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How to Secure Your Home and Lock Out Crime

Blog by | May 16th, 2008

How to Secure Your Home and Lock Out Crime
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Recent statistics show that burglary accounts for 22 per cent of all property crime. This news may worry some Canadians about the safety of their homes and community. However, many home owners don't realize that whether or not they have a home security system, there are few common mistakes which they make that mark their homes as an easy target for thieves. 

The following tips will help you lock out crime and secure your home.

1. Doors, Windows & locks:
Make sure all your doors and windows are in good working condition and have strong modern locks. If you notice a broken window or lock, fix it right away. Don't think that just because a window is on the second or third story that a burglar can't figure out a way to get to it.

2. Keys
If you have the tendency to forget your keys or are afraid of locking yourself out of the house, don't think that you could be sneaky by hiding your keys under the doormat or in the plant pot. Yes, you should choose to hide a key somewhere on the property but somewhere burglars aren't familiar with. They simply know about all these commonly used hiding places so look carefully for a good hiding spot. If you carry your keys in a key-chain, make sure there is nothing to identify you or your property address. Should you lose you keys, it is always wise to replace the external locks.

3. Keys in the Car
Never leave your car unlocked even in the garage. Also never leave a set of house keys in the car. A burglar who is able to gain access to your car will also have access to your house.

4. Home Security Systems
What's the need for a burglar alarm if you forget to to activate it? Many homeowners neglect to update or activate the Alarm system. You need to check your alarm on a regular basis and make sure you have the latest upgrades for it's software. Don't forget to turn it on when you leave the house, even if its just for a 15 minute walk, it only takes a few minutes for a thief to plunder your property.

5. Untrimmed Landscaping
Your home will always be much more secure if neighbours can see into your front and back yard. Don't give burglars the opportunity to hide behind your untamed bushes and shrubbery. Keep the leafage trimmed, especially around the house, and make sure all the outdoor lights are working and are on especially during night.

6. Garage and Storage Sheds
Do not offer thieves free use of your tools. Keep your garage and storage sheds locked at all times. Also, make sure you don't leave a ladder laying out in your yard anywhere. Someone could use this to gain access to the second-story windows.

By knowing the conditions favourable to burglars and taking steps to eliminate those conditions, you can greatly reduce the chances that your home will be in danger. Keeping your eyes open and ensuring your house is always secure can save you the traumatic and disturbing experience. Remember that property crime occurs every 3 seconds, a home burglary occurs every 15 seconds!

If the odds are so good that it will happen to you, what can you do stop burglars?

1. Look at your home from a burglar perspective. Is your house well lit? Are there hiding places near doors and windows? If you can spot a potential weakness in your home, a burglar can exploit it too so ensure you eliminate those weaknesses. 

2. Simple devices such as locks on doors and windows, bars, grates-items that are visible from the exterior of the house will not only act as a deterrent but also slow down an intruder should he decide to try to enter. The more time it takes to break into a home, the more discouraged a burglar will become.

3. Make it noisy! The sound of a barking dog, real or recorded, and noises generated from home security alarms activated by doors or windows opening or by motion are very effective ways to deter burglars . 

4. Install an alarm system. There are many options available that will fit any budget, no matter how tight. If this is an important step in protecting your home, why not take it. 

5. Security cameras also help ensure that your house is safe. If you don't have a security system, you can purchase dummy cameras that look just like the real thing. They usually have an internal battery to power an LED to simulate a real camera and frighten the burglar. 

6. Join or form a neighbourhood watch. An active neighborhood watch can deter many forms of crime, from burglary to vandalism. Burglars don't want to get caught and neighbours can help keep them away. Make sure that neighbourhood watch signs are posted throughout the neighbourhood. 

7. When away on vacation, make sure that you have someone watch your home. Most burglars target homes that seem to be unoccupied. Giving your home the appearance of occupation is very important. Have the home watcher turn on a different light each night, collect all the mail and newspapers that pile up, leave a television on, and so on. 

Assessing your home’s security is an important step in crime prevention. Your home should always look protected, well-maintained, and appear to be occupied at all times. Remember, LIGHTS, NOISE AND TIME are the three biggest enemies of  burglars. If you implement these home security tips, you can avoid potential break-ins.


Alexandra Rebagliati
MacDonald Realty
Cell: 250.870.2792