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The Safest Cities in West Virginia, 2017

The heart of coal country, West Virginia originally became a state when it splintered from Virginia prior to the Civil War. The state is ranked 41st in size, 38th in population, and next-to-last in household income. But it's still beautiful country, filled with stark mountains, rolling hills, and verdant forests. It's Appalachia through and through, and the people here have long made a living off coal mining and logging. West Virginia is almost entirely mountainous, giving it the nickname of the "Mountain State" and making it difficult for urban centers to experience growth. (Its capital and largest city, Charleston, has just 51,400 residents.) Yet, it's the outdoors that keep people coming back to hike, fish, raft, ski, backpack, hunt, and rock climb. It also has many close-knit communities, where people watch out for each other to make sure they're safe.

15,295 avg population
4 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
33 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  GRAFTON

In the northeast of West Virginia, about a two hours' drive south of Pittsburgh, you'll find Grafton, a town of roughly 5,209 residents. It's the safest city in the state, seeing just 4 violent crimes and 5 property crimes last year, but locals will be quick to point out that Grafton has several other claims to fame. Mother's Day was founded in Grafton on May 10, 1908, and to this day the International Mother's Day Shrine stands in Grafton. It's also one of the first cities in the country to observe Memorial Day, and both of the state's national cemeteries are located in the city. Outdoors enthusiasts also have access to nearby Tygart Lake State Park and Pruntytown State Farm.

5,209 Population
4 Violent Crimes
5 Property Crimes

2. CHARLES TOWN

Founded by Charles Washington, the youngest full brother of President George Washington, Charles Town is located in the northeast corner of the state, just a hard hat's throw from Maryland. When Washington laid out the streets of Charles Town, he named them after his wife and his brothers. These days, it's a very safe place to live, and it saw only 2 violent crimes and 24 property crimes last year. 

5,816 Population
2 Violent Crimes
24 Property Crimes

3. FAIRMONT

Originally settled by subsistence farmers, Fairmont has grown into a place that has been home to many notable people. Home to about 18,741 residents, Fairmont is one of the safest cities in West Virginia, experiencing 1.65 violent crimes and 12.70 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. It's home to Fairmont State University, which enrolls approximately 4,200 students. As far as notable people, Fairmont has been home to Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Air Force officer and “The Fastest Man Alive” Frank Kendall Everest, Jr., among others. Fun fact: Fairmont is the port city that's farthest from the ocean, thanks to a connection with an inland waterway.

18,741 Population
31 Violent Crimes
238 Property Crimes

4. WEIRTON

Located right on the Pennsylvania border, this city of around 19,273 residents is close enough to Pittsburgh that some residents commute there for work. While steel production has declined, the local economy has diversified, and today Weirton remains a very safe city, seeing just 1.25 violent crimes and 15.93 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Perhaps surprisingly, Weirton has been depicted on film several times, serving as a backdrop for movies depicting the Rust Belt. It has appeared in The Deer Hunter, Reckless, Super 8, and the Disney documentary, America's Heart and Soul.

19,273 Population
24 Violent Crimes
307 Property Crimes

5. VIENNA

Established in 1794, Vienna was settled by Dr, Joseph Spencer, who was given the land as a result of his participation in the Revolutionary War. Until the 1940s, this town of roughly 10,515 residents was known for its Vitrolite production. These days, it's known for safety, and seeing just 6 violent crimes and 19.69 property crimes per 1,000 people last year.

10,515 Population
6 Violent Crimes
207 Property Crimes

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The Top 20 Safest Cities in West Virginia, 2017

1. Grafton

11. Parkersburg

2. Charles Town

12. Wheeling

3. Fairmont

13. Moundsville

4. Weirton

14. Dunbar

5. Vienna

15. Princeton

6. Oak Hill

16. St. Albans

7. Morgantown

17. Nitro

8. Bridgeport

18. Martinsburg

9. Buckhannon

19. South Charleston

10. Bluefield

20. Charleston

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in West Virginia, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Washington, 2017

Green, mountainous, rainy, and coastal, the state of Washington is a fascinating mix of wilderness and civilization. There's no other place in the country where towering mountains serve as a backdrop to island-scattered waters and verdant rainforests. The state is the 13th most populated and the 18th largest, though it was only admitted to the Union in 1889 (as the 42nd state). Its fjords, islands, and bays were carved out by passing glaciers long ago, but these days Seattle serves as a hub for technological innovation and keeps the state's eyes firmly on the future.

Washington is a big producer of lumber, but it's also the country's biggest producer of apples, pears, hops, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries. Meanwhile, manufacturing is also big business here, and Washington is home to companies that produce aircraft, missiles, ships, metals, machinery, chemicals, and transportation equipment, among others. Washington's mix of economic opportunity and untamed nature is exactly what many people are looking for.

36,745 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
37 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  DUVALL

Located in the greater Seattle metro area, the town of Duvall is a quiet place that roughly 7,882 residents call home. It also happens to be the safest town in the state of Washington, seeing a mere 2 violent crimes and 49 property crimes last year. The area was home to the Tulalip and Snoqualmie Native American tribes, but was eventually settled by veterans of the Civil War. Locals enjoy participating in community events, which include an annual Easter egg hunt, Christmas tree lighting, and the Duvall Classic Car Show that's held every summer. However, perhaps the town's biggest claim to fame is holding a music festival in 1968 in which a piano was dropped out of a helicopter. Hey, that sounds like fun!

7,882 Population
2 Violent Crimes
49 Property Crimes

2. SAMMAMISH

Not unexpectedly, the city of Sammamish is located just east of Lake Sammamish, which is in turn located east of Lake Washington and Seattle. It's a sizable city of about 52,365 residents, but it's still an extremely safe place, last year experiencing a total of 12 violent crimes and 7.49 property crimes per 1,000 people. While current-day Sammamish was part of unincorporated King County for most of its history, it was officially incorporated in August of 1999. Many locals enjoy golfing, and the town is served by courses such as the Sahalee Country Club, the Plateau Club, and Aldarra Golf Club (fun fact: Clint Eastwood worked as a lifeguard here in 1953).

52,365 Population
12 Violent Crimes
392 Property Crimes

3. CONNELL

Way back when, Connell was simply open range used by ranchers, but the community popped up when a railroad junction was created. Fast forward a couple hundred years, and today Connell is one of the safest towns in Washington, experiencing just 7 violent crimes and 36 property crimes last year. Many of the town's residents work locally in food processing, agricultural chemicals, and corrections. Nearby, the Hanford Reach National Monument and Scooteney Park offer outdoors escapes.

5,746 Population
7 Violent Crimes
36 Property Crimes

4. DuPont

Originally home to the Nisqually tribe, which lived off the area's shellfish and salmon, the DuPont area was later settled by the Hudson's Bay Company, when it established a fur trading post. DuPont was officially incorporated in 1912 and today this town of around 9,597 residents is one of the safest in Washington, seeing just 9 violent crimes and 76 property crimes last year. There are plenty of outdoor activity opportunities in the area, including the Sequalitchew Creek trail, from which visitors can see bald eagles and hawks, as well as the adjacent Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a 762-acre area that offers bird and whale watching.

9,597 Population
9 Violent Crimes
76 Property Crimes

5. PULLMAN

With about 32,174 residents, Pullman ain't no tiny backwoods town. Named after the industrialist George Pullman, the town is known as a fertile agricultural area that produces wheat and legumes. It has also been acknowledged by publications as a great place to raise kids and is one of the safest cities in the state, seeing just 1.03 violent crimes and 8.58 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Pullman is home to Washington State University, which enrolls 29,686 students and offers programs that focus on chemical engineering, agriculture, and pharmacy, among others. Meanwhile, the University of Idaho is just eight miles away, which has 10,474 students at its Moscow campus.

