Last week I had KCMO police officer John Trainor come to my home for a free security check. This is a complimentary service for homeowners–and so very useful! It took about thirty minutes, and was easy to schedule on-line by directly emailing John (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a date.
Many of his suggestions and comments were common sense: don’t leave ladders near your home; keep windows locked, keep storm doors locked, don’t keep purses, laptops and other items of value visible near windows (to prevent a ‘smash and grab’ burglary). He also recommends keeping bushes trimmed (can be a hiding area) and plenty of lights outside the home–near the garage, between homes, and in front and back areas. Bars on basement windows help, but according to John, many thieves (50%) enter through the front door: they will knock, if no answer–they kick the door in. There are many safety devices you can install on doors to reinforce them: jambraces, 1″ deadbolts with a reinforcing collar, strikeplates with longer nails — all available at your local hardware store. John also left a helpful brochure “Burglary Prevention for Homes” with references and details on other suggestions for improving home security. I highly recommend scheduling one of these visits to your home–then take the time to implement the suggestions discussed.
Having two daughters, I also asked John about self-defense for women. He suggested the girls and I attend one of the free self-defense seminars operated by the department. This is a four hour class that includes hands-on demonstration and lecture. Go to www.kcpd.org and click on W in the A to Z headline for more info.
It’s a terrible, personal violation to experience a home burglary or assault. And it’s easy to say you don’t have time to follow through on preventative measures. But just by reading this blog, it’s on your mind! So put ‘improve home security’ on your to-do list. It’s worth it!