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Just Because You’re in a Christian Community Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Lock Your Doors

Wed, Dec. 14, 2016 Posted: 12:20 PM

If you’re a Christian, you likely seek out Christian communities. Primarily Christian communities tend to be closer knit. You’ll see your friends and neighbors at church and send your kids to a Christian school. These communities also tend to be safer places to live. However, you shouldn’t be lulled into a false sense of security. There’s a surprising amount of crime that happens in Christian communities, and we’re often the innocent victims who could have done more to prevent it.

7 Percent of Americans Don’t Lock Their Doors

In 2014, the Huffington Post took a randomized poll of Americans all over the United States. They found that seven percent of Americans leave their doors unlocked when they exit their homes for the day. That might seem like a small percentage, but out of a population of 319 million people, that’s more than 22 million people who leave their doors unlocked across the country.

The study also showed that 23 percent of Americans said that they rarely lock their doors when they’re home, leaving it wide open for perpetrators. This is a little more understandable since the vast majority of home invasions occur when the residents aren’t home, but it’s still surprising that such a large number don’t fear their surroundings.

Huffington Post’s findings showed that it was primarily those who live in rural areas with strong religious beliefs who left their doors unlocked. Because crime rates seem to be low and their neighbors are Christian, they’re extra trusting with their homes and valuables.

Why People Don’t Lock Their Doors

When discussing why many people don’t lock their doors, Dr. Baruch Fischhoff, a professor of decision science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said that it’s more cultural than anything else. “It’s not their personalities that explain why it’s done,” he said to Huffington Post, referring to the habit of not locking doors. “This is a cultural norm. It’s very low cost, and everyone grew up doing it so they just continue doing it.”

It’s a very common problem in Midwestern states. Areas like Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa, and other Midwestern towns are so sparsely populated, but loaded with Christians, that crime rates are low and people assume it’s safe. Areas in the Bible Belt also tend to trust their neighbors more than is due, putting them at a higher susceptibility for theft.

But burglars are aware of these trusting areas, and they often prey on them as an easy target. Even if your neighbors would never enter your home without permission, you never know if strangers passing through town will stop by when you’re not home and help themselves to your precious jewelry

Increase Security in The Home

The most important way anyone can increase security in the home is to lock their doors. Houses and vehicles are safest when secured before you run to the store, head to work, or even check the mailbox. It’s best not to leave things up to chance, no matter how well you know the people in your neighborhood.

If you’re looking for some other ways to increase security in your home, here are some top suggestions:

  • Keep Valuables Out of Sight: People will often come to your home under the guise of a salesperson to scope it out. If they see valuables lying around, they’ll come back later to help themselves. Hiding valuables inside your home is a great way to protect yourself against unfriendly visitors.
  • Cleverly Conceal Spare Keys: When the Hide-a-Key was invented, many people got one, and robbers knew exactly where to look before entering your home. Inside fake rocks, under the mat, and above the door jamare the first places a burglar will look. Consider smarter places to hide your spare key, like inside your garage, at a neighbor’s house, or in a random planter far from the front door.
  • Improve Your Home Security System: Or get a home security system if you don’t already have one. Security systems with alarms are expensive for the initial install, but they’re affordable to maintain, and it provides incredible peace of mind when you’re away from the home.

David Fournier