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Keeping Families Safe: Home and Travel Safety

House in a Phoenix NeighborhoodYour home is a place of comfort and relaxation. To ensure it is also safe, it is important to understand and be aware of the many preventable acts that can occur in your home. Review the following tips and resources and help keep your family and community safe.  

Home Safety Tips 

  • Inspect your home frequently to ensure windows are locked, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are properly maintained, cleaning materials and medicine are stored away.
  • While parked at home, always keep your car locked and remind your children they should never play in or around a car.
  • Keep firearms unloaded and locked in a safe place not accessible by children. Talk to your children about the dangers of guns and the four steps they should take if they come into contact with a gun:
    1. Stop
    2. Don’t Touch
    3. Leave the area
    4. Tell an adult!
  • Remind your child to be careful around things that become hot like stoves and fireplaces, and to never play with matches or lighters.
  • Never leave your child alone near a bathtub or pool; even for a few seconds. A drowning can occur in less than an inch of water.
  • Prepare yourself for an emergency. It’s smart to learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, assemble a first aid kit, and keep important phone numbers nearby.

Family travelling by car to their vacationWhen you’re away, make them wonder who is home 

  • Keep travel plans and photos off social media networks. This is prime information for a thief.
  • During the summer months, burglars will watch and keep track of which houses are vacant. Leave a radio on, keep your curtains closed, leave a car in the driveway, and place timing devices on your interior lights.
  • A visibly empty house is a welcome sign for uninvited guests, have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your property, pick up your mail, and report any suspicious activity.
  • Double-check and make sure your vehicle, doors, and windows are locked.
  • Unplug your automatic garage door opener to reduce the chance of someone breaking into your house through your garage.
  • Remove your spare key from your hiding place, if you need to leave a spare key put it in a secure portable lock-box.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and away from windows where its easy to break in and steal items. Create a short list and take a photo of your valuables.
  • Place motion sensor lights around the exterior of your house and keep vegetation trimmed so it doesn’t provide hiding spots for burglars.
  • Place a dowel or board into the track of sliding doors or windows to prevent them from moving.

Statistics & Trends 

  • There is one burglary every 25.7 seconds. 1
  • Break-ins are 6% more likely to take place during the day when people are at work or school. 2
  • A 2016 survey revealed  the most common times for burglaries is between noon and 4 p.m. 3
  • Burglaries are highest during the summer time when houses are vacant for longer periods of time. 4
  • Homes without a security system are 300% times likely to be burglarized. 2
  • 95% of all break ins require forceful entry, including breaking a window, picking a lock, or kicking a door. 2
  •  Bedrooms are the most targeted rooms in a house during a robbery. 5

Resources

Safe Kids Worldwide - SafeKids.org/safetytips/field_venues/home
Safety.com - Safety.com/vacation-safety-tips/
Smarter Travel - SmarterTravel.com/keep-home-safe-vacation-9-essential-tips/

Sources: 

  1. "2018 Crime in the United States: Crime Clock Statistics.” FBI-Uniform Crime Reporting. Accessed January 2020.  https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/topic-pages/crime-clock
  2. “Burglary Crime Statistics and Facts.” National Council for Home Safety and Security. Accessed October 2019. https://www.alarms.org/burglary-statistics/
  3. Kuhns, Joseph B. et al. “Charlotte Residential Burglary Victimization Survey: Exploring Post-Burglary Adaption from a Victim’s Perspective.” UNC Charlotte. https://airef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Burglar-Victimization-Survey-Study-REVISED-REPORT-01-24-17.pdf
  4. Lauritsen, Janet L. Ph.D et al. “Seasonal Patterns in Victimization Trends.” Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/spcvt.pdf
  5. Tholen, Celeste. “Will your house be broken into this year?” Asecure Life. Accessed November 2019. https://www.asecurelife.com/burglary-statistics/