Tips on keeping your home secure

Kaleb Schwaiger

Staff Writer

Illustration by Rick Nease/Detroit Free Press

Illustration by Rick Nease/Detroit Free Press

For most students, college is the first time living on their own. With a new home comes the responsibility of keeping it safe and secure. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to ensure your safety at home and around town.

A hotspot for theft is the unattended vehicle. Since most cars reside on the streets, it is very easy for a would-be thief to try the handle and let themselves in.

The first step to car safety is to make sure your car is locked. While that  seems like a no brainer, a quick glance at the local police blotter reveals many thefts from unlocked vehicles.

Another tip for keeping the car safe is to ensure that any valuables are properly hidden inside the car. A laptop sitting on the passenger seat makes a juicy target.

When it comes to the home, the first things you can do are on the outside. Elementary Education major Krysten Reed suggested leaving a light on to illuminate the outside can keep trespassers off the yard, since they wouldn’t want to be seen around the house late at night.

Business major Austin Tabeling suggested that, aside from locking the door, displaying certain items can also deter crime. Tabeling has a light illuminating a large blanket of Justin Beiber on his window that faces the street. He feels safer knowing that his yard is lit up and Beiber is standing guard, a fair warning and a funny picture to passerbies.

Sociology major Kenyel Wilson has a dog, as well as ADT alarm service. He says having a dog is a great indicator of when someone is nearby.

“My dog will bark whenever someone comes around, so I always know when we have company,” Wilson said.

The ADT service is probably the number one safety feature in a house. Upon entering or leaving the house, one must input a pin to deactivate the alarm. If the alarm isn’t deactivated in time appropriate action will be taken by the security company to send help.

Even just a fake sign claiming that the house has a security system can deter potential robbers, because they don’t want to take a chance at setting off an alarm.

Business Management major Andrew Jacobs always feels safe in his home because of the weapons contained within.

“Having a handgun and a machete at home lets me protect myself and my family in case of intrusion,” Jacobs explained.

If having deadly weapons is too much for some people, there are other methods of self-defense as well. A baseball bat at every entrance makes for a useful defensive tool should someone come too close for comfort. Ag Business major Monica Monroe keeps pepper spray handy, and she feels safe with just the spray for protection.

If you suspect someone of hanging around your house, or perhaps trying to steal something, a simple camera setup can help catch the perpetrator. Economics major Randy Nguyen suggested purchasing a simple camera valued at $30 or so from RadioShack or Walmart.

“Once you have your camera, you can set it up to feed to your computer. Then set it to run at night and record, and if anything happens overnight you have video evidence,” Nguyen said.

In terms of safety inside the home itself, the bathroom can be particularly dangerous. Occupational Therapy major Alana Greenwood reminds people to not leave electronics plugged in, especially heating implements such as straighteners.

If an item like a hair dryer or a straightener were to fall into the tub while a person was showering, the current would be enough to fry the person.

While the threat of an invasion or robbery might not seem very real, these simple precautions can be taken to make sure that you are prepared in case a situation does arise.

For additional information about home safety, contact Parkland’s Public Safety office at 217-351-2369.