33,174 Population
33 Violent Crimes
276 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Washington, 2017

1. Duvall

11. Brier

21. Prosser

31. Washougal

41. Richland

2. Sammamish

12. Steilacoom

22. Grandview

32. Battle Ground

42. Sunnyside

3. Connell

13. Bainbridge Island

23. Kirkland

33. Lake Stevens

43. Ocean Shores

4. DuPont

14. Orting

24. Mercer Island

34. Ferndale

44. Fircrest

5. Pullman

15. Kenmore

25. Mill Creek

35. Pasco

45. Enumclaw

6. Lynden

16. Liberty Lake

26. Normandy Park

36. Bonney Lake

46. Edmonds

7. Selah

17. Camas

27. Lake Forest Park

37. Shoreline

47. Mukilteo

8. West Richland

18. Ridgefield

28. Newcastle

38. University Place

48. Mountlake Terrace

9. Oak Harbor

19. Maple Valley

29. Buckley

39. Stanwood

49. Bothell

10. Snoqualmie

20. Pacific

30. Edgewood

40. Cheney

50. Issaquah

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Washington, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Virginia, 2017

A little bit of south; a little bit of north— Virginia is a unique place where traditions swirl and history runs deep. The 10th state to enter the Union, Virginia is also the 14th most populated state and the 35th largest. One of its claims to fame is that it has birthed more presidents (eight, to be precise) than any other state. In 1607, the London Company established the first permanent New World English colony here. Its capital is Richmond, which served as the capital of the Confederate State of America during the Civil War. Its biggest city is the sunny town of Virginia Beach, which draws many travelers from the region.

While agriculture is prominent in the Shenandoah Valley, military facilities are a big economic engine in the Hampton Roads, and federal agencies that remain close to Washington D.C. are located in Northern Virginia, including the U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Foodies are probably most interested in the fact that Virginia is the third-biggest producer of seafood in the country, behind Alaska and Louisiana. Virginia really is a state where there's something for everyone, and that's why it makes for such an appealing place to move to.

45,955 avg population
3 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
27 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  BRIDGEWATER

Located in northern Virginia, southeast of Harrisonburg, this town was originally founded in 1835. Since then, it's been minding its business and staying out of trouble, because these days it's the safest city in the state of Virginia, seeing just 2 violent crimes and 16 property crimes last year. Back in the late 1800s, Bridgewater was home to the longest single-span covered bridge in the world. The town is also home to Bridgewater College - private, four-year, founded in 1880, and the first college in Virginia to admit women. It's also a great town for nature lovers, considering that Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest are both located nearby.

6,029 Population
2 Violent Crimes
16 Property Crimes

2. PURCELLVILLE

The town of Purcellville is located near the Maryland border in the northeast of the state and home to roughly 9,235 residents. Last year, it saw just 5 violent crimes and 51 property crimes, meaning that you can probably park your car with keys in the ignition— though you probably shouldn't if you prefer to live life on the edge. Purcellville has a long history that dates back to 1764. These days, it's home to Patrick Henry College, a liberal arts and government school with a focus on conservative, Evangelical Christianity.

9,235 Population
5 Violent Crimes
51 Property Crimes

3. BUENA VISTA

Buena Vista has had several names, “Hart's Bottom,” “Green Valley,” and “Green Forest" - finally settling on Buena Vista in 1892. Today it's one of the safest cities in Virginia, experiencing just 5 violent crimes and 42 property crimes last year. In town, you'll find Southern Virginia University, which enrolls about 800 students, as well as the former Buena Vista Hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as the main hall of Southern Virginia University. Fun fact: an old sign greeting visitors into town still reads “Welcome to Buena Vista: 6,002 happy citizens and 3 old grouches.”

6,575 Population
5 Violent Crimes
42 Property Crimes

4. VIENNA

Vienna has received praise from publications for its high quality of living. To start, this town of about 16,640 residents is very safe, experiencing a total of 9 violent crimes and 9.01 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. It's located in the Washington D.C. metro area, and public transit is readily available. In town, there are several highly ranked schools, a charming business district, and a hiking/biking trail that cuts through town. Locals also enjoy access to the nearby Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts and most will probably tell you how Vienna was the site of one of the earliest clashes in the Civil War.

16,640 Population
9 Violent Crimes
150 Property Crimes

5. LEXINGTON

A place with plenty of history, this town of about 7,356 residents was settled all the way back in 1777. In fact, it was the first American city (of what would become many) that was named after Lexington, Massachusetts, which was where the first shot of the American Revolution was fired. These days, Lexington is a much calmer place, where only 6 violent crimes, 62 property crimes, and 0 revolutions occurred last year. It's also home to the Virginia Military Institute, which is the oldest state-supported military college in the United States. Its cadets are exposed to a physically and academically demanding environment, which leads many to call VMI the "West Point of the South.”

7,356 Population
6 Violent Crimes
62 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Virginia, 2017

1. Bridgewater

11. Leesburg

21. Culpeper

31. Vinton

41. Martinsville

2. Purcellville

12. Smithfield

22. Virginia Beach

32. Bristol

42. Hampton

3. Buena Vista

13. Falls Church

23. Covington

33. Waynesboro

43. Big Stone Gap

4. Vienna

14. Fairfax City

24. Christiansburg

34. Warrenton

44. Newport News

5. Lexington

15. Salem

25. Richlands

35. Suffolk

45. Winchester

6. Manassas Park

16. Manassas

26. Harrisonburg

36. Chesapeake

46. Marion

7. Poquoson

17. Radford

27. Woodstock

37. Pulaski

47. Roanoke

8. Williamsburg

18. Staunton

28. Lynchburg

38. Charlottesville

48. Ashland

9. Dumfries

19. Alexandria

29. Front Royal

39. Farmville

49. Bluefield

10. Strasburg

20. Abingdon

30. Wytheville

40. Hopewell

50. Petersburg

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Virginia, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Vermont, 2017

Known for its natural landscape and tough winters, the state of Vermont's forests also boast more than 100 19th-century covered wooden bridges. This New England state has a small population of just over 600,000 people, making it the least-populated state after Wyoming. However, it is the leading producer of maple syrup in the country and has been ranked as the safest state in the country as recently as 2016. Also, even though the mean annual temperature in the state is 43 degrees Fahrenheit, its abundance of dairy farms helped make it home to the famous Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Vermont was one of only four states that were at some point a sovereign state, along with Texas, California, and Hawaii. It was the first state to join the original 13 colonies, and it was the first state to partially abolish slavery, later playing a big role in the Underground Railroad. Clearly, residents here are proud of their individuality and aren't afraid to speak out, which can be seen in their proclivity to vote for independent political candidates. This fierce independence, paired with the notable safety of the state, makes Vermont an attractive place to those looking to relocate.

11,898 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
18 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  NORTHFIELD

Located in a valley in the Green Mountains, Northfield is a quaint town of 6,090 residents. Locals are proud of their community, which happens to be the safest in the state, seeing just 4 violent crimes and 38 property crimes last year. Northfield has also been home to Norwich University since 1866, just after the Civil War ended. The private university is also known as The Military College of Vermont and is the oldest private military college in the United States. It's home to more than 3,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students and is recognized as “The Birthplace of ROTC” by the United States Department of Defense. When Northfield locals aren't studying up or relaxing, they're often taking a walk through one of the nearby woods, including Northfield Village Forest and Berlin Town Forest.

