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If These Walls Could Talk

Home Security

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07/01/2010 - A few days ago I found evidence that someone had attempted to break into my home. The door lock was mangled and wood splintered, but it had held. When I mentioned the attempt to a neighbor, she said that someone had also opened her bedroom window the night before. Apparently the sound had awakened her and the intruder had fled.

Summertime pranks? or tough economic times prompting desperation? Burglaries and home invasions are up nationwide. Our culture has changed in many ways. Accountability to a community is much less now in this highly mobile society, than it was in the days when people were connected to one place.

After the incident at my home, I spoke with one of Casper's local personal security experts. A part time handgun instructor that helps people obtain concealed carry permits, he admits that he is a bit more safety conscious than most. "Not every homeowner has a siege mentality" he said laughingly when speaking of solid ways to bar one's door. He admits there is no substitute for God's protection, but is concerned that women look too frequently to their too-human mates for protection. "Your white knight won't always be there". A proactive responsible attitude is the best stance.

There are many simple inexpensive ways to create a more secure home. Trim bushes and foliage away from the house and walkways. Motion sensor lights that turn on when someone comes near are great deterrents and cost less than fifty dollars. Sets of magnetic door and window alarms can be purchased for twenty. Though the loss of property from burglary is serious, it's much more serious to think of someone entering while you are home but unaware. Since "home invasions" have become more frequent, this is a valid concern. Motion sensor lights and alarms may not help as much if you're gone, but give you warning if you are there.

Simple awareness also helps. Notice anything amiss such as a pet outside or a light on. Always go with your gut instinct even if you can't pinpoint the reason things feel "off". If there is any sign of intrusion or damage, leave immediately. Never confront someone in your home unless you're forced to. If you find someone has entered while you were asleep, barricade yourself in your bedroom. Bedrooms should have real locks, and you always sleep with your cellphone in your room.

Our goal should not be to live in fear, just responsibly. As we equip our cars with spare tires and emergency gear, we need to equip ourselves and our homes also. If a plan for emergencies is in place, we react correctly under stress.

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