Home Security Tips

Friday, April 13, 2012

With Spring officially here the amount of home robberies has dramatically increased over the last few weeks.  Burglars are starting to take advantage of people leaving doors and windows unsecured.

There are many ways to secure your home to avoid being a target for theft.  Some are more obvious than others:

Lock your doors; including doors inside the garage.  Many homeowners believe that if their garage is closed, it does not matter if the door to the house is locked.  This is a common misconception, and makes it a prime target for burglars.  This is especially true if you have a window in your garage.

Ensure windows are closed and locked.  Many people forget to ensure that their windows are actually locked.  This is especially important on the ground level, but remember, it is easy to find a ladder for upper windows that are left open.  Before you go to bed at night be sure all ground level windows are secured, and before you leave your home remember to double check all windows and patio doors. Large windows with relatively easy access from the ground make it very easy to enter and exit a home without a trace.

Do not hide spare keys on the property.  Hiding a key anywhere on your property is usually a bad idea.  People have been hiding keys for years, and the places they hid them are rarely original.  Even if you have a good hiding spot for a key, if you habitually take the key from that location and then return it, people will figure it out fairly quickly.  If you or your kids have a habit of locking yourself out of the house, the best plan is to leave a key with a trusted neighbour, or instal a keypad to allow for entry without a key.

Keep lights on.  Many people do not like to leave lights on 24/7 as it can run up the electrical bill, however it offers quite a bit of security for an empty house.  People passing by will never know if you are home our away.  It will be much more difficult to detect patterns in your behaviour.  Burglars usually target houses that are obviously empty, or they track your daily patterns for a week or two to see when you are most likely to be absent.  Leaving a light on can solve this problem.

Have a home security system.  Installing a home security system can greatly reduce the risk of burglary and theft. Sometimes even just a sticker in the window is enough to detour a potential criminal.  Having a monitored system will automatically send authorities to your home should you be out of town or confirm that you are absent.

Proper doors and deadbolts.  It has often been said that if someone wants to get into your house that can. While this may be true, having solid steel or solid wood doors makes it much more difficult.  These doors cannot be kicked in easily.  The door frame will actually have to be broken in order to gain access to the home.  Having a solid deadbolt, rather than just a locking handle will further prevent access to your home, or at least slow them down, making it far more likely that someone will notice.

Have adequate insurance.  A good homeowner’s insurance policy will ensure that in the event of theft or vandalism your home and its contents are covered.  Make sure to check your policy and ensure that you would be getting full replacement value of items stolen.  If you have extremely rare or valuable possessions make sure to talk to your insurance company about them.

Be proactive and prevent theft by properly securing your home and property. Hopefully nothing will ever happen, if it does be sure you have a proper inventory of your belongings.  This will make reporting the theft to authorities and filing your insurance claim much easier for all parties.