6,090 Population
4 Violent Crimes
38 Property Crimes

2. HARTFORD

This is the second-safest in Vermont, experiencing just 8 violent crimes and 69 property crimes last year. It's located on the eastern border of the state, across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire's Lebanon. Hartford also has two more rivers running through it: the White River and Ottauqechee River. Because Interstates 91 and 89 also run through it, Hartford is a regional transportation center. In fact, the rivers helped power local mills long ago, and eventually railroads also followed the path of the rivers through the valleys. Today, Hartford is composed of five unincorporated villages: Wilder, White River Junction, West Hartford, Quechee, and Hartford.

9,802 Population
8 Violent Crimes
69 Property Crimes

3. SHELBURNE

Shelburne's official size is 45.1 square miles, which is pretty gigantic for a city of about 7,890 residents. That's partially due to the fact that it sits on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, which accounts for 20.8 square miles of the city's total area. Shelburne is one of the safest cities in Vermont, seeing a mere 3 violent crimes and 69 property crimes last year. It was originally settled as a farming town and later experienced a boom in potash production, which also helps in fertilizing. These days, Shelburne residents pride themselves on being politically active, seeing a voter turnout of 89.4% in the Vermont general election of 2008.

7,890 Population
3 Violent Crimes
69 Property Crimes

4. MILTON

Local legend suggests that the town of Milton was named after the famed English poet John Milton, though historians will argue that it was actually named after William Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam, a British Whig statesman who styled himself as Viscount Milton. Either way, it's well-known that this town is also one of the safest in Vermont, seeing a total of 6 violent crimes and 12.19 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Many locals are employed by Gardener's Supply and Husky Injection Molding Systems, but when they're not clocking in, they might be checking out races at Catamount Stadium—several NASCAR racers have raced there, including local Kevin Lepage. Fun fact: the town was used as a filming location for the Farrelly brothers comedy Me, Myself & Irene.

10,743 Population
6 Violent Crimes
131 Property Crimes

5. WILLISTON

While Williston was originally laid out as a series of farms, over the years it has boomed in population, eventually becoming a suburb of Burlington (the most-populated city in Vermont). This town of 9,346 residents is also one of the safest in Vermont, last year experiencing just 5 violent crimes and 12.95 property crimes per 1,000 people. Local residents love to shop, as evidenced by the $434 million in retail sales that Williston made in 2007—the most in the state. However, its claim to fame is probably being home to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who just happen to be the founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

9,346 Population
5 Violent Crimes
121 Property Crimes

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The Top 20 Safest Cities in Vermont, 2017

1. Northfield

11. Barre

2. Hartford

12. Colchester

3. Shelburne

13. Middlebury

4. Milton

14. Bennington

5. Williston

15. Winooski

6. Swanton

16. South Burlington

7. Essex

17. Brattleboro

8. Barre Town

18. Springfield

9. Morristown

19. Montpelier

10. St. Johnsbury

20. Rutland

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Vermont, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

1 The Safest Cities in Texas, 2017

It may be a surprise to some that the official motto of Texas is “Friendship,” considering that the one they'd likely see on a T-shirt is “Don't Mess with Texas.” But that's exactly the kind of state Texas is: big, bold, and not afraid to speak out. The second-biggest state in the union, Texas only lags behind Alaska in size—and only lags behind California in population to boot. In fact, Texas has 4 of the country's 12 most-populated cities: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin, its capital. This concentration of population has helped draw a total of 54 Fortune 500 companies to the state, as well as some of the country's most popular sports teams, including the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Texas Rangers, and the University of Texas Longhorns.

Throughout its history, Texas has been ruled by Spain, France, and Mexico, and it has also been an independent republic, part of the Confederate States of America, and, of course, part of the United States of America. After the Civil War, the state's cattle industry was responsible for much of the economy, and it's the main reason why the state is associated with cowboys even to this day. It's that image of freedom, along with economic opportunities and warm weather, that keeps drawing people to move to the state.

56,877 avg population
3 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
27 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  KERMIT

Named after the American businessman, soldier, explorer, and writer Kermit Roosevelt, who also happened to be President Theodore Roosevelt's son, the city of Kermit adopted its name after the 26th president visited in person. These days, this town is known as the safest in the state, and experienced just 2 violent crimes and 18 property crimes last year. Located in the northwest part of the state, along the indent that hugs the New Mexico border, Kermit was originally established as a supply center that could serve the various scattered ranches in the area. After a drought, the town was almost entirely abandoned, until only one family remained. But when oil was discovered in 1926, a population boom energized the town again.

6,446 Population
2 Violent Crimes
18 Property Crimes

2. TROPHY CLUB

An upscale suburb located in the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Trophy Club is home to around 12,153 residents who probably tell everyone how cool the name of their town is. Trophy Club is also one of the safest cities in Texas, seeing just 3 violent crimes and 41 property crimes last year. Located just a cowboy hat's toss from Grapevine Lake, Trophy Club surrounds the Trophy Club Country Club, which boasts a golf course designed by golf legend Ben Hogan. Residents also enjoy easy access to inviting parks such as Oak Grove Park, and is located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Dallas via car.

12,153 Population
3 Violent Crimes
41 Property Crimes

3. COLLEYVILLE

Also a part of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Colleyville is located just about 3.5 miles away from Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, making it a great place to live for those who travel a lot, or just enjoy the sound of 747s flying overhead. Home to roughly 25,491 residents, Colleyville is an affluent town that's also quite safe, experiencing a mere 0.55 violent crimes and 5.14 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Golf aficionados have plenty of options to hone their game in the area, including Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club, Timarron Country Club, and Bear Creek Golf Club. It has also served as home to many of the area's wealthy and famous over the years, including MLB player Ivan Rodriguez, NFL player DeMarcus Ware, and several PGA golfers, including Chad Campbell.

25,491 Population
14 Violent Crimes
131 Property Crimes

4. FAIRVIEW

Neighboring the 289-acre Heard Wildlife Sanctuary in northeast Texas, Fairview is a close-knit town of 8,648 residents. Last year, it experienced just 4 violent crimes and 51 property crimes, making it one of the five safest towns in the entire state. The official motto of Fairview is, “Keeping it Country,” which is - quite honestly - pretty darn cool. Residents also have close access to McKinley National Airport, golf courses such as the Heritage Ranch & Golf Country Club, and the sizable Lavon Lake. As for the aforementioned Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, it boasts nature trails, gardens, and an 1880s prairie village.

8,648 Population
4 Violent Crimes
51 Property Crimes

5. HEATH

Home to around 8,176 residents and part of the sprawling Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, the city of Heath squeaks into the top 5 safest cities in Texas, seeing just 2 violent crimes and 56 property crimes last year. It's located right on the scenic Lake Ray Hubbard and is just 25 miles from downtown Dallas via car. Locals enjoy the rolling hills, distinctive homes, and views of the Dallas skyline, as well as seeing sails stiffen with wind as boats crash against the waves while pulling away from the Rush Creek Yacht Club.

