According to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, one in every five homes will experience a home invasion. With violent crimes and burglaries on the rise, it is easy to understand why many homeowners are choosing to live in gated communities. As people look to gated communities to keep their families safe, it forces individuals to ask, “Are these coveted neighborhoods really that much more secure?”
Is Your Family Safer Behind the Gates?
Unfortunately, the crime rates within a gated community are the same as non-gated neighborhoods. When doing further research into the security measures in many of the country’s gated communities, it is easy to see how a skilled burglar could penetrate these neighborhoods.
How Do Criminals Enter Gated Communities?
As most families living within a gated community tend to have expendable income, there are often many employees that come through the gates and into the neighborhood work on their homes. Contractors, landscapers, and other maintenance professionals are consistently allowed inside of the gates, often without contacting residents to make sure that there is permission for entry. Most clever intruders understand that the guards at the gate will allow them inside, and they have discovered some crafty ways to fool security professionals:
- Wearing disguises and providing fake IDs to guards at the front gate.
- Adding a magnetic company logo onto their vehicle to pose as a delivery or maintenance service.
- Providing an address with a corresponding story is typically enough to get strangers through the gates. Many guards rarely contact residents to confirm permission for guest entry.
Since gated communities are often misinterpreted to be incredibly safe, many homeowners leave their doors and windows unlocked while they are away. These homes are easy targets for intruders as they can simply walk in the front door and help themselves. With so many contractors and other employees regularly coming into houses, neighbors rarely phone the authorities when they see non-family members inside of your home.
How Do You Improve Your Home Security and Keep Intruders Out?
There are several actions that you can take to keep potential danger out of your home. If you live in a gated community, make sure to keep your windows and doors locked at all times when leaving your house. It is also a good idea to inform your neighbors when you will be expecting visitors during the day so that they will sense when something seems wrong.
Most importantly, it is crucial to make sure that your home has a comprehensive security system installed. Make sure that the wires are sufficiently hidden and that your unit has been professionally installed to prevent burglars from cutting the power. Having visible cameras and other security devices outside of your home can typically deter intruders; make sure to bulk up your unit to ensure its maximum effectiveness. If your security system is out of date or faulty, make sure to replace it with a new, effective unit.
The most important way to keep unwanted strangers from breaking into your home is to make it a difficult target. When looking to keep your family safe, giving outsiders the correct impression that your home is well protected can deter some of the most dangerous intruders from breaking in.