All right, I thought of some shit to keep y'all safe. You may be worrying your ass off after I put ideas into your head but if you listen to your Ol' Uncle Wirecutter you might make it through the night.
First off, sleep with your cell phone as well as a landline. Why, you ask? In case your landline gets cut, dumbass. But one thing you need to make sure of is that your cell connects to your local 911 when you dial that. It may sound stupid, but up until a couple of years ago, my cell would connect to the Highway Patrol in the county to the north of me. No shit, and I live in a city of 200,000.
But even if it doesn't, whoever it does connect to will transfer your call. It may waste precious seconds but it's better than nothing.
Train your youngsters how to dial 911. If they have cells, have them sleep with them too.
If you have a listed home phone, it may also have your address listed. All a tweeker has to do is stand outside your door, dial your number and see if you answer. Either get your number unlisted or see if you can have your address deleted when the new phone book comes out.
Turn the ringer off and the volume down when you leave the house. Granted, when the local tweeker is standing outside your house after dialing your number he's still gonna get your machine but now he's wondering if the resident's gone or inside sleeping and don't want to be disturbed.
Ladies, if you don't have a man living there, have a trusted male record your message for you. DO NOT record a message featuring just you and your kids. It may sound cute, but it tells a rapist or a baby-raper that there ain't a man there to stop him.
If you moved into a home with a system already installed, you can skip this part.
Every once in a while, I get a salesman at my door offering me a free/discounted security system. Then they offer a free home inspection to point out my weak spots. I politely tell them no, that there's somebody here 24/7 and send them on their way. Why? Let me tell you a story:
Cousin Eugene was a Professional. Not a professional security specialist, but a professional criminal. He bought himself a fancy uniform complete with patches and name tags, then went door to door soliciting home security systems complete with free inspections. Then a couple of weeks later him and his partner in crime would go back and burglarize the house that Eugene had cased out with the homeowner watching.
If you want a security system, call your local PD and ask for their recommendations, then call them yourself.
Appearances Are Everything:
Do whatever you can to make the Bad Guys think twice. Go to your local thrift store and buy a beat up old pair of work boots and park them motherfuckers right outside your front door. If there's not a man in the house, it'll look like there is one. If there is a man living there, it'll look like he's there now. It may backfire, though. I did this a few years ago and some homeless dude ripped them off.
If you can't own a dog, make it look like you do. Look in your local paper and find a BIG doghouse for sale cheap. Put it where a burglar would look. He's gonna wonder where the dog is. Inside? With you? And while you're at it, put some dog toys next to it, and a food dish wouldn't hurt. A BIG food dish.
I've got a sign on my door in both English and Mexican that reads "DAY SLEEPER - DO NOT DISTURB." This works especially well if you follow my next tip.
If you have a neighbor with more than one vehicle, invite them to park one of them in front of your house. Sweeten the pot by offering to help keep an eye on it.
Well, that's about it for this edition of Paranoia 101. More to follow at a later date.