8,176 Population
2 Violent Crimes
56 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Texas, 2017

1. Kermit

11. Little Elm

21. University Park

31. Horizon City

41. Roma

2. Trophy Club

12. Melissa

22. Celina

32. Socorro

42. Gatesville

3. Colleyville

13. Hutto

23. Cibolo

33. Coppell

43. Fredericksburg

4. Fairview

14. Keller

24. Sachse

34. West University Place

44. Canyon

5. Heath

15. Alpine

25. Anna

35. Royse City

45. Midlothian

6. Lakeview, Harrison County

16. Wylie

26. Southlake

36. Hewitt

46. Whitehouse

7. Murphy

17. Highland Village

27. Allen

37. Leander

47. Bridgeport

8. Fair Oaks Ranch

18. Perryton

28. Corinth

38. Bridge City

48. Georgetown

9. Memorial Villages

19. Friendswood

29. Woodway

39. Seminole

49. The Colony

10. Flower Mound

20. Prosper

30. Lakeway

40. Robinson

50. Seabrook

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Texas, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Utah, 2017

Known by many as one of the most scenic states in the land, Utah was for a long time part of the American frontier and was eventually the 45th state admitted to the union. It's the 13th largest state and has a population of about 3 million, making it one of the less densely populated states. It borders six different states, including Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. It also has a large population of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), which accounts for more than 60% of its residents. This makes it the only state in the country where the majority of people belong to a single church.

The official motto of the state is “Industry,” and its economy has helped it become one of the fastest-growing states in the country. It's a center for transportation, mining, education, and information technology, allowing the Utah to have the least income inequality in the country. A strong tourist industry also remains due to the many natural wonders and parks that Utah boasts. The state is actually positioned at the convergence of three different regions: the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Rocky Mountains. The result is a striking natural landscape, with five different national parks residing in Utah: Zion, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Arches. It's this natural beauty, combined with a strong economy, that keeps attracting more people to Utah each year.

33,908 avg population
2 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
24 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  SMITHFIELD

Near the northern border of Utah, wedged between the Uinta-Wasatch-Catche National Forest (which sits at the foot of Mt. Elmer) and the Bear River, lies the town of Smithfield. Home to about 11,375 residents, the town is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is also the safest in the state, seeing a total of 3 violent crimes and 70 property crimes last year. Founded in 1857 by Robert Thornley, Smithley was originally known as Summit Creek before it was renamed. Many people who live in Smithfield work at the local Schreiber Foods, or commute to nearby Logan, which is also home to Utah State University. The Idaho border is also less than 12 miles away due north.

11,375 Population
3 Violent Crimes
70 Property Crimes

2. EPHRAIM

Located in what looks almost like the dead center of the state, Ephraim is the largest city in Sanpete County and sits along U.S. Route 89. It's a smallish town of 6,546 residents, but it's also very safe, seeing only 4 violent crimes and 43 property crimes last year. Named after the Ephraim of the Hebrew Bible, the town has had its post office operating since 1856. It's also home to Snow College, a two-year state college that was founded in 1888 by local followers of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Residents also have easy access to the nearby Bald Mountain Wildlife Management Area, which, not coincidentally, is located on Bald Mountain.

6,546 Population
4 Violent Crimes
43 Property Crimes

3. PLEASANT GROVE

Known as “Utah's City of Trees,” Pleasant Grove is a scenic town that's home to 37,963 residents. It was originally named Battle Creek after a battle between Mormon settlers and Ute Indians. However, the settlers decided to step up their marketing a bit and renamed the town Pleasant Grove after a nearby grove of cottonwood trees. These days, it's one of the safest cities in Utah and experienced just 18 violent crimes and 6.93 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. A monument to the previously mentioned battle still stands at nearby Kiwanis Park, next to Battle Creek Canyon. Fun fact: the town was a filming location in the 1995 film Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain.

37,963 Population
18 Violent Crimes
263 Property Crimes

4. SARATOGA SPRINGS

Saratoga Springs is perched on the northern shore of Utah Lake and located about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. This city of 26,260 residents originally became a city in 2001, and that year had a population of just 1,003 people. Since then, it has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country while also remaining one of the safest cities in Utah—last year, it only saw a total of 14 violent crimes and 7.62 property crimes per 1,000 people. Saratoga Springs started as a resort town, inspired by the hot springs that are located near the source of the Jordan River. One of its claims to fame is being one of the few 21st century American cities that built its library with mostly private donations.

26,260 Population
14 Violent Crimes
200 Property Crimes

5. SANTA CLARA / IVINS

Santa Clara and Ivins aren't just neighbors, they're sister cities. In fact, they're so closely intertwined that they even share a police department. Together, this conjoined town is home to about 14,710 residents, and also happens to be one of the safest places in the state of Utah. Last year, residents saw just 3 violent crimes and 8.97 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Nearby, the massive Pine Valley recreation area offers nearly endless hiking opportunities, and Snow Canyon State Park is a mere stroll away. And since Santa Clara-Ivins is located in the southwest corner of Utah, residents can drive on over to Nevada and Arizona without breaking a sweat.

14,715 Population
3 Violent Crimes
132 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Utah, 2017

1. Smithfield

11. Syracuse

21. Enoch

31. Orem

41. Nephi

2. Ephraim

12. Pleasant View

22. Payson

32. Layton

42. Moab

3. Pleasant Grove

13. Bluffdale

23. Logan

33. North Salt Lake

43. Cottonwood Heights

4. Saratoga Springs

14. North Ogden

24. St. George

34. Lindon

44. Sandy

5. Santa Clara/Ivins

15. Heber

25. American Fork/Cedar Hills

35. Bountiful

45. West Jordan

6. Santaquin/Genola

16. Grantsville

26. South Ogden

36. South Jordan

46. Richfield

7. Salem

17. Farmington

27. Washington

37. Sunset

47. Harrisville

8. Spanish Fork

18. North Park

28. Clearfield

38. West Bountiful

48. Vernal

9. Lehi

19. Hurricane

29. Roy

39. Draper

49. Tooele

10. Clinton

20. Springville

30. Provo

40. Cedar City

50. Price

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Utah, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in Tennessee, 2017

As the 16th-largest state in the country by population, and 36th-biggest by land mass, Tennessee is a place where there's always two sides to the coin. Big city livin' can be enjoyed in Memphis (population 655,770) and Nashville (population 654,610), while nature aficionados are drawn to the Appalachian Mountains, which cover the eastern part of the state. Agriculture and manufacturing are two of the state's biggest economic drivers, producing soybeans, poultry, and transportation and electrical equipment. But so is entertainment, as Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum serves as a hub for the music industry and Memphis' Graceland and blues clubs serving as a big tourism draw. After all, this is a state that sent large numbers of troops to both sides in the American Civil War. It's a place where you'll likely hear three opinions in an argument between two people.

Whether it's the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the most-visited national park in the country), the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, or the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, there's something for everyone in Tennessee. The summers here are nice and toasty, and the winters are mild, making it a good place to visit any time of year. Coupled with the fact that there are many welcoming towns where families can feel very safe, Tennessee becomes an appealing destination for those looking to move.

38,228 avg population
6 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
37 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  OAK RIDGE

A city that captures the American imagination like few others, Oak Ridge is known for being the location of the Manhattan Project—the secretive operation joined by American, British, and Canadian scientists that developed the atomic bomb during World War II. This city also has the distinction of being the safest in Tennessee, seeing just two violent crimes and five property crimes last year. Though the war has long been over, Oak Ridge remains a scientific hub to this day. It's home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system, focusing on materials, neutron science, and other really cool smartypants stuff. To top it all off, it's home to Titan, the world's third-most powerful supercomputer.

