new home safety questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ellebeaux, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Hi everybody!

    I'm going to buy a home in the next week or two. The two that I'm looking at are both 900 sq ft ranch style.

    As a single woman, I'm concerned about my privacy and safety. I really really really want to feel comfortable sleeping with the windows open. And in 10 months of looking I haven't been able to find a 1.5 or 2 story home in my price range.

    My question is: do you think planting blackberries or rosebushes or adding a window box would be a suitable deterrent? This may sound a bit paranoid but I don't want to live with a security system on all the time. I also have one dog and plan on getting another.

    thanks,

    Beaux
     
  2. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had burglar bars- a bit pricey, and at least one in the house (depends on state law- maybe each bedroom?) needs a quick release. Would ease yur concerns re open windows if affordable.

    I comprehend your fears- aside from love etc was quite glad to do my ruralizing with a man usually in the house, had had fears about it before I married.
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Large rosebushes would help, as will the dogs. I guess I've never been afraid to sleep in the house alone...have a bad habit of forgetting to lock doors (although I never forgot to do so when I lived in D.C. and Dallas).
     
  4. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it depends a great deal on where you live. City, suburb, village, out in the country without neighbors... bedroom community, farming/ranching area, small to mid-sized town with lots of bored teens... things like that matter.

    Crimes against single women seem to happen everywhere, but more in some conditions than others.

    Second-story bedrooms don't seem to be much of a deterrent, but common advice is to NOT give a possible intruder anything to hide behind. If you have somebody trying to bust a window, you'll want the whole neighborhood to be able to see what's going on. Which isn't going to happen if the intruder has a nice big bush right in front of your window that hides his actions. Good drapes or blinds that you close at night hide you from the opportunist who happens by, so that'd be a better option than hiding same opportunist from your neighbors, IMO.

    Motion lights in front and back of the house make a decent deterrent for night prowlers. A dog in your bedroom at night is probably the best insurance policy, while one kept in the backyard won't do you any good. If you live where crime happens, a security system that you USE is a good thing, or at least you could put those battery-operated security thingies on windows that you don't open very often. I wouldn't ever want to live with bars on the windows, but one thing that can be a wise investment is one of those security screen doors. Of course you'd have to keep it locked or else someone can just open it and wait for you to answer the door. On that note, if you're concerned about your safety, keeping your doors locked is step number one.

    In an urban/suburban setting, your best bet altogether would probably be to go to the local police station after you've moved into the new house and explain to them your concerns and ask their advice. They know what crimes are generally committed in that area and can tell you what you can do to prevent becoming a victim, in addition to the basic home safety info. Plus, if they know who you are and that you're living alone, they might be more likely to drive by and check regularly to see if all's well.
    Out in the country, you can see about the county sheriff's office doing the same for you, and good neighbors will look out for you too (it's a two-way street, of course).
     
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    my advice is to move as far out in the country as you can. i've been single a long time, and feel far safer away from humans. animals won't bother you if you don't bother them. can't say the same about humans.
     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I agree with "drapes" but I'd also have an internal security bar, or even a board which makes it impossible to raise the window beyond a certain height.
     
  7. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've got just one word for you: Dogs. Big dogs. More than one, so when one barks the other is right there to back the first one up (gives them courage when there's back up, just like people). German Shepherd, Rottweilers, etc. Dogs that people instantly recognize as "don't mess with me" breeds. If someone is thinking about getting into your house at night, they will case it out in the daytime when you aren't at home. People see them outside your house and they leave you the heck alone! The nice thing about it is they are on duty all the time, double as smoke alarms in the house, and give you unconditional love as well. Best bargain in the whole world.

    Here's my newest: http://pic5.picturetrail.com/VOL87/507137/7054006/91431857.jpg

    I live alone and have no fears at all. Never did.

    Jennifer
     
  8. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    I KNEW there was a reason not to get drapes for this place! Any peepers are the ones that are going to go blind. Or wish they had.
     
  9. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We live in a very rural area and at times, DH is gone--never afraid as I have the most ferocious Corgis around!! Hehe. Well,they sound really vicious from behind a door....sound like they'd take your leg off in a wink. I do lock the doors and windows when he is gone and let the two big dogs run around the locked yard. Take my cell phone to the bedroom,lock the bedroom door and Arthur the wonder Corgi comes to bed with me. As we both have occupations which take us away, at times, neighbors are used to seeing the cars gone and they are wonderful about telling us about any strangers around. As this is a dead end road most people don't have any business coming down the road and an unfamilar car will initiate phone calls. Sheriff is based quite a long way away but pretty sure the neighbors will take care of business. Know for sure the lady at the end of the road by the river has gone with her shotgun to roust out late nite revelers on the river!!!! Ex-UNICEF worker and been all the world and I don't think anything scares her. A lot of meth production around rural MO and so unsavory people around; something to think about and we just don't go riding the back roads like we used to....now grass down the center of the road means you might end up in a bad place. DEE
     
  10. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    There are some inexpensive thumbscrew locks for windows that work quite well. Just open the window about 6-8 inches and place the lock to not allow it to go any higher. Rose bushes are good too. Not too thick to allow someone to hide in and a PITA (literally) to be around. Don't forget good quality deadbolts for the doors. Learning how to use a 12 gauge also gives one great peace of mind.
     
