Our family is at the center of our personal universe. The only place where we have some control over our environment is in our home. Think of it like a box. We can make our home reasonably safe by fortifying doors with deadbolt locks and sliding window openings with blocking devices.

Don’t procrastinate. There are things you can do to improve the safety of your home.

Safety at home

“Hold periodic family meetings to discuss what if scenarios of real life situations.”

Ask yourself: do I live in a safe neighborhood? If not, can you relocate to an area with lower crime risk? Evaluate your own home from the street like a burglar would and take action to minimize risk. Deter crime by planning exterior nighttime lighting that reduces the ability to see into your home. Maintain foliage near points of entry and provide lighting for nighttime access.

When away, invite your neighbors to actively watch over your home and return the favor. Have a family meeting to discuss home security rules and practice it daily. Make an annual date on the calendar to update your home security plan.

Safety in the world

When family members leave that zone of protection, it’s important to have a security plan for public routines. Evaluate each family member’s daily lifestyle for level of crime risk, making a list of daily routines, locations, times and activities.

If you don’t go to work or school in a safe place, can you change it? Can you change common destinations that are unsafe? Review steps how to reduce crime risk as you hear warnings in the media and plan ahead and pick safer destinations or timing for errands.

Considering hypotheticals

Hold periodic family meetings to discuss what if scenarios of real life situations. For example: what if we need to use an ATM? What steps should we take to make the process safer? What if we need to go to the shopping mall? What precautions can we take to be safe in the parking lot? What if someone approaches to rob us while walking to our car? What should we do and how should we react? Where would we go and who would we notify in case of emergency?

A family security plan and paying attention when out in public will significantly reduce the risk of being a crime victim.