29,297 Population
2 Violent Crimes
5 Property Crimes

2. BRENTWOOD

Located on the southern outskirts of Nashville, Brentwood is an upscale community of roughly 41,984 residents. It's one of the safest cities in Tennessee, last year seeing just 17 violent crimes and 8.74 property crimes per 1,000 people. It's also known as being one of the wealthiest cities in America when accounting for the average cost of living. Add in rolling hills, mild winters, and a ten-mile drive to downtown Nashville, and it's easy to see why Brentwood is such an attractive place to live. Maybe that's why it's home to some of the country's biggest country music stars, including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, and Carrie Underwood.

41,984 Population
17 Violent Crimes
367 Property Crimes

3. MOUNT CARMEL

A small, close-knit town where life is simpler and things are quieter, Mount Carmel is located just a rabbit's hop from the Kentucky border. However, Mount Carmel does have a quirky claim to fame: it's located on one side of the road. When highway 11W was built, it put all the residents on one side and left the cemetery on the other side. Then, during World War II, the Army built an ammunition plant on the other side too, putting most of the property in the government's hands to this day. So, even though Mount Carmel may be located on one side of the road, it's still one of the safest towns in Tennessee, last year experiencing just 2 violent crimes and 10.44 property crimes per 1,000 people.

5,458 Population
2 Violent Crimes
57 Property Crimes

4. NOLENSVILLE

Nolensville is a place where if you fire up the car, point the grill northwest, and hit the gas, you'll be in downtown Nashville in about 20 miles' worth of time. Though it's in close proximity to the state capital, life is decidedly slower paced in Nolensville, and that's how the local residents like it—all 6,562 of them. (Well, most of them.) It's a very safe city to boot, last year seeing only 7 violent crimes and 10.06 property crimes per 1,000 people.

6,562 Population
7 Violent Crimes
66 Property Crimes

5. LOUDON

Named after a colonial-era fort, Loudon is a quiet town in eastern Tennessee. It's split in half by the scenic Tennessee River, and connected by the Mulberry St. bridge. It's also one of the safest cities in the state, last year experiencing 7 violent crimes and 10.01 property crimes per 1,000 people. Offering quaint shops, great food, and easy charm, it's a great place to visit within 30 minutes of Knoxville, or to settle down and live slow.

5,797 Population
7 Violent Crimes
58 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in Tennessee, 2017

1. Oak Ridge

11. Greenbrier

21. Mount Juliet

31. White House

41. Red Bank

2. Brentwood

12. Collierville

22. Henderson

32. Smyrna

42. Lenoir City

3. Mount Carmel

13. Franklin

23. Maryville

33. Goodlettsville

43. Columbia

4. Nolensville

14. Erwin

24. Bartlett

34. Lafayette

44. Jefferson City

5. Loudon

15. Gallatin

25. Munford

35. Tullahoma

45. Winchester

6. Church Hill

16. Collegedale

26. La Vergne

36. Clarksville

46. Dunlap

7. Oakland

17. Jonesborough

27. Kingston

37. Bristol

47. Shelbyville

8. Millersville

18. Hendersonville

28. Martin

38. Dayton

48. Cookeville

9. Spring Hill

19. Atoka

29. Portland

39. Murfreesboro

49. Lexington

10. Germantown

20. Fairview

30. Soddy-Daisy

40. Johnson City

50. Milan

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Tennessee, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

The Safest Cities in South Carolina, 2017

As North Carolina's warmer and more southern twin, South Carolina appropriately shows off a palm tree beneath a crescent moon on its blue-and-white flag. Also known as “The Palmetto State,” South Carolina has a hot climate and plenty of beaches (due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean), making it a destination for those looking to escape the frosty weather up north. While definitely not small, South Carolina is only larger than nine other states, though it does have the 23rd biggest population in the country. It's never been known to back down from a fight, seeing a third of all combat action in the Revolutionary War, as well as being the first state to secede from the Union prior to the Civil War.

While it doesn't have any sprawling metropolises, South Carolina does have several sizable cities where residents nevertheless enjoy having a bit more breathing room than the typical urban hub. This includes Columbia (133,803 people), Charleston (132,609 people), and North Charleston (108,304 people). It also has several well-known educational institutions, including The Citadel, Clemson University, the College of Charleston, and the University of South Carolina. Coupled with the safety found in many of its cities, it's an attractive place to live.

22,463 avg population
7 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
51 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  TEGA CAY

Boasting a pretty name that sounds like it could also be a pirate ship or a Caribbean island, the city of Tega Cay is actually named after the Polynesian words for “beautiful peninsula.” In fact, it really is located on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Wylie, and it is also beautiful. As a huge bonus, this town happens to be the safest in the state of South Carolina at the moment, experiencing just one violent crime and 149 property crimes last year. It's located right on the northern border of the state, adjacent to North Carolina, and is located a mere 20 miles from downtown Charlotte.

9,501 Population
1 Violent Crimes
149 Property Crimes

2. FORT MILL

A suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, Fort Mill nevertheless resides on the other side of the border in South Carolina. This town was originally established back in 1873 and was named after a British colonial-era fort. The city grew quickly in the 1800s when textile mills were built in the area, and today it's one of the safest cities in the state, last year seeing 25 violent crimes and 14.71 property crimes per 1,000 people. The city is rich with history, being home to more than a dozen locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the William Elliott White House, which was the site of the last full meeting of the Cabinet of the Confederate States of America. Fort Mill also has its eye on the future and is home to notable businesses such as LPL Financial, Continental Tires, and Shutterfly.

13,532 Population
25 Violent Crimes
199 Property Crimes

3. MOUNT PLEASANT

It may not be a mountain, but Mt. Pleasant really is pleasant. A neighbor of Charleston, this sizable town offers beautiful beaches and plenty of safety, experiencing only 1.65 violent crimes and 15.79 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. As the third-largest municipality in the state, Mount Pleasant has plenty to see and do (besides the beaches), including Patriots Point, a naval and maritime museum that's also home to the World War II-era aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. More than a dozen locations here are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Paul Pritchard Ship Yard, which was operating as long ago as 1702, and was South Carolina's only state shipyard.

80,446 Population
133 Violent Crimes
1,270 Property Crimes

4. MAULDIN

Located just outside Greenville, this city is perhaps best known for being home to Kevin Garnett, the championship-winning NBA player who was also a member of the USA Olympic team. Another thing that it's known for is safety since Mauldin saw only 1.47 violent crimes and 16.28 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Locals here enjoy getting outdoors and take advantage of area state parks such as the Paris Mountain State Park and Croft State Park, as well as Sadlers Creek State Park on Lake Hartwell.

25,246 Population
37 Violent Crimes
411 Property Crimes

5. BLUFFTON

A stone throw's north of Savannah lies Bluffton, a close-knit community that's been often referred to as “the last true coastal village of the South.” Coincidentally, Bluffton is actually located on a bluff along the May River, and it's also one of the safest cities in South Carolina, experiencing 2.29 violent crimes and 18.61 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. There are plenty of nature and beaches to experience nearby, including the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Hunting Island State Park, and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. But those who want a taste of history can check out historical sites such as the Church of the Cross and the Seven Oaks house.

