Growing up in rural West Wales in the 1980’s I was constantly surrounded by lush green fields, crystal clear rivers and trees full of fruit. This house, my first house I have memories of, lay several miles from the nearest town, so far in fact that one of my nearest neighbors was the sea.
The rear of the property sloped gently down the valley several hundred meters and was flanked either side by tall, overgrown hedgerows leading into vast fields, dotted sporadically with sheep and other livestock. The bottom of the garden stretched out a fair way, especially as a child, an area about the size of an acre that was severely overgrown and probably housed the world’s largest ecosystem of brambles and stingy nettles. Beyond this brambly abyss and over the fence lay thick woodland that stretched as far as I can remember.
Strangers without the Danger?
Now granted I’m only in my late twenties but even back then we never used our door locks, the fact that we were firmly in the middle of nowhere helped sure. We would occasionally have a lost rambler stroll up the back garden to try and find directions to rejoin the coastal path or looking to refill their canteen but as far as ‘strangers’ go there was no such thing!
As a youngster who would spend most of the holidays making dens and campfires in the woods I knew the area pretty well and got used to seeing people I didn’t know strolling through the lower gardens or woodland and thought nothing of it.
By the time I was in my early teens and we had moved into the centre of our nearest town because it was much closer to our local secondary school for my sister and me. I remember one time walking home from school to find both the front and back doors locked, this was genuinely my first experience of being locked out. Had my parents remembered, this would have been one of those seminal moments in any youngster’s childhood, the moment you are given your very own house key.
A Turning Point
After a few hours outside, my mother returned home from work and apologized for forgetting to give me my key, I recall asking her why the house was locked, to which she replied, “Well, we don’t know the neighbors here yet and there’s more people around so it’s better to be safe than sorry”. Perhaps you could say that would be the turning point in a lot of people’s childhood, the moment where you think for the first time about crime and the consequences of it.
From that day onwards I began a routine before leaving the house, I would check my windows were closed and locked, check I had my keys in my pocket and check again before slamming the front door shut. This same routine I have had for nearly 20 years and so far so good I can thankfully say!
Do you have a home security routine that you stick too? If you don’t however, do you think you should?
This is a guest post by Sam Ryder who works in the security industry.
Sam blogs about different aspects of home security and offers tips and inside knowledge on how best to protect your home at LocksOnline.
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