Fort Worth is a great place to live and work, but much like its Wild West counterpart, Cowtown is not without its vices. In fact, the overall crime rate in Fort Worth is 44% higher than the national average. So, how does one go about protecting their home, assets, and lifestyle in the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas? The best way is to tailor your security precautions to the most common crimes in the area. That’s why we’ve taken a look at area crime stats from the FBI and compiled this handy, customized list of Fort Worth home security tips to help protect you and yours.
What kinds of crime are most common to Fort Worth?
The FBI looks at two main categories of crime when compiling its reports – violent crime and property crime. Property crime is the most prevalent type of offense in the Fort Worth area, and a major concern when considering prevention techniques and/or residential security services. In Ft Worth, the property crimes a resident is most at risk for are theft (a.k.a. larceny), burglary, and robbery. The odds of becoming a victim of property crime in this area are just 1 in 28. Additionally – and even more harrowing – there is one violent crime that is more common in Fort Worth than other metro areas: rape.
How do these types of crime affect Fort Worth home security?
Different kinds of crime require different kinds of security measures. In Fort Worth, your primary goals are going to be heightened personal safety and increased protection of your home and assets. The habits and preventative measures that you can and should develop on your own will focus on increased light and visibility, proper use of locks, peer or neighbor observation, and making your home look and feel lived in. When it comes to installing security systems, Fort Worth residents should make use of timers, sensors, cameras, and remote controls.
Fort Worth Home Security Tips
There are two different types of Fort Worth home security tactics you can take to increase your security against both rape and property crimes like theft, burglary, and robbery. The first are measures any citizens can and should do on their own. The second involves what kind of security packages you should consider when purchasing home security systems in Fort Worth. We will review both in this list.
- Always be alert to your surroundings, whether you’re out and about or at home.
- Security Hint: Cameras and image sensors are great for this at home.
- Keep all your doors and windows locked at home and in your car – when you’re away and inside. Sliding doors should be reinforced with a security bar, and double doors fitted with flush bolts. If your double doors are French doors, make sure the glass panes are extra secure and consider applying a shatterproof treatment. Back doors are especially vulnerable.
- Alarm System Hint: All basic packages should include door and window sensors. You should also look for Fort Worth alarm companies that offer interactive door locks with wireless control via a security app on your phone.
- Make sure all your doors and door frames are able to withstand some degree of force, and that the door hinges are on the inside. Consider using shatterproof glass on all doors and windows.
- If you have a garage, always make sure the garage door is shut, and if possible, locked. If the garage door has windows, make sure that anyone on the outside can’t see in through use of security film or coverings.
- Security Tip: Many alarm companies that offer wireless remote control can also connect your garage door to your phone app. This feature includes notifications for if the garage door is left open.
- When you move into a new place, either make sure all the locks have been changed or change them yourself.
- Install a peephole or small windows in your door that provide proper visibility for the space outside it.
- Security System Hint: Doorbell cameras are a great way to safely and effectively monitor your front door.
- Never open a door or even a car window to a stranger. If there’s an emergency, ask for or offer to call emergency services from the other side of the door or window while they wait outside.
- Alarm Package Hint: This is where a doorbell camera would come in handy. You can see and talk with visitors through your smartphone. You can also set your porch light to come on when activated by motion or when the doorbell rings.
- When outside, walk confidently at a steady pace, with clear direction towards a goal and keys out and ready. Scan possible hiding places (i.e. under your car, in the shadows by the tree in your front lawn) for anything suspicious.
- Always choose a well-lit route and avoid areas like apartment laundry rooms and parking garages – especially at night.
- All entryways to your home should also be well-lit.
- Security Package Hint: Motion detector flood lights are great for this. There are also certain camera set-ups with motion-detecting image sensors. Consider adding wireless remote control as a feature to your Fort Worth home security system. Make sure any lights or cameras are durable, waterproof, and have hidden, inaccessible wiring. If you opt for wireless control, you will be able to turn lights on or off without putting yourself in harm’s way – such as in front of a glass door. These systems also frequently have the option to flash the lights on and off when a fire or security alarm is tripped.
- If you live in a house with a yard, keep your landscaping well-trimmed and void of easy hiding places. Make sure your neighbors have an easy line-of-sight beyond any trees or bushes to your doors and windows. Consider burglar-deterrent plants like thorny rose bushes or bougainvillea. Also make sure to keep your yard clean of any branches, toys, tools, ladders, or other items someone might use to break or access a window. All fence gates should be secured with a padlock.
- Keep your house or apartment number in plain sight, but avoid using your name – even on mailboxes. If you are required to supply your name with your mailbox, choose one that locks and put your name on the inside.
- Keep your valuables out of sight and secure in both your car and your home. Consider investing in a locking glovebox or a small safe to store your assets. Do not rely on non-traditional storage such as the freezer or an empty cereal box or the out-of-sight-out-of-mind theory. Consider investing in a paper shredder and a security mailbox to protect your personal information.
- Never leave a note for friends, family, or service people letting them know you’re away anywhere outside, such as on the front door.
- If possible, never leave a spare key to any of your door locks outside. If you must, avoid putting it in obvious places like under the doormat. Consider an alternate solution such as wrapping it up in foil and burying it in the flowerbed or leaving it with a neighbor. However, it is always better to give the intended recipient a key ahead of time.
- For both your personal safety and the safety of your home, always let someone else know where you are and where you are going – even if it’s just a quick trip to the grocery store. If you go on an extended trip (like a vacation), make sure a give a trusted neighbor an itinerary and your phone number, or have a friend or family member frequently check on the house.
- Alarm System Tip: Choose a security package with smart, Geo-Fence protection that will automatically arm your home once you leave a designated geographic area around it.
- When friends or family are dropping you off, have them watch you go all the way inside and shut the door before leaving. Do the same when dropping off your friends and family.
- Never mention that you or anyone else lives alone while in public, such as on your cell phone. Check the security settings on your social media accounts to make sure only those you trust know you live alone or are on a trip.
- When you’re not at home, make sure it’s not obvious. Don’t leave all your lights on or off; instead, strategically leave on a lamp or a light throughout your home and install timers for your porch lights. If you’re only going to be away a couple of days, have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your newspapers and mail. Stop your mail and newspaper when you’re going to be away for a longer period.
- Fort Worth Home Security Feature Tip: If you choose to add wireless control to your system’s package, you have the option to add all or even just a few of your lights so that you can easily control them from your phone while you’re away. This is the easiest way to make it look like you’re home when you’re not.
- Whether or not you actually have the alarm system to back it up, put up signs and fake cameras indicating that you do.
- Security Alarm Tip: If you invest in a full alarm system, make sure your security package includes 24-7-365 monitoring. After all your Fort Worth home security system is only as good as the team behind it.