You already know that the year’s darker months affect your mood, energy levels and social life. But, did you know that your risk of experiencing crime skyrockets during the portion of the year where the days have more darkness? Stanford University recently found that murder and rape decreased by 43% and 56%, respectively, in that extra hour of sun you get each night during Daylight Savings Time.
These numbers are certainly scary, but we can help you confront these fears with actionable advice for reducing your crime risk.
- Stick to street lights during dark hours
All signs point to light being a crime deterrent. “...better lighting increases the likelihood of being seen by witnesses or police, which in turn discourages criminal activity,” as the University of Virgina’s Katie Welter explains. So, sticking to a well-lit path - and the more people around you, the better - is a smart risk reduction strategy.
- Keep your home’s exterior lights on during dark hours
If you’re not typically home as the sun goes down, it’s a good idea to put your home’s outdoor lights on a timer, and advise your neighbors do the same. This precaution makes it likely that prospective burglars will simply move on to a darker house or neighborhood where they won’t be so easily spotted.
- Carry a SABRE personal alarm with you at all times
A personal alarm with built-in LED light can help you attract witnesses when you’re under the cover of darkness.
Get a Mini Personal Alarm with LED Light, Door Stop Alarm and Door or Window Alarm all roleld into one Dorm / Apartment Kit. Print this coupon for $5 off this kit at The Andersons - find a location near you!
- Use the buddy system and stay alert
A companion is a built-in witness and reduces the odds a predator will see you as a vulnerable target. “The person at greatest risk to become a victim is someone who is alone late at night and also under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” explains Karen J. Terry, PhD and criminal justice professor.
Pro tip: The buddy system advice even expands beyond human relationships. For instance, are you just going out to grab the mail? Bring your dog or a personal safety tool (such as pepper spray or personal alarm) along.
- Run errands during the daytime
If you’re going out to grab gas or drop something off at a friend’s house, ask yourself whether it can wait until the morning. If you absolutely must go out after sundown, bring a buddy or personal safety tool, stick to a well-lit path and leave your home’s lights on while you’re out.
Be sure to head over to The Andersons, where you can get all you need to feel secure this winter. From reflective gear to pepper spray to lighting fixtures, this general store has you covered.