Safety Starts with You!

By James L. Hamilton

The most important component of home and personal security is YOU!  or Us!!  The first line of defense to secure ourselves, our homes, our vehicles, and our property are the steps we take ourselves.

A very important thing to do is LIGHTS ON!

Here is the main thing:   You want your house lights to tell bad guys that you are home (when you are) OR to look like you are home (when you are not.)

Lights are cheap security! Fluorescent lights use a fraction of the electricity of old bulbs. Buy them. Turn them on. Lighting is no place to economize!

Use automatic timers! Then lights come on whether you are home or not, and whether you remember or not.  Light sensitive devices turn exterior lights on and off automatically.

Exterior lights. Keep your property well lit ALL NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT. Light driveways, backyards, front porches, and alleys.

Idea:  Mount exterior lights out of reach. On front porches we want attractive light fixtures, which generally are mounted within reach. Fixtures with enclosed bulbs help.

Idea:  Some residents like motion detector fixtures, because they startle intruders. Others prefer to keep lights on all the time so that intruders are not attracted in the first place.

Interior lights. A dark house always says “NO ONE HOME”.

Idea:  Keep some interior lights on ALL THE TIME.

  • If you are at home, have lights on. You most of all don’t want a dark house to attract intruders when you actually are there!
  • If you leave for the evening, leave at least one interior light on.

Idea:  Lamps on timers can go on and off at different times to make it look like you are moving around the house. Choose lights that are visible from outside.

  • Have lights come on at dusk in family areas and go off at bed time. Maybe keep one light on all night.
  • Have lights come on in bedrooms later in the evening. One light could stay on late.
  • Have lights come on early in the morning for awhile.
  • Be Creative! Develop a pattern of lights coming on and going off to simulate the normal activity of the residents. EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT THERE.

These are good idea. BUT you HAVE TO DO THEM!!

For more tips and information, visit our Safety and Security page here.

Jim Hamilton is a resident of the Boston Edison Historic District