Summer is here. Sunny, warm and long days mean getting outside and spending time with friends and family, but according to research data, they also mean spikes in crime rates—anywhere from a 10 to 35% increase. Nice weather means people are more likely to be out and about, and your home is more vulnerable to a break-in or crime. With homeowners away and valuables left unguarded, property crime becomes more lucrative.
Here are Our Four Summer Safety Tips
Summer is also a great time to move exercise routines from basements or indoor gyms to the great outdoors. But even in broad daylight you're at potential risk, especially if you're exercising alone. Since you'll probably be carrying a smartphone during your run or walk, it's worth using apps like ADT Go (free with any ADT security system), which includes family location sharing and an SOS emergency response feature. It's always a good idea to tell someone where you're going, even if it's just around the block for a quick jog or down to the river valley for a walk. In addition, give friends and family an idea of when you'll be back. If you ever feel unsafe, use the ADT Go SOS button to talk to an ADT agent who can call authorities or needed, or simply talk to them as you walk through a potentially unsafe situation.
Know Your Surroundings
Pay attention to everything. It takes practice to develop constant awareness, but it's worth the effort. By intentionally examining your surroundings, you can significantly reduce potential risks.
● Bushes, shrubs and blind spots — Are tall trees or bushes blocking the view? Does the path you're on have multiple blind spots? Paying attention to natural surroundings gives you advantage against any opportunistic criminals that may be around.
● Take out your headphones — While listening to music is great for working out or passing time on public transit, it naturally draws your attention inward. To stay secure, turn down the volume or take your headphones out altogether.
● Who's around you? — Criminals may attempt to follow you until you reach a less public location. Look back occasionally, and if you feel like you're being followed, vary your route and talk to an ADT agent via ADT GO. Potential bad actors will copy you, making it clear they're up to no good.
Protect Yourself on Public Transit
While public transit is convenient, the sheer number of users crammed into close quarters on buses and trains increases the risk of property crime. According to a recent study from the University of Huddersfield, Crime on Public Transport, these transportation services create "a unique, potentially specialized, and certainly concentrated arena within which crime and disorder may occur." Protecting yourself on public transit means knowing where your belongings are at all times.
The crowded nature and continual movement of trains and buses make it easy for passengers to assume bumps and jostles are simply part of the ride, while criminals may use the opportunity to grab keys, purses or wallets.
Your best bet? Hold purses, bags and other large items on your lap, and put wallets, keys and smartphones in front pockets or carry them in your hands.
Make Your Home a Hard Target
You probably already know that a dark house and unkempt lawn can signal no one is at home and tempt criminals. But you may not realize that when you're out during the day—even briefly—burglars could be considering a brazen break-and-enter. Use your ADT smart security system to time lights, check-in on your home and even see who’s at your front door. You can even remotely lock and unlock your front door with the ADT app. And of course, make sure your ADT yard sign is displayed and visible from the street as the first line of defense.
Want to boost your summer safety and enjoy everything the warm weather has to offer?
Remember to account for risks that don't always make the headlines. Lock up when you go out, exercise safely, protect yourself on public transit and always pay attention to your surroundings as you enjoy your summer.
1) Maciag, Mike. "Where Summer Crime Spikes the Most." Governing, October 22, 2014. Accessed June 20, 2018. http://www.governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-summer-crime-rates-increases-police.html
2) NSW Police. "Crime Prevention and Safety Tips for Summer" Accessed June 20, 2018.http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/106951/personal_safety_tips_for_summer.pdf
3) Newton, Andrew. "Crime on Public Transport" University of Huddersfield, January 2014. Accessed June 20, 2018. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277327477_Crime_on_Public_Transport