‘Tis the season… to be a little more diligent! Growing up with a father in the burglar alarm industry my entire life, I learned a lot over the years about making sure your home is secure. Here are some tips to help you keep your family (and your home) safe this holiday season.
- Given what I just told you above, I could sound a little bit biased here, but… Get an alarm system. People always think it’s an unnecessary expense, but it’s certainly cheaper than your last computer, TV, or even tablet and can help contribute to your peace of mind. Yes, I know you have home insurance, but it’s a lot more hassle to find the receipts and replace all of those items. If monthly monitoring costs are too much to handle, you should still consider installing an alarm with a siren. Intruders aren’t going to stick around if they’re attracting attention!
- Lock your doors! I know it sounds really obvious, but I’m often astounded at how many people tell me that they don’t regularly lock their doors.
- Don’t Show Off. We know that you’re excited to set up that new TV or start playing with your new Playstation that you just got, but keep the box inside or tucked away in the garage until recycling day. Also, leaving valuables in plain view from your windows is an invitation. Put portable valuables away.
- Reinforce sliding glass doors. You can cut a dowel to size to stop the door from being pushed open, and/or you can install a couple of screws in the top track (adjust so that the door JUST clears them) to help prevent it from being lifted out of the track.
- Don’t hide a spare key outside. Trust me… You aren’t the only one that knows about all of those “secret” hiding places. Give a key to a trusted neighbour or loved one in case you lock yourself out or forget your keys.
- If you’re leaving town, have a neighbour pick up your newspaper and mail. Piles of newspaper on your front step are a sure sign that you aren’t home!
- Leave a light on. Install an LED bulb in a lamp to save energy and set it up on a timer. There are even timers now that turn the lamp on and off at random times throughout the day so that a pattern can’t be detected.
If, despite all of these tips, you arrive home and it appears as if your home as been broken into, call the police! It’s not worth going in and finding someone inside until you know it’s safe.
Happy Holidays and stay safe!