15,689 Population
36 Violent Crimes
292 Property Crimes

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The Top 50 Safest Cities in South Carolina, 2017

1. Tega Cay

11. Goose Creek

21. Sumter

31. Chester

41. Laurens

2. Fort Mill

12. Clemson

22. Gaffney

32. North Charleston

42. Spartanburg

3. Mount Pleasant

13. Greer

23. Greenville

33. Cayce

43. Batesburg-Leesville

4. Mauldin

14. Clover

24. Lancaster

34. Columbia

44. Greenwood

5. Bluffton

15. Lexington

25. Forest Acres

35. Union

45. Florence

6. Hanahan

16. Summerville

26. Aiken

36. Beaufort

46. Walterboro

7. Fountain Inn

17. Irmo

27. Clinton

37. Bennettsville

47. Cheraw

8. Charleston

18. North Augusta

28. Hardeeville

38. Easley

48. Darlington

9. Port Royal

19. York

29. Central

39. Orangeburg

49. North Myrtle Beach

10. Seneca

20. Conway

30. Newberry

40. Georgetown

50. Camden

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in South Carolina, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

DIY Guide: 101 Ways to Protect Your Home

From burglars to fires to stampeding buffaloes, you never know what kind of situations your home may have to deal with. That’s why it’s so important to prepare in advance, especially since doing so can save a lot of money and headache in the long run. While many people think that there’s a handful of things they can do to ensure their home is protected, the reality is that there are dozens and more. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide to protecting your home on a budget.

1. Stay in touch with your neighbors.

Many people are too shy to call the police when they see suspicious activity. Ask your neighbors to keep an eye out on your property, and they can prove to be the best alarm system there is.  

2. Scout the perimeter and find weaknesses.

No one knows your property better than you do. Take some time to scope it out from the outside and you’ll likely find a few ways to make it easier to protect. 

3. Keep the plants and shrubs located around your doors trimmed.

They can often provide cover while a thief works on getting through your door. Plus, shrubs generally look nicer when they’re trimmed!

4. Plant thorny plants by your windows.

Windows are a popular way to get into people’s homes, but no robber wants to sit in a thorny, painful bush.

 5. Put up a fence around your property.

This decreases visibility and makes it more difficult to access your property. It also lets your dog roam outside, if you have one.

6. Don’t leave expensive items outside.

This includes bikes, grills, and yes, even cars. Your garage is the perfect place to put things away, and that way crooks won’t be enticed by your possessions.

7. Keep your cats away from windows when you’re out of town.

Burglars know that your cat is by the window because it has nothing else to do and is waiting on you. Try putting plants or other objects on your windowsill instead. 

8. Don’t assume your small dog will offer any security.

Most seasoned robbers won’t be deterred by a small dog. In fact, there’s a good chance it will get stolen as well since they often fetch a good price.

9. Do assume a big dog is better for home security.

Simply put, the look more intimidating. A Rottweiler or pit bull can stop crooks before they even step onto your property.

10. Make sure your door and frame are made out of the same material.

If one is metal and the other is made of wood, it makes it easier for robbers to kick the door in. However, using the same material for both makes the door stronger.

11. Don’t forget to close your windows.

Sure, sounds simple, but there can be a lot of windows in a house. Some robbers will not feel comfortable with smashing one open.

12. Double-check the bathroom window.

It is often the most likely to be open because homeowners like to leave this one open in order to air out the bathroom. Robbers know this. 

13. Keep an eye on the cable guy.

Some crooks work with cable technicians and other workers that visit people’s homes to get insider information, like access codes and what kind of valuable can be found in the residence.

14. Change your access codes regularly.

If you give out an access code for your garage or back door, make sure to change it up regularly. This is especially helpful for those who have had laborers visit their home, or for Airbnb renters.

15. Install deadbolts on your doors.

The deadbolt is tougher to break or pick than other locks. This is especially true for a deadbolt that needs to be opened with a key from both sides.

16. Use a Simlock on your deadbolt.

A Simlock attaches to one side of your deadbolt, rendering it nearly un-pickable. It prevents the deadbolt knob from turning, which means even a locksmith can’t pick the lock. 

17. Reinforce your door’s strike plate.

The strike plate is the metal plate that is attached to your door jamb, which the deadbolt slides into. Check that the screws reinforcing the strike plate are 3 inches long, which will make it much sturdier.

18. Add a track lock to your patio door.

The patio door is usually easier to pick. By adding an additional foot lock, which fastens to the bottom of the door and bolts into a grommet in the door track, you can make it much more secure.

19. Make a homemade security bar for your patio door.

Simply take a length of wood, cut it down to size, and make sure it fits snugly in your patio door’s track so that it can’t slide open. This is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your door secure.

20. Install cheap, noisy door and window alarms.

Usually battery powered, these alarms simply give off a loud noise when a door or window opens and the alarm unit’s magnetic strip breaks contact with the frame. They are widely available at home stores.

21. Use curtains.

This will help hide your valuables from any crooks that may be trying to look into your residence. A robber’s job is easier If they know what’s inside.

22. Don’t forget about basement and garage windows.

You can install curtains on these too. Garages and basements are often stocked with valuables.

23. Don’t leave tools or ladders outside.

Tools can be used to break into your own home, and the ladder can make it easier to access the upper floors.

24. Talk to your neighborhood association or local representative about improving lighting on your street.

A well-lit street can scare off burglars, who prefer to work in the shadows. 

25. Consider forming a neighborhood watch.

Watchful neighbors are an excellent deterrent to robbers. And when an entire neighborhood is organized and knows what to watch out for, it can really improve the safety of the area.

26. Trim tree branches that can reach your second-story windows.

Though it’s riskier than a ladder, a tree branch can still provide a bold thief with a way into your home.

27. Keep fences and gates locked.

It can be easy to forget about these, but locking these can present another hurdle for crooks. 

28. Don’t leave a spare key in and obvious place.

Many people leave a spare key under the doormat or on the door frame. These are obvious places. Get more creative about your hiding spot.

29. Use a spare key lockbox.

Even better than a hiding spot, an exterior lock box will keep your spare key secure.

30. Better yet, leave your spare key with a neighbor.

A key lock box is tough to break into, but it’s possible.

31. Put large, reflective numbers on your mailbox and house.

This will make it easier for the police to find your house should you or a neighbor call them about a possible disturbance or robbery.

 32. Make sure your window locks are strong.

Especially on older windows, some locks can be jiggly and flimsy. 

33. Secure your car.

Preferably, you should keep your car secure inside your garage. If that’s not an option, make sure all the doors are locked and the windows are rolled up. Crooks can take valuables from your car or use the tools in your trunk.

34. Don’t keep spare keys in your wallet.

If you lose it, a robber gets the keys to your home and also the address from your personal ID.

35. Change the locks when moving into a new residence.

You never know who else has keys to your home, unless you’ve installed the locks yourself.

36. Add privacy films to exterior-door windows.

Some doors have glass that makes it easy for robbers to take a peek through. Privacy film will make windows blurry and stop robbers them from scoping out your residence.

37. Install metal bars on windows.

This may be an extreme step for some, but it adds a lot of security, especially for basement and garden-apartment windows. 

38. Install motion-sensor lights.

These can deter anyone from snooping around your residence at night, especially if you’re not home.

39. Consider installing exterior flood lights.

These are more powerful than standard bulbs and will add more lighting to the exterior of your home.

40. Have a neighbor collect your mail.

When on vacation or gone for business, a stuffed mailbox is a dead giveaway that no one is home.

41. Schedule regular lawn maintenance.

Another way crooks know you’re away on a trip is if your yard looks unkempt. A neighbor or landscaping company can keep your property looking sharp.

42. Install a safe.

This is likely the safest place to put your valuables. Safes can be installed in several ways, including by being bolted to the ground or by pouring concrete around it.

43. Install a peephole.

It’s a great way to see who is on the other side of your door. You won’t have to open your door to any strangers.

44. Consider buying a security mailbox.

With online theft more common than ever, a security mailbox is a great way to protect the checks, credit cards, and other sensitive information that arrives through the mail.

