Making sure you and your family are safe is at the top of everyone’s priority and Rita Miramontes, 63, is no exception.
Miramontes decided to take her safety into her own hands. She describes as being older, living in a secluded area, and at some times being afraid in her own house was the motivation she needed to start taking self defense classes. “It’s changed my life, changed my thinking, it’s changed everything in my life. I think it’s critically important the older you get especially to have more tools and more ways of defending yourself”.
With the encouragement and help from her son, a teacher at Tri-Cities WinigTsun and Kung Fu, Miramontes is now a regular at the self defense classes, attending multiple times a week for three years.
She says the tips she’s learned in the classroom has not only given her more confidence but also more knowledge that she brings into her home. “It’s very empowering as a mom especially and having children and grandchildren it really does help me. It’s like a bag of tools and now I have that bag of tools and I’m learning how to use them”.
News Channel 11 wanted to know what the experts recommend for homeowners, like Miramontes, that can be easy yet effective in protecting their homes from a possible home invasion or burglary.
Lt. Scotty Carrier with the Johnson City Police Department put together a list of top 11 tips that News Channel 11 viewers can implement. “Thieves are lazy individuals, they’re looking for a quick target, they want to be able to get in easily and get out easily with minimum distractions,” so he says these tips can “harden the target”.
11 Ways to protect yourself as a homeowner
1. Lock it up. Make sure you lock up both your cars and home, that includes windows and doors.
2. Light it up. Keep a light on especially outside you home to act as a deterrent.
3. Shut it up. Keep blinds and curtains closed.
4. Keep it solid. Make sure you have good quality doors so it’s hard for any offender to get inside a house.
5. Maintain your bushes. Keep any shrubs or bushes outside your windows trimmed low enough so you can see out the window or you can add thorny bushes.
6. Invest in a security system. If you have the means a security system can be a great tool to have.
7. Know your stuff. Keep track of any valuables you have and it may be wise to put any inscription in case they were to turn up at a pawn shop. Also, hide your valuables in a not so obvious spot.
8. Limit access to your house. Control who and why someone enters your home.
9. Think about getting a companion like a dog. A barking dog can alarm you if someone is in your home and can scare off anyone who may try to break in.
10. Be unpredictable. Try to vary your daily schedule.
11. Don’t post your business on social media. Local experts say not to post pictures or statuses saying you are out of town, because anyone with access to your accounts will know that as well.
News Channel 11 also talked with Amanda Worley, a self-defense expert as well as an ETSU Public Safety Officer and one of the teachers of Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.).
Worley emphasizes is the importance of taking advantage if you live in a neighborhood. “We strongly encourage to get to know your neighbors because they know who’s supposed to be in that subdivision, who’s not and they will notice any strange behavior or activities and they’ll let you know”.