Written by Lake City Presbyterian on November 2, 2017
Crime and the fear of crime creates special problems for older adults. Crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility, not just a job for law enforcement. Older Adults can learn how to protect themselves from crime by following these simple, commonsense suggestions. Share these tips with your neighbors and friends, to make it tough for criminals to work in your neighborhood.
AT HOME . . .
- Never open your door automatically. Install and use a peephole.
- Lock your doors and windows. (Three quarters of the burglaries involving older persons involved unlocked doors and windows; and, less than one half of these robberies are reported.) Keep your garage doors locked.
Vary your daily routine.
- Use “Neighbor Watch” to keep an eye on your neighborhood. A concerned neighbor is often the best protection against crime because suspicious persons and activities are noticed and reported to police promptly.
- Don’t leave notes on the door when going out.
- Leave lights on when going out at night; use a timer to turn lights on and off when you are away for an extended period.
Notify neighbors and the police when going away on a trip. Cancel deliveries such as newspapers and arrange for someone – a neighbor’s child, perhaps – to mow the lawn if need be. Arrange for your mail to be held by the Post Office, or ask a neighbor to collect it for you.
- Be wary of unsolicited offers to make repairs to your home. Deal only with reputable businesses.
- Keep an inventory with serial numbers and photographs of resalable appliances, antiques and furniture. Leave copies in a safe place.
- Don’t hesitate to report crime or suspicious activities.
- Install deadbolt locks on all your doors.
- Keep your home well-lit at night, inside and out; keep curtains closed.
- Ask for proper identification from delivery persons or strangers. Don’t be afraid of asking . . . if they are legitimate they won’t mind.
- If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to place the call for him or her yourself.
- Never let a stranger into your home. Do not hide your keys under the mat or in other conspicuous places.
- Never give out information over the phone indicating you are alone or that you won’t be home at a certain time.
- When you are gone for more than a day, make sure your home looks and sounds occupied . . . use an automatic timer to turn on lights, radio or TV.
If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger may be inside, DON’T GO IN. Leave quietly and call 911 to report the crime.
See you next month and God Bless,
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