Although it is regarded as one of the safer states in the US (Washington’s violent crime rate is 28% lower than the national rate), recent statistics released by the FBI have found that Washington’s property crime has jumped in the last decade, with the current rate 39% higher than the US average.
While this does not mean Washington should be ruled out for any wannabe homeowners, city crime is always something to be aware of, especially when it comes to recent spikes which are hard to pin down. If you are planning to move to cities such as Spokane, Tukwila or Seattle, then you should be aware that property crime is rising. For example, the average property crime rate is 178.6 per 100,000 people, while in Spokane alone, that number is 3846.2 per 100k.
The cities themselves, of course, are still excellent places to find your home (violent crime rates are the twelfth-lowest in the country). But if you are planning to own a place in Washington, there are certain things you can do to safeguard against property crime and ensure you are protected if it happens to you.
Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive
It’s no good to simply react when living in a city with a high property crime rate, especially when you can actively protect yourself financially and practically before a crime even occurs. Insurance is essential when it comes to owning and safeguarding property.
For instance, homeowners insurance in Washington is both efficient, and a worthwhile investment, especially when considering the amount you can claim for should anything be lost or damaged due to burglary or vandalism. No one gets to choose who’s house is or isn’t broken into, so it’s always best to prepare for the possibility and treat it seriously.
Change The Locks
The only person who should be able to enter your property is you and your family. With this in mind, once you have moved into a new house or apartment, the first thing you need to do is ensure that the locks have been changed and the security systems are reconfigurated. This will include finding a professional locksmith and also asking the agent of the property for the instruction manual to change the alarms.
Strong, durable locks should be placed not only on the doors into the property but also on sliding glass doors, windows, sheds, garages and any storage facilities. As well as this, burglar alarms should also be re-evaluated and replaced if they are not up to standard. Ordinarily, these systems should have photocell or magnetic contacts on doors, windows and any interior space. Make sure, however, that each one has multiple sensors, as this will reduce false alarms and prevent the risk of wasted police resources.
In 2022, there are a number of security gadgets and apps which can safeguard your home in case of an intruder. For instance, doorbell cameras are becoming more and more common, with the ability to receive a notification whenever someone is outside your door.
As well as this, invasive light can be a good way to deter would-be invaders, so purchasing some motion sensors that cover the surrounding area of your property is a good idea to safeguard each corner. Cameras should also be set up to capture any entry point to the property. Even if you are not home when a home invader strikes, camera systems are extremely useful when it comes to identifying intruders and assisting police with their investigation.
If you have recently moved to a city in Washington, then the chances are you’re unfamiliar with the surrounding areas, neighbourhoods and locals. In this way, you should try to get to know your neighbours as soon as possible, as you will need to know what is normal for the community and what is abnormal. When this is learned, you will be able to remain vigilant and notify authorities of anything that you think is suspicious.
For instance, slow-moving cars that you do not recognise hovering near your property or strangers knocking on doors for no transparent reason. In order to do this, it can also be a good idea to lower any fences or trim hedges which might block your view. This is not only useful to stay aware of what’s going on, but burglars and home invaders are also put-off by increased visibility and lack of hiding spaces.