We have decided to remove the security bars on the front of the house, causing my mother and grandmother much concern.
“What if someone gets into your house while you are home alone? You NEED those bars.”
They do have a point and I have thought about the possibility, but I don’t want to live in fear. Something like what they are imagining could happen anywhere, even in the Midwest where I grew up and my family still lives.
About a third of the houses on our street have no security bars on the front of their homes, some have no security bars at all. While in the minority, they look so nice and inviting – like home. My Grandmother jokingly said, “They can say at your funeral: She is dead but her house looks beautiful!”
David and I researched crime in our area. Statistically our neighborhood is safer in terms of murder, assault and other violent crimes than our old “safe” neighborhood in LA’s Westside. Of course, it did occur to me that crimes might not be reported as frequently in our current neighborhood. There is a prevailing attitude that the “police don’t care” and that “someone would have to be almost dead before the police would respond.”
In coming to this decision we questioned how we would feel while we were away? Would we be constantly worrying that we were being robbed? Would I feel safe in the house alone, especially if David was working late?
We intend to leave the bars over the windows on the rest of the house and keep our security doors. The bars can always be put back on the front windows if we change our minds. We received a post about security windows that were specially made for an old Craftsman style home that were in a Frank Lloyd Wright pattern. I hadn’t thought about having bars made that were attractive.
Our biggest concern is being robbed. The Los Angeles Police Department website suggests drilling a small hole in the corners where double hung windows meet and inserting a pin so that they cannot be opened. The company that put in our security system said that most old windows have been painted shut so thieves break out the glass instead.
The Los Angeles Police Department website also encourages engraving all electronics and valuables with the last 4 digits of your social security number and posting a sign stating that all your equipment has been engraved. I question if a sign serves as an advertisement that you have something to steal? Engraving (or marking) your possessions supposedly cuts down on the price the item can be sold for on the black market and helps to ensure your items will be returned if they are recovered.
We have also tossed around the idea of an alarm that would sound when glass breaks and a security camera. Overkill? I’m not sure if that is really necessary since we have an alarm system inside the house? Our neighborhood is so quiet and our neighbors are so nice that it is easy to forget that this area is considered rough.