When I in my last year of school at University Illinois Chicago I moved into a studio apartment on the first floor of a building in Chicago. While burglary prevention was on my mind, I wasn’t overly concerned about it being on the first floor because outside my window was another building, a dead end into a brick wall, and the only entrance to the tiny walkway behind my window was guarded by a 16 foot locked gate with barbed wire on the top.
I thought I had done my due diligence in making sure my apartment was safe. One day I left to go to work, and when I came home I found my tiny little apartment had been ransacked. I had been robbed. My windows were both left wide open, and the burglar actually dropped my jewelry box and a trail of my few nice pieces of jewelry in his haste to the alley.
When the police arrived, they said the gate was locked. I was furious. My landlord had been doing work back there during the day, and left it unlocked while he went back into the building, and came back to lock it later not noticing my air conditioning unit lying smashed in the tiny alley. Yep, my air conditioning window unit was what allowed them to gain access to my room.
That day I lost a lot of my jewelry, my best friends laptop I had borrowed to finish a final exam paper, my expensive calculus calculator, all of my text books, my TV, my DVD player, my radio, and anything else this burglar thought he could pawn easily. I was so frustrated because that alone meant he made several trips in and out of my apartment before getting startled by something and dropping my jewelry box in the alley, but I was thankful I didn’t come home earlier as I may have caught him in the act and this could have had a whole different ending.
Since I couldn’t break my lease, I made my landlord move me at no charge to myself to a larger studio apartment on a higher floor, but I will never forget how violated that burglary made me feel.
I wish I could say every apartment I lived at in Chicago after that had a home security installed, but I did try to take steps toward making my apartments a bit safer. I made sure my windows had locks on them, and stop locks for when the air conditioning units were installed.
One thing I did was add home security signs to my windows even if I didn’t have a home security system. While it certainly won’t prevent a break in, often times even seeing these signs on the door and windows can make a burglar choose a different home.
We now live in a our own home which means we were able to add the level of protection my family deserves to it including a complete alarm system. I take my family’s safety very seriously.
Learn the Characteristics of a Burglar
Tips Preventing a Burglary:
- Always lock your doors and windows. Especially when you are leaving or sleeping.
- When you move into a new place, arrange for a locksmith to come and check the safety of your window and door locks. You can also DIY with the help of a home improvement store.
- Leave lights on when you go out. My mother taught me the beauty of automatic timers which can turn lights on and off for you when you aren’t home. Don’t forget to vary these through out the year.
- Always keep your garage door closed and locked.
- When traveling ask a neighbor to collect your mail and check your home for delivered packages. You can also ask the post office to hold your mail until you come home.
- Don’t forget the outside appearance of your home. Find lawn care if you will be away from your home for a period of time.
- Sliding glass doors are big weak points. Check with your home improvement store on how you can strengthen these weak points.
What steps to home security have you taken to protect your family from a home invasion?
This post has been sponsored by Home Security Store. The above story really happened to me, and all thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.
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