45. Use a key chain garage opener.

Thieves can get into your garage or home if they get access to the garage opener inside your car. A garage opener attached to your keys minimizes the risk.

46. Padlock your garage door.

Many garage-door locks are flimsy, so putting a padlock on the track of your garage door is a great way to beef up security from the inside. If there’s no hole on the track, you can also drill one in.

47. Install a door reinforcement kit.

–Many burglars won’t pick a lock, they’ll just simply kick the door in. A reinforcement kit adds a steel plate that wraps around your door, making sure the locks and door are sturdier. 

48. Get creative with your hiding spots.

Thieves don’t have all day to look through your house, and a creative hiding spot can save your valuables from being stolen. Try hiding them inside your vacuum cleaner, or inside an old jar or food container in your refrigerator.

49. Put timers on lights.

This is especially helpful if you’ll be getting home late or if you’re on vacation. Lights can confuse robbers, making them think someone is home.

50. Leave the radio on.

Another simple way to confuse robber when you won’t be home for a while. They might think that someone is home.

51. If you have an answering machine, don’t advertise your vacation.

If thieves somehow get your phone number, they can find out if you’re out of town or not.

52. Secure air conditioners.

In-window air conditioners can be easily taken out unless they’re bolted down. 

53. Make sure your pet door can be locked.

If you have a big enough dog, someone can slip through your pet door. Make sure you have one that can be locked when you’re not around.

54. Avoid doors with a lot of glass.

Glass doors can be broken, and so can small windows on doors. Robbers can reach through and access the doorknob.

55. Don’t advertise expensive items in your trash.

A big box for a flat screen TV is a dead giveaway that you have expensive items inside. Fold or cut up the box and then dispose of it.

56. Use home-alarm stickers.

For most robbers, it’s not worth it breaking into a home with an alarm, even if you haven’t installed one yet. (They don’t know that.)

57. Get a “Beware of Dog” sign

Even if you don’t have a dog, it can make a thief think twice about coming on your property.

58. Keep up with the Joneses.

Find out what kind of security measures your neighbors are using. You don’t want your house to be the easiest one on the block to rob.

59. Install inexpensive window break alarms.

These battery-powered gadgets are especially useful when paired with magnetic-strip alarms that sound off when windows are opened.

60. Use a door brace.

You’ll need to be home to use this one, but it’s one of the best ways to secure your door. It’s a bar that secures your doorknob against the floor, making the door difficult to kick in.

61. Get insurance.

Sometimes things happen that are out of your control. Even renters can get insurance just in case your possessions get stolen. 

62. Consider installing multiple locks.

A door with three locks looks more intimidating than one with a single lock. It takes longer to pick and it’s harder to kick in.

63. Don’t skimp on door locks.

The difference between a cheap lock and a quality one can be just a few bucks, but it can save you a ton of money in the long run.

64. Have a friend try to “break” into your home.

They can often spot a weak spot that homeowners can’t.

65. Secure your home even if you’re not leaving for long.

A trip to the grocery store can leave plenty of time for a seasoned thief to break into your home.

66. Check if your local police department offers inspections.

Some local departments are more than happy to look over your property. As an added bonus, you’ll meet the local police. 

67. Consider upgrading your doors.

Steel doors and door frames are stronger than wood.

68. Pay attention to local police alerts.

If there have been recent break-ins in the neighborhood, you should be on high alert and keep your eyes open.

69. Use a paper shredder.

Sensitive information that you throw out in your garbage can be more valuable than anything you have in your home. Shred all important mail and documents before throwing them out.

70. Don’t leave your portable GPS unit in your car.

Many GPS units are programmed to show where home is. If your car ever gets stolen at the airport or hotel parking lot, it can show the robber exactly where your unattended house is.

71. Hire a house sitter.

It’s fairly obvious but very effective. When you’re away, a house sitter can take out your trash, collect your mail, and make sure the house looks lived-in.

72. Make sure you have lights all around your house.

Flood lights and motion-sensor lights are great, but if you leave one side of the house unlit, burglars will just stick to that side.

73. Make sure your outdoor shed is secure.

Just like a garage, a shed can have many tools that aid in break-ins. Even if the shed is locked, make sure it’s structurally strong enough so it can’t easily be accessed.

74. Destroy old computers before throwing them out.

Hard drives can store a treasure trove of information. A common way to destroy hard drives is to use a power drill.

75. Never leave notes on your door.

Even if you’re away on vacation, notes to neighbors or the mailman can signal that you’re away.

76. Make sure everyone in your household is educated on home security.

If you always lock the doors, but your roommate or family don’t, then your residence won’t be very secure.

77. Consider installing a safety door.

Like a beefed-up screen door, a safety door protects your front door from the outside. It’s made of sturdy materials and adds a lot of security.

78. Have your security improvements installed by a professional.

Strong locks and doors are a great idea, but if they’re installed improperly, they may prove to be ineffective. 

79. Consider purchasing a smart doorbell.

Because it’s connected to the Internet, it can send an alert and even an image of the person ringing to your smartphone.

80. Don’t forget about the linking door.

This is the door that connects your garage to your home. Even if burglars get in your garage, if the linking door is sturdy, they may just leave.

81. Secure your Wi-Fi network.

As cyber criminals become more common, your sensitive information becomes more likely to get stolen through the Internet.

82. Install a professional home-security system.

It’ll cost a pretty penny, but it’s one of the best ways to secure your home and belongings.

83. Keep a record of your valuables.

If you have insurance, and you do get burglarized, it’ll help replace your belongings. Store it in a secure location, like a safe.

84. Install a surveillance system.

This option is on the pricier side, but it can definitely give piece of mind. Additionally, modern systems are Internet connected, allowing you to check cameras from your phone while you’re away. 

85. Get fake cameras.

Can’t afford an entire surveillance system? Fake cameras are relatively cheap and look just like the real thing.

86. Turn your phone ringer down.

When you’re not home, and the burglar somehow has gotten a hold of your phone number, they can dial it while outside your door. If it keeps ringing off the hook, they know no one’s inside.

87. Make sure your door hinges are tamper resistant if they are located outside.

Some older doors have their hinges outside the home, rather than inside. Tamper resistant hinges require special tools to disassemble that most thieves will not carry.

88. Consider installing fence spikes.

This one is a bit extreme, but especially if you’re living in an urban area, you can install spike strips on top of your fence.

89. Install a letter cage.

Have a letter slot in your door? Some burglars like to use a long stick or similar device to fish your nearby keys off a table and through the letter slit. A cage on the inside of your door not only collects mail but prevents this.

90. Avoid stashing valuables in your bedroom.

It’s the most common place that burglars look for cash and jewelry.

91. Consider stashing some valuables in your attic.

While not it’s not as safe as a safe, hiding valuables in the attic is much safer than a bedroom. Generally, burglars don’t want to go into the attic because if someone comes home, they’d be trapped.

92. Store extra suitcases and bags in the attic.

Burglars often use these to haul away your belongings. If you leave them up in the loft, they may end up taking fewer items.

93. Always shut your front gate.

This won’t stop every burglar, but it is a psychological barrier. Burglars look for low-hanging fruit and prefer a property with an open gate.

94. Don’t assume lightning only strikes once.

If your home has been broken into, then someone knows its weak points and may do it again. Prepare for the worst.

95. Invest in motion-sensor security devices.

Don’t have pets? Devices such as the Nest Cam will track any motion inside your home and alert your phone if anything happens, complete with photos.

96. Make sure you have working smoke alarms.

Not all threats to your home come from the outside. Fires and electrical problems can happen when you least expect them.

