According to the U.S. Department of Justice, senior citizens usually experience lower rates of crime. But when seniors are victimized, there is a 92 percent chance the crime will occur in or near their homes.
“As we age, our safety and security needs change, so it’s important to take extra precautions to keep ourselves and our senior family members safe,” said Steve Shapiro, director of product management for ADT Security Services. “Although statistics show seniors are less likely to be vulnerable to some types of crime, they are more likely than any other age group to be victims of crime in their own homes.”
To help better protect America’s seniors from property crime and personal theft, Shapiro offers the following essential safety tips:
• Never hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a planter, burglars will go straight for these typical hiding spots to look for spare keys. Spare keys should be left with a trusted neighbor.
• If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire, carbon monoxide and medical emergencies. These alarm system features can be life-saving if you, or a loved one, become incapacitated while in the home.
• Install and use good locks on doors and windows. Good locks are the first line of defense against home invasion—it is also important to make sure your locks are in working order.
• Never give credit card, Social Security, phone card or bank account numbers to callers who ask for this information to “verify” prizes. If they have to ask for this personal information, it is a sure sign they are fakes – never give personal data over the phone, unless you know who you are dealing with.
• Recently there have been cases of seniors being targeted to send cash to someone posing as a grandchild. If you receive a call like this, you should always call the child’s parents for verification, even if they say they do not want their parents to know.
• When service or delivery people come to your door, ask for ID and check with their company if you are still unsure. When in doubt, research the company by calling police or the Better Business Bureau. Reputable companies will have no problem with your request for more information.
Most importantly, Shapiro wants everyone to remember, “Thinking about home security should be a top priority, especially as we grow older and live longer.”
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