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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Theft, Vandalism and Precautions for Seniors Safety

Theft and vandalism threatened my own safety this week. Vandals came over the private 6 foot tall gates to the backyard and went for the unlocked storage shed. In the hours sometime after midnight I heard noise outside my open window, and my dog barked, but I told myself it was just a raccoon or cat.

But even in our quiet little group of houses in the country I learned I need to be more careful. Nothing was taken, the shed doors were just left wide open, and something caused the thieves to run. They probably left when they saw the house lights come on and shine on the back yard. During the senior years one's personal thermostat may not work as well as it used to, and I frequently get up to raise or lower the heat, turning on the lights at that time.

What safety steps can a senior living alone take? I put "Dog on Duty" signs on the gates and house, added padlocks to the gates and shed, and increased the lights at night. At the front door and back door there are energy efficient 100 watt bulbs on all night. Two more 100 watt bulbs in lights can be turned on that illuminate the entire back yard, about 70 feet deep.

The neighbors have agreed to start a Neighborhood Watch program and we have exchanged phone numbers.

Late at night if I get up to change the thermostat I let the 75 pound lab-mix out into the back yard so he can patrol.

Per suggestions from others I also have pepper spray, a whistle (that neighbors can hear if help is needed), and a marine signal horn (just the sound of that would scare anything or anyone away!).

Readers your suggestions are welcome. To share your ideas just click below where it says "Comment" and add own.

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