian Guards. Basically, they were to keep peace and order in the city, and protect the emperor and his family.
p style=”margin-top: 0px; ma
rgin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal Helvetica; “>It was a great plan. Worth noting, however, that the Praetorian Guard sometimes did the opposite of their protection role. When things got crazy with the Emperors and the Guards had enough of their foolishness, they would kill the emperor and pick the new one themselves. This was always a possible downside of personal guards…if they’re close enough to protect you, they’re close enough to harm.
Home safes aren’t an overly difficult thing to make, so thats why they’ve been so ubiquitous throughout much of human history. What do you do to make a safe? Take a chest, slap a big lock on it, and you’re in business (at least on a simple level). That concept evolved until you get to the
all iron safe of the middle ages. These began to be a bit more burglar-proof. But, of course, they weren’t entirely, and given enough time and dedication, the thief would probably have all of your stuff. Source
Eventually, as the technology developed, safes became impregnable, utilizing unique keys, fire and explosion-proof materials, and, of course, combination locks. Today, you can put your stuff in a safe, blow up your house with some dynamite, and smash your safe with a sledgehammer…and it’ll be totally fine (depending upon the safe, obviously).
We finally come to the security system. And while all of the above are still in use (ok, maybe not moats and murder holes, but I digress), the electronic security system has come to firmly embody the modern age of personal and property protection.
With high-speed wireless systems like the GE Simon XT or reliable, incredibly expandable systems like the Ademco Vista 20P, home security is at a whole new level; and its just beginning.
In the next couple of years, we’re going to see completely customizable, ridiculously expandable, simple to use next-gen home security equipment. Only, home security (as an idea) will become (dare I say it?) a thing of the past. In the next era of home security, its all about home automation. The ability to use your security system to control everything in your home easily and remotely is already here, and that technology is really just ramping up.