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As crime increases, our safety measures must too

Jan 9, 2023, 12:01 AM | Updated: Jan 10, 2023, 4:31 pm

SPONSORED – It is easy to be accused of fearmongering when crime gets brought up, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety. This year alone, aggravated assaults are up 33%, robberies are up 30%, and violent crimes are up 32% percent overall. To make matters worse, not only is crime at its highest levels in nearly 30 years, but we are struggling to maintain a police force, a fact that is emboldening criminals and compounding the problem. With a dwindling police force that is already overburdened, don’t count on the authorities to rush to your aid quickly if you find yourself in trouble.   

How do we ward ourselves from these dangers? Hearing these statistics can feel overwhelming. One individual cannot fix this systematic issue, but we can take critical steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our property. West Coast Armory North owner, John Holschen, shares effective tips on how to keep your family and property safe during these tumultuous times.  

“Your family is your most valuable asset. Protect them!” Holschen, of West Coast Armory North, says. A security plan needs to be in place for how to safeguard your home against intruders, especially when occupied by your loved ones. Personal protection devices come in many forms, and understanding what those options are will help you choose one that will give you the greatest peace of mind. West Coast Armory North offers a vast selection of protection solutions at affordable prices. Perhaps pepper spray or a baseball bat is more your style; either way, something is always better than nothing.  

“Secondarily, we want to protect our property,” John says. If you’re a Seattle resident, your chances of becoming a victim of a property crime are 1 in 19. The odds are not in your favor. According to John, there are three locations to focus on when protecting the home. The first is at the property line; a fence or a wall will limit access to your home. Bright lighting around the premises is a worthwhile investment as it will eliminate blind spots where someone could hide. CCTV can also be useful for capturing areas that are not visible from windows. A third measure is an alarm system, like a driveway motion sensor. This would alert you of unexpected movement towards your home while exposing the potential intruder. For the animal lovers out there, a trained K9 companion could be an effective way to detect danger as well. Larger or guard dog breeds can serve as an alarm and a protector all in one.  

The second location to address is the perimeter of the house. John again recommends making sure you have sufficient lighting to spotlight any would-be intruders. He suggests hardened doors and locks, long screws on hinges, and deep-throw door strikes. Hardened windows, such as storm windows, with effective locks, such as dowel locks or rod sliders, would be optimal choices. Intrusion alarms paired with cameras will add additional layers of security. If cameras do not fit your budget right now, mirrors can be a cheaper and stylish alternative to addressing those blind spots.  

Now, you would hope securing your home’s perimeter, and property line would be enough to deter trespassers. Even if one manages to break through those barriers, it is crucial that you have a defensive plan in place. John recommends a “hard room”. Few of us are capable of following Jody Foster’s footsteps to install a panic room but having a dedicated room with a solid door is a minimum. Know your emergency exits and place phones where they can be easily reached. As a final recommendation for in-home defense, consider a defensive weapon such as pepper spray, a taser, etc. No one should live through fear and vulnerability. Instead, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. If you feel unprepared for those worst-case scenarios, do yourself a favor and contact John at West Coast Armory North to gain the knowledge and tools to protect yourself and what matters most to you.

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As crime increases, our safety measures must too