Ames is a city with a lot to offer residents and visitors. It is a convenient 30 miles north of DesMoines if people want to experience big city excitement and shopping. Ames has the Iowa State University of Science and Technology, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Animal Disease center, and other U.S. Agricultural inspection services and research centers. This 24+ square mile area city was founded in 1864 to be a way station for the railroad. This is a city with many good employers and educational opportunities. Ames has many cultural centers, parks, and sports venues for its citizens and visitors to enjoy. One downside to Ames is its housing stock.
Ames’ statistics show a rate per 100,000 people that is lower than the rest of Iowa and lower than the national statistics. Ames has 1,903 property crimes per 100,000 people, compared to 2,047 for Iowa and 2,487 for the nation. Other information shows that Ames has a 12% lower property crime rate and 47% lower violent crime rate than the rest of the state and a 28% lower property crime and 59% lower violent crime rate than the national average. A person’s chance of being a victim of a property crime is 1 in 53 and of violent crime is 1 in 657. A recent study shows that the crime rate is only increasing by about 8% per year. Compared to similar cities in the nation, Ames is 59% safer. If a person wants more crime information, they can go online to sites such as area vibes or Neighborhood Scout. Actually, all a person needs to do is input the city and state name with crime statistics following it and a list of sites will come up. They can also input their address and see what is happening near their home or the house they are considering purchasing.
No matter how a city ranks nationally for safety, there is still an amount of crime. No one wants to be that 1 in 53 that suffers a property crime or that 1 in 657 that suffers a violent crime. There are common sense, low-cost actions to take, and more expensive security systems to think about for protection. Some people have lived in a neighborhood for years without any problems and feel very safe. Other people are new to a neighborhood and just don’t know how safe they are. Yet other people have life circumstances, sensitive jobs, or a lot of expensive belongings they want to protect. For people who feel safe in their location, there are still some steps to take: Know all the neighbors and try to stay on good terms with them. Community interaction promotes safety and home security. Don’t post on the internet or tell other people when a trip or night out is planned. No one should broadcast when their home will be empty. It is always a good practice to have good, deadbolt locks on doors and good latches on windows and to use them. Consider adopting a dog. Even gentle, loving dogs bark when someone is near the home. A barking dog can scare many criminals away. The other benefits of owning a dog make this a good move. Make sure the yard area near the house is well groomed and allows a clear sight line to the home from the street. A person looking out of windows should be able to see into every corner of the property. Good, motion-activated outdoor lights at the front and back of the home are good for home security and also make coming home after dark safer and more convenient. People living alone or disabled people should have a number to call for health problems or home accidents. There are panic button type devices to carry with one in the case of falls or medical emergencies. Also, it is a good idea to have a designated person who calls regularly to check on a person living alone.
For people who for whatever reason have security and safety concerns, there are additional steps that can be taken. When money is limited, there are still security devices to consider. When money is no object, security choices increase. There are security cameras that are as little as $50.00 each. Some of them are meant to be very visible and deter criminals and some are hidden to catch criminals in the act so they can be caught and prosecuted later. These less expensive security cameras record to be downloaded onto a smartphone or computer later. They are either wired into the electrical system or battery operated. Most of them are motion activated. The hidden cameras are in the form of other mechanisms and objects such as teddy bears, coat hooks, doorbells, smoke alarms, or blue tooth devices. These devices do not notify the homeowner in real time or live stream. The next step in security systems include alarms, security cameras, sensors for doors and windows, control pads, and live streaming to an electronic device on demand. The homeowner can check on the house from work or other locations in real time and can receive alarms when someone enters the home. These systems are meant to be homeowner installed and depend on being installed correctly. Some homeowners don’t feel comfortable installing their own security systems. The most expensive but reliable security systems are installed by professional security companies who then monitor them off-site. There are an equipment charge and a monthly monitoring fee. These systems often include panic buttons for emergencies and can offer additional features for fire detection, carbon monoxide levels, and so on. It is up to each homeowner to choose the level of security they need. For more information, go to the website.