Heading out on vacation? The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your home is secure while you’re away enjoying yourself. Though security systems help ease your mind, there are cheaper ways to prevent break-ins.
“The neighborhood works together to keep the neighborhood safe,” says Capt. Chris Carrigan, District Commander for the Northwest district of the Raleigh Police Department.
Part of keeping the neighborhood safe is reporting suspicious behavior or unusual cars parked in the area. Capt. Carrigan encourages residents to err on the side of caution. Often after a break-in, he says, people will mention that they saw an unusual van or car parked in the area, but they didn’t want to report it in case it was someone just doing their day-to-day business. He urges residents to make the call and let police follow up.
“Improving the involvement of people in a neighborhood reduces vulnerability,” he adds.
The department urges neighborhoods to create community groups on Nextdoor.com as a means of communicating unusual activity. Plus, it’s one of the methods that local police use to disseminate information to the public.
Local residents can also create a neighborhood watch if one doesn’t already exist. When enough people are interested in participating, groups can reach out to their local district police station. The department will assign a community officer to attend a local meeting and help set up the community group.
Raising the Alarm
You no longer need a long-term contract to set up a security system in your home.
Nest Cam: This security camera live streams to your phone; you receive unusual motion or sound alerts. An optional service called Nest Aware records all activity so you can review at any time. Cost: $199 + $10/month for Nest Aware
SimpliSafe: This self-installed wireless security system takes the benefits of 24/7 monitoring without the headaches—no landline, no annual contract, no hidden charges. Cost: $400 for the hardware + $14.99/month
EZVIZ: One of the cheapest cameras on the market, the EZVIZ mini offers a wide-angle view, a magnetic base for easy installation on metal, a memory card slot so you can record activity and phone alerts. Cost: $70 + $5/month for optional cloud storage