97. Add a carbon monoxide detector.

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and can occur without smoke.

98. Use surge protectors.

They protect your valuable appliances and decrease the chances of an electrical fire. 

99. Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher.

Or two. Fires are usually unexpected and you have to react fast to put them out.

100. Use a fireplace screen.

Have a fireplace? A fireplace screen can keep popping wood bits from shooting out of the fireplace, and kids’ hands away from the fire.

101. Consider installing a fire-sprinkler system.

Though expensive, it’s a very effective way to fight fires at home.

Guide for Identity Theft Protection

Identity Theft and the American Citizen

We live in an age where technology runs the show and our data is constantly being programmed into various sites for purchases, social media, blogs, and so on. This personal – and sensitive – information is stored “safely” in sites and servers with the assumption that each is secure – but in reality, there are many out there who have access to it.

According to the Bureau of Justice in 2014, “About 7% of persons age 16 or older were victims of identity theft.” At the time, the population was approximately 318.9 million, meaning that roughly 22.323 million were suffered from identity theft. While not as common as other crimes, it’s still pretty prevalent and it can (and has) wreak havoc in anyone’s life.

Identity theft can be a huge inconvenience, and even temporarily ruin the life of the affected due to a lack of cash, credit, and government information. Fortunately, there are several ways to help fight the theft should it occur, but the best protection is solid prevention.

This guide was designed to help others avoid identity theft: what to look for, how to prevent it, and what to do if it happens to you.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is fairly straightforward and self-explanatory: it occurs when one’s private and personal information, like their name, social security number and credit card numbers, are stolen and used by someone else. The Federal Bureau of Justice defines it as, “The unauthorized use or attempted use of existing accounts, or the unauthorized use or attempted use of personal information, to open a new account or for other fraudulent purposes.” It can very quickly and easily destroy one’s credit score, therefore, destroying opportunities for healthcare, insurance, and even obtaining utilities like gas and electric. There are several different kinds of identity theft, including:

  • Medical ID theft
  • Child ID theft
  • Social ID theft
  • Senior ID theft
  • Tax ID theft

Identity theft is a serious crime but often goes unpunished as it can be very difficult to pinpoint the location and identity of the person using the alternate, stolen identity. Because regaining a stolen identity is extremely tedious, the best defense is a good offense.

Keeping Personal Information Secure

The first and most important step in avoiding identity theft is making sure sensitive information is protected. This includes monitoring all personal accounts, even (and especially) social media. Knowing exactly what information is posted both publicly and included in bank statements can make or break your data safety. There are several actions that should be taken to prevent identity theft:

Avoid Posting Personal Information

 Social media may seem like a welcome escape from the real world, a place where your drab work environment fades away – at least momentarily. But identity thieves are constantly scanning for profiles that share plethoras of personal information, as many password security questions include information like a favorite pet’s first name or Mother’s maiden name. To reduce the possibility of identity theft, avoid posting anything that could be used to gain access to personal and sensitive information regarding credit.

Regular Credit Report Check

Monitoring your credit score will make any abnormalities obvious, which can then be reported to authorities and properly disputed as fraudulent. Each of these three major credit agencies will provide one free credit report annually, and – if staggered – offers a look into possible credit disruptions every four months.

Account Monitoring

Online access to bank accounts is imperative to catching identity theft and nipping it in the bud. Checking your bank accounts regularly, even daily, is the absolute best way to catch identity theft before it becomes consuming.

Personal Document Review

Thoroughly reviewing personal documents (credit reports and tax files) and keeping them in a secure place like a safe or locking filing cabinet ensures that you understand exactly what each document contains while also preventing them from possible theft or manipulation. This makes it extremely difficult for identity thieves to forge or change paperwork.

Avoid Carrying Sensitive Information

This key point is commonly ignored or forgotten, which only reinforces why it is so important to adhere to. Carrying personal information like a social security card is dangerous for identity theft. If a wallet with something like a social security card is stolen – stealing an identity becomes extremely easy. It’s also important to be aware of “shoulder surfers” – those who hover while you’re using an ATM or relay eavesdropped credit card information when you’re on a phone call.

Do Not Fall for Email Scams

Emails that are automatically sent to spam may contain seemingly- legitimate offers or services, and might even appear to be from your bank. However, legit banks and businesses know that it’s of absolute importance that credit card information is never sent out or requested via email. Many online shops steal information via email so be sure to research the validity before entering sensitive information.

Red Flags and How to Spot Them

Fortunately, there are many ways to discern whether or not identity theft is taking place.

  • One of the most obvious warnings is money disappearing from an account without explanation. Unfortunately, the explanation is almost always identity theft.
  • Another warning sign is never receiving bills. Identity thieves will often change the address on bank accounts and the like so that bills aren’t received by their rightful owner. This makes it possible for the thief to continue stealing for a longer period of time, as there are no physical records to look over. Because of this bill diversion, it’s extremely important that accounts be regularly checked to ensure theft is not taking place.
  • Insurance or healthcare refusing to provide treatment due to the balance, or because of a medical condition not previously documented is usually a telltale sign of someone using stolen insurance coverage.
  • In some cases, the IRS may send a notification that multiple tax returns have been filed under a single name. This means that an identity thief has gathered enough information to create an entirely different life from you, and this can be very difficult to resolve.

What To Do With a Case of Stolen Identity

Assuming that the proper authorities were notified upon the first occurrence, identity theft should be taken care of quickly and with very little fuss. Unfortunately, cases like this are rare, with the majority of identity theft situations going unnoticed for months and even years. The best actions taken in the event of identity theft are, according to the United States Department of Justice:

  1. Call the companies in which fraud has occurred.
  2. Place a fraud alert.
  3. Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  4. File a report at a local police station.

After the identity theft has been filed with the FTC, the United States Government recommends printing the affidavit and bringing it to the police station, as the affidavit and theft report will be highly valued in a federal case.

After all possible steps have been taken to regain identity, there’s little else to do but wait and fill out the remaining paperwork necessary for confirming the true identity. Regrettably, identity thieves are not always caught, and while both credit and identity may be restored to an individual through the federal process, the criminal will often move on to their next victim.

Returning to life per usual after identity theft can be difficult, as federal disputes and actually charging the criminal can be a tedious and extraordinarily time-consuming process. While identity theft can be stopped before it starts via careful monitoring and proper precaution, there are millions of cases every year of severe identity theft, and the hardship it causes those affected. Because the impact of identity theft can be so significant, it’s important that all measures are taken to protect an identity before it is stolen.

Identity Theft Statistics

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute: $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016, compared with $15.3 billion and 13.1 million victims a year earlier.
  • In the past six years, identity thieves have stolen over $107 billion.
  • Of the types of identity theft committed, 49.2% is made of government documents and benefits fraud, while only 15.8% is contributed through credit cards.

This increase in both identity theft and amount stolen through identity theft indicates a need for better security, in addition to greater awareness of the information being put into society through the internet and word of mouth.

  • According to the Identity Theft Resource Center ITRC’s 2015 Breach Report, there were more than 165 million SSN’s exposed, more than 10 times the number compromised in 2014.

This rise is astounding, but should only be intimidating to those that do not have secure backup plans and understand the process of identity theft. The absolute best way to stay protected, even through SSN using leading to identity theft, is to maintain knowledge of how to react and what actions are best for each specific identity theft situation.

Further Reading

  • Click here for more general information on identity theft.
  • Click here for more information on identity theft warning signs. 
  • Click here for more information on identity theft statistics.
  • Click here for more information on what to do in the case of identity theft.
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