When I was in the US Army, as an Infantryman, one of the most important considerations for any mission, or tactical operation, was security. It was integrated into every area of the operation. The reason for this was that although the accomplishment of the mission is the first and foremost consideration, it stood in jeopardy if the person identified to conduct the tactical operation was systematically removed from the equation due to a lack of security precautions. And so it is in our everyday lives.
In almost all of life’s subjects, some sort of security has to be considered somewhere along the way. Are you buying a car? You need to get information on that particular car you’re buying to ensure it wasn’t involved in a flood. It has to be inspected to ensure safe motoring. Are you taking a flight? The staff always conducts a pre-flight briefing to alert you to the emergency exits (which, by the way, is also a security consideration) in case you have to evacuate. Are you taking a cruise? Lifeboats and flotation devices are the order of the day! Are you buying a home? You want to keep it and all your belongings as secure as you can make it.
The amount of security you implement for your home is determined by the level of peace of mind that you wish to maintain and the level of crime in the environment in which you live. Renting your home versus Buying is another consideration. If you live in the inner city, chances are you’ll want to have as tight a security level as possible. But if you don’t own the property, your options are limited. If you own, you may want to put up unsightly iron bars on your windows and doors to prevent intrusion from those sources. If you care about how your home looks from the outside, you’ll want a more subtle approach.
If you live in an affluent neighborhood, chances are you’ll be a mark for the more intelligent criminals and may want a more elaborate system. A few weeks ago, a co-worker had to leave work because his house, which was in a relatively good and affluent neighborhood, was broken into several times in a 24 hour period. This co-worker had a security system in his home which worked flawlessly every time the attempt was made to break in. However, it was determined that his home wasn’t broken into to steal something at that particular time. The crooks were attempting to time the response of the local law enforcement. They wanted to get as accurate a time from alarm to response on-site as possible. The only way the homeowner knew that they actually made it into the house was that a few items were moved!
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Okay, so what do you do short of setting up claymores and tripwires in your home (military devices that go boom for early warning and detection), brandishing an AK47 assault rifle, and hiring a bodyguard to facilitate the peace of mind you seek? You can call in a consultant and pay good money for him to analyze your situation, develop courses of action, and implement them. Few people, however, can afford to do that. If you did, you wouldn’t need to waste your time reading this article! In any case, you can utilize the Who, what, where, when, why, and how to rule (I kind of made this up, but it’s appropriate here). Take those one-word questions (not necessarily in the order given) and ask yourself:
1. How high is the crime level in my neighborhood and surrounding areas?
2. Why do I need home security? If you don’t have many valuables to secure, you may want to put rudimentary systems in place (i.e., deadbolt locks, floodlights, or automatic light switches).
3. What do I need to secure? Is it the whole house, the outside, the inside, the driveway way, or the perimeter?
4. I place monitoring devices, such as digital cameras, webcams, and other intrusion and surveillance devices. They’ll need to be placed in strategic locations.
5. What’s this gonna cost? This is a big one!
6. Who is going to do this for me? To whom can I entrust this endeavor. You certainly don’t want to use a fly-by-night company.
7. How is this going to be monitored? By me on my cell phone or by a monitoring company?
8. When did this get so friggin’ hard? (Sorry, I couldn’t find a suitable question for “when.” Oh yeah, here it is)
9. When do I implement this plan? (How’s that?)
10.How do I assess the effectiveness of the system before it is tested in a real-world situation?
There are as many options as there are questions, the likes of which could result in you being overwhelmed! Fortunately, there is the help. You could call the aforementioned consultant, provided you have the funds to do so, or you could start by doing your homework. You want to get as informed as possible on the subject at hand before you analyze your own situation and develop courses of action. Pay attention to articles on home security. I believe most, if not all, of your questions, will be answered.
As the economy fluctuates and times become increasingly uncertain, more and more otherwise good people will succumb to desperation, spiraling downward to the point beyond which they feel there is no return. Feeling there is no other recourse or alternative, they will turn to the proverbial life of crime. The law-abiding citizens who are not so entangled must resolve to take measures commensurate with the rising level of crime. These measures include. But are not limited to home security systems, surveillance, personal history searches, criminal background checks, etc. If it’s the peace of mind you seek, start by filling yourself with the necessary information!