People living in Ann Arbor, Michigan are living in one of the best 100 small to medium towns in the United States according to Livability.com. There are lots of things to do and enjoy in this town. Yet there are security concerns for many residents. One in 37 people will be the victim of a property crime each year. That is a relatively low rate compared to many large cities in America, but no one wants to be a victim. There are many steps homeowners can take to keep their homes and families safe. There are also measures to take when out and about to be safer.
Homeowners in different neighborhoods need to assess their level of risk and decide what level of security is appropriate for them. Sitting down as a family to discuss home security and adopting measures that will be convenient for all family members and give everyone a feeling of safety is important. Each family member should have some input. Then, the family should look at neighborhood and city crime information and decide how safe their neighborhood is. Some information to gather before the family meeting includes: City crime statistics for the whole city, then for the neighborhood the home is located in. There are websites for Ann Arbor that have all the needed information including maps showing where reported crimes have happened. Gang activity in the city and near the home’s location. For instance, the Ypsilanti neighborhood has active gangs including the West Willow Crips and the West Side Gang. Elsewhere in the city, the North Side Gang is active. The numbers are small but increasing. Have there been many crimes reported in the news media lately? Is gun ownership in this city increasing? Have there been any riots, protests, or looting recently or is the city peaceful? Have neighbors stated any safety concerns for the neighborhood? Does the neighborhood have good police coverage or a neighborhood watch group that is active? How safe do family members feel on a day to day basis? This information can give the family an idea about what safety measures are needed for home security. Some levels of home security include: Having good locks on doors and windows, trimming shrubs and trees for good visibility from the street, and having good exterior lighting at night.Owning a dog and having some beware of dog signs clearly displayed. The dog does not need to be vicious, only have a convincing bark. Thieves will often bypass a home with a barking dog if there are homes without dogs nearby. A growing percentage of thieves will distract or disable a dog and commit robbery.The homeowner can purchase a gun and learn to use it for family protection. This is only a deterrent when the homeowner is there and can get to the gun. There is a chance of the thieves taking the gun from the homeowner and using it against them. Gun ownership comes with family safety risks and responsibilities.Some homeowners put up fake security cameras and security company signs to deter criminals. This will work for some criminals, but not all.Real security cameras are not that much more costly and actually record criminals in the act so police can identify and catch them.Complete security systems with off-site monitoring by security companies are becoming more popular as people feel the need for more home security. These systems have cameras, alarms, and motion detectors. The family needs to deactivate the security system at a panel by the door when they enter the house, then reactivate it. When someone enters the house and does not put the correct code in, the system notifies the security company who then notifies the police department. Some security systems notify the homeowner by cell phone when there is an intrusion.
A wide range of alarm systems and security cameras are available. Some of them are backed up by security company off-site monitoring, and some of them rely on the homeowner monitoring them via smartphone or some type of computer. Some security cameras are live feed with no data storage, and others send photos to a computer for storage. Large nation-wide security companies such as ADT have a choice of security systems for the homeowner to purchase. Then, there are monthly monitoring charges ranging from $36.99 to $58.99 and up. Other security companies have different levels of security equipment and monitoring for the homeowner to consider. One major consideration is whether to get an alarm system tied into the home’s electrical system and home land-line or to opt for a wireless system relying on cell phones and internet connections. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. Burglars are sometimes able to disable alarm systems relying on the electrical system of a home. Some burglars are able to hack home alarm systems to disable them. No system is perfect but any system is far better than no system at all. Alarm systems will deter most criminals and record the actions of the ones who do break into the home. Talking to the representative from a local security company is the first step in deciding what security system is right for the family. Alarm systems protect family members when they are home, but outside the home, people must take some safety measures of their own. Be alert at all times to what is around you. Before getting in a vehicle, look inside to make sure no one is lurking there. Look out for suspicious people hanging around a parking lot before going to the car. For more information on home security, visit the website.