Theft Prevention Tips for Canadians

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Theft Prevention Tips for Canadians

It won't be long before the school bells chime for a final time this year, signaling the end of classes for a few months as teachers and students enjoy their time off for summer. And as symbolic as empty school houses are to summer, so too are family vacations, as many Canadians plan their personal time off between June and September to take advantage of the warm weather. Unfortunately, criminals are aware of this.

As such, they'll use the summer as an opportunity to break into vacationers' homes, hopeful that the homeowners didn't take extra security precautions. But with a little preparation, families can rest comfortably knowing that their home is protected and at a reduced risk of being broken into.

Be wary of revealing too much info on social media

While there are a variety of benefits that have come with internet technology and enhanced means of communication, they haven't been without their consequences. For example, billions of people worldwide use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, which users log into to find out what their friends are doing and also inform others about their plans. And it's on these sites that individuals may talk about their vacation plans. If a "friend" or acquaintance happens to see this posting, it serves as an opportunity for them to scope out a residence, all in an effort to gain illegal entry. Thus, safety experts recommend only telling close personal friends about any scheduled vacations and to never discuss it in open forums like social media.

Though it may seem obvious, door locks are a crucial way of keeping unwanted guests out of their homes. Canadians may be surprised to learn how frequently thefts occur, simply because the homeowners either forgot to lock their windows and doors or think they live in a neighborhood where break-ins are minimal. Before leaving on an extended vacation, check all the windows and doors to ensure they can't be accessed.

Make your home look like someone's there

Another way to discourage a break-in is by making the home appear as though someone is at home. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as by scheduling light timers to come on at a certain time, asking a friend to park their vehicle in the driveway or by asking them to go into the house now and again throughout the day. Thieves are far less likely to attempt breaking into a residence if they know someone is there.

But even if Canadians are robbed, they have a financial recourse. Alberta home insurance provides policyholders with coverage in the event that their belongings are stolen up to the limit of the policy. Before going on vacation, families may want to talk with their insurer to check to see that everything is in order or to ask if it's worth their while to increase their coverage minimum.

Of course, robbery is a serious crime in Canada, but crimes in general have diminished greatly. According to 2010 analysis from Statistics Canada, Alberta and British Columbia reported the largest declines in crime rates among the 10 provinces.