  11. quadrants2

    quadrants2 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    barberry bushes or something that doesnt hide the windows but has throns would be great..also no substitute for a big dog.

    most crooks would probably rather fight a burglar alarm them a rottweiler!


    do as much as you can to feel safe and sound but not enough that you feel like you are in a cage.


    good luck
     
  12. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A dog that will guard bark is your best deterrent. Even a little squeaky dog will wake you up, and a criminal doesn't want that. For real protection, size matters more than breed. A big dog that barks and will lick you to death, is more of a deterrent than a quiet dog who will tear you apart. More people were afraid of my Irish Setter, 31 1/2 inches at the shoulder, than my Bouvier, who was a little smaller and quiet. The Bouv would have turned you into hamburger if told to.

    The dog(s) should be indoors, unless your interest is in guarding the garden. Outside dogs bark at critters, and can easily be poisoned or stolen, even if they are mean. For outdoors, a small gaggle of geese are the best guards.

    A motion sensing light is better than one that is on all night. For one thing, your neighbors won't appreciate that stupid light, and a criminal will simply avoid it if possible. You will ignore the permanent light, but be warned by the motion sensor coming on (unless you have deer who are constantly turning on the sensor).
     
  13. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. Your dog is a doll!
     
  14. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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    About dogs: I like the kind that only looks and sounds like something that nobody wants to fool with. It doesn't take a trained rottie or doberman to keep intruders off your place. Great Danes are notorious for being lousy home defenders, but what intruder wants to come in and find out if that's true? Nobody with any sense is going to take the chance that there might be true purpose behind that gaping, roaring, tooth-filled maw in the front window.

    The trouble with the kinds of dogs people usually associate with home protection is that many of them do need more training than they get, and if they get loose, they can do damage - too often to perfectly innocent bystanders. That's not a good thing to have anywhere. I'd say that the benefit of canine home protection comes with the obligation to train the dog so it won't be a danger to the neighborhood.
     
  15. old timer

    old timer Active Member

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    First off..... do you have reason to believe that moving into either place is going to draw "bad guys"? You have to calm down....and not get over anxious about living alone.....second.... get some exterior lights...some on motion sensors and some on all the time. unless you have advertised that you will be living alone or are in an area that has many people watching your comings and goings...you will be fine.. sure...get a dog or a cat...either will let you know if something is going on....or just make you feel better when you feel alone... get to know the local deputies...or the neighbors...they are your best friends when it comes to knowing what is going on when you are away or when you are not paying attention.... the way you wrote this makes me think that something in the past is causing this fear...and I or we can't fix that... and you can't live a happy life like that.......... move on and put your fears behind you....... get away from the world like most of us have and enjoy the peace and quit of independence and self reliance.............
     
  16. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Thanks everybody!

    These ideas are all awesome.

    I just placed a bid on a house - it is apparently owned by someone in law enforcement as there is a police scanner on, a security system, a $1000 Pella security storm door and lots of locks, and trophies for shooting awards. As well as a couple a buck mounts.

    The house is on 2 acres, with several flowering trees, pines, and a lower space in the back that I could turn into a pond. Plus several great gardening spots.

    Even though it's a 900 sqft ranch it's on a slight hill, the bedroom windows are high enough that a person would have to actually climb to get into them. Plus, whoever lives there now is meticulous and clean, down to writing on the water heater that it was installed on July 18th, 2001. So I feel like it's very well kept up (though I'm still getting a home inspection!).

    And, yes, I have had experiences to make me afraid to live by myself. But if I want to live my dream, I have to start getting over my fears!

    My beloved dog is in the process of dying from an apparent spinal cord tumor and I don't want to introduce another big dog right now. She walks like she's drunk and she's in some pain. Yet she keeps wanting to play and run around so another dog to roughhouse with would not be a good idea. I think, once I move in, that I'll adopt another older decrepit dog with a big bark so they can stumble around together but still makes lots of noise!

    Thanks for all the great suggestions - I can't wait to get a couple of geese and some chickens. Motion detector lights drive me crazy but I guess I can always turn them off. I hate the idea of living in a fortress but I also hate spooking at every single little sound at night, too!

    Beaux