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The story of Birmingham Alabama is a tale of two cities. That story is just a microcosm of the larger Southern U.S. Story. Depending on who you are and where you live, the city is the essence of Southern charm, and a distillation of every good thing you have ever heard about the South. However, if you are the wrong kind of person on the wrong side of the tracks, the city is dirty, depressing, and dangerous: a distillation of every bad thing you ever heard about the South.

But no matter which Birmingham you happen to live in, you have reason to be concerned about personal and home security. When it comes to safety, Birmingham is in the bottom 2% in the country. That is to say, only 2% of U.S. cities are less safe than Birmingham, AL. According to statistics provided by Neighborhood Scout:

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Birmingham Annual Crimes

VIOLENT

2,852

PROPERTY

14,157

TOTAL

17,009

annual crimes per 1,000 residents

VIOLENT

13.45

PROPERTY

66.74

TOTAL

80.19

Compared to the national average, your chances of becoming a victim of either personal or property crime is two to three times greater in Birmingham. If you live in the South, or are just visiting, here are some things you can do to stay a little safer, and breathe a little easier:

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Install an Alarm System

At risk of stating the obvious, if you live in one of the most likely parts of the country to suffer property crime, you need an alarm system. Southern charm is a lovely and quaint affectation by day, but utterly useless by night. A firm handshake and sweet tea will do nothing to keep the bad guys from breaking into your house, making off with your possessions, and inflicting bodily harm on the people you hold most dear.

ADT Birmingham security companies exist for a reason. They have the technology and know-how to install systems in both houses and apartments. Check availability for wired and wireless solutions. Like others, they also offer 24/7/365 monitoring services. In these parts, home security is not an option, it’s mandatory.

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Keep Your Tech out of Sight

Last year, the hot new iPhone came in gold. This year, it will be clad in a pinkish rose gold. Of course, you already know that, you have probably already preordered yours. You know who else knows that? The bad guys. Like you, they only want the best, hottest, newest tech. When you make a show of that golden, anodized aluminum, you make it easy for them to find it.

Even if you don’t like using a case at home, you need one for when you are out and about so that it is not obvious to everyone that you have the latest and greatest personal tech. There are many from which to choose. With the right kind of case, people will not know the difference between your iPhone, and a low-end Android. And that makes you far less of a target.

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Travel with Friends

The same tips and tricks that keep you safe when you are on holiday all apply when you are at home. One of the big ones missed by the more adventurous sort is to travel in flocks. It is true what they say: There is safety in numbers. Have someone walk with you to your car at night. Avoid shadows, poorly lit places, and any place that gives you the creeps.

These are the common sense type things that we forget or ignore when we are having a good time, or distracted by stress or drama. Groups of people don’t get mugged and abused. It happens to people alone all the time. Extraordinary precautions are rarely necessary, just the basic ones we have heard since childhood. They all apply in the heart of the Deep South.

 

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