My neighbor and I were recent victims of theft.
We live in a small town, on the end of a sleepy road, that rarely has incidents. Yet, within a week there were items stolen from our driveways and front yard. A bike (me) and a lawn mower (his).
These are common items that are stolen. When consulting friends and family, most just put up their hands and said: “Eh, what are you gonna do?”. They’re right because these items aren’t coming back, but what riled me up was the fact that A) it happened in the first place and B) that I wasn’t prepared.
Breaking Trust and a Silver Lining
I know the theft is likely to be a one-off experience but it truly destroyed my trust in the community.
Here I was thinking everything was peachy. I didn’t have a problem leaving my car unlocked or leaving the doors open when I did a quick errand. Not anymore.
It made me realize there’s a lot to be lost if things escalated:
· What if I’m home during a break-in?
· What if they harmed my pets?
· What if the neighbors get attacked?
In some ways, there’s a silver lining to it all. It made me aware of the dangers around and outside of the home. It caused me to understand the importance of staying safe and lead me to act on improving the home security & common risks.
What I (and You) Need to do for Security
There are simple and elaborate things we can do to improve our security:
Your 1st act should be to check with your local security options to see what plans and devices are featured. This will provide the home with adequate monitoring. Often, the mere appearance of a security system is enough to keep burglars at bay; otherwise, you’ll have footage to share with authorities which could lead to their capture and arrest.
The 2nd set of actions is to do a sweep of the home for common, problematic objects and dangers. It only takes a few moments to identify these issues:
· A dead battery in the smoke alarms that won’t alert
· Wobbly items on the walls or mantle that could fall
· Unlocked windows (a common entry-point for burglars)
· Shoddy electrical outlets and connections that could cause electrocution or fires
3rd is to practice safety by creating a plan and talking to the family. These items and actions extend down the line of responsibility and importance. It keeps you, your family, and the extended loved ones (pets) safe and sound. It delivers a peace of mind knowing that you have a plan of action and ways to handle the situation in the event it was to happen or happen again.
Not Just Physical but Emotional, Too
The experience made me realize not only for the physical safety and well-being of loved ones and I but also the effects it has on psychology. It’s a terrible feeling of having to look over your shoulder and feel paranoid whenever someone is passing through.
A happy family is one that can focus on the good times.
Feeling safe and secure is one of the fundamentals in the hierarchy of needs thus leading to a longer, stress-free life. Because who doesn’t want to know their precious ones aren’t safe and sound?
I’m kind of glad it all happened because now I know what to do and that it’s a reminder of how precious everything is. I hope this cautionary tale helps you realize how fragile everything can be and that you act on getting situated with security.