Personal Safety at Home

Awareness and action are a criminal's bane. Awareness and action are your most powerful crime fighting tools.

Personal Safety at Home

There's two kinds of safety matters in a parrot house; personal and environmental. I wrote an article about self defense for you and your parrot in public. Let's look at ways you can fortify your home against the bad guys as well. Personal safety at home.

Home burglaries tend to be done when you aren't there, in the early morning hours. Daytime break ins happen as well of course, and those happen in quiet neighborhoods where everybody is gone to work at the same time. Or you are on vacation. They also happen in urban multiple residential settings because it can be easy to "look" like they belong in a transient neighborhood. Unless it's personal, a home intruder is not interested in meeting the homeowner face to face. They are interested in intrusion and theft. And they want that at the lowest cost of risk and trouble. You being home is a problem that can lead to a breaking and entering charge becoming assault and more. Bad guys think like that, they will risk certain punishments for certain rewards.

Burglars and thieves look for certain tells on your property to judge the risk. Do you have a multiple cars? Do you have a dog or multiple dogs? Are they big dogs? Is there a path of darkness around the house that they can stealth through shadows? (We've purposely created landscaping that is low and simple and completely eliminates any dark passages around our home. There's no sneaking anywhere around our property.) Can they see into your windows to inventory possible valuables? (We keep our blinds closed on the front of our home whenever we leave our home.) Is the neighborhood busy, or quiet? Do you and your family and neighbors come and go on schedules every day?

You can't control schedules, but you can control what your home looks like every time you leave. If you are going to leave a car behind because no one is using it, move the car to a new location. Never leave your garbage can at the end of the driveway after pickup if at all possible. Garbage pickup days and sitting cans tell much about who may not be home. When I leave the house during the day, I will sometimes open the blinds of some of the windows on the second floor. Random. Do the windows afford easy access? Keep them locked. Is there a backdoor hidden away from general view? Motion sensor lighting in dark areas does the trick. I'm not advocating being paranoid, I'm advocating being aware. Much like prey animals choosing to do things specifically to counteract their arch predators.

Home security systems are ONLY as effective as the company doing the MONITORING of the system. ADT subcontracts their monitoring, for instance. When shopping for home monitoring systems find out who the monitoring company is before you do anything. And yes, sticking a sign in your yard does make a difference. Again, bad guys are looking for the easiest routes to success. Criminals are just criminals, they are the bottom dwellers of society with little else to offer but to take. These are not creative geniuses.

Let's bring the parrots into the conversation. Does your bird spend time outdoors in an aviary or large cage? Who knows that? I'm not saying deprive our birds of outdoor joy, but I am saying be aware of who's aware. The more awareness there is about your birds, the more you need to be aware of your home's availability to intrusion. I found out recently that our neighbor across the street had no idea we had Snickers for over a year. She had no clue. I really liked learning that trivia.

Do not be afraid to call in suspicious person reports. Seriously. Here's a little story to clarify how powerful this can be in being a deterrent. Once upon a time there was a guy on a bike riding around our neighborhood. I saw him the first time and didn't think much of it. Every day he rode around on his bike, around and around and around the block and neighborhood. I started to think something of that. One Monday he jumped off his bike at my neighbor's and asked the wife raking leaves if she needed yard work done. He was dressed in T Shirts and shorts and high tops. She said no.

He asked her, "Is that neighbor over there home?" "When do they get home?" She answered that she didn't know and cut the conversation short. He turned around and started walking toward me, as I too was raking the yard, it was a gorgeous day. 

I stood up straight, leaned on the rake handle and said, "You do not want to talk to me. You want to walk away now." And then I took his photo with my cellphone. Suffice it to say, the neighbor called in a SP Report. Later it was found that this guy was casing houses all around, didn't live in our neighborhood, was just released from prison and was living with a girlfriend with no other family. Like I said, criminals are not creative geniuses.

Finally, do yourself a favor and nix the personal posts about where you are and what you are doing right now. Seriously. You over sharing about being late leaving the airport and some back wash Facebook reading of your friends posts can get information on your home and it's location. And Google Maps does the rest. It's 2015, we have to start acting like it's 2015.

Protecting your home and your companions takes awareness and unfortunately an awareness of how these bad guys think. This awareness can be applied to a private home and a large rescue. It's all the same to the bad guy. They just want an easy in and an easy get away.

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