I hear people comment everyday that they feel safe in their neighbourhood…. This of course stops abruptly when a break-in occurs. The feeling of security and peace of mind is shattered, and very difficult to restore. The reality is that burglaries are almost always by strangers to the community, not by locals. It’s important to fight the complacency that often comes with the feeling of a safe neighbourhood. A few actions can keep you safe and crime proof your home.
There is no perfect deterrent to protect your home against a break-in. But statistics show the chance is significantly reduced if you have a 24 hour monitored alarm system. Statistics also confirm that the amount of property stolen from monitored homes is less than a home with no alarm system. Burglars just don’t have as much time to do damage or steal when an alarm is activated.
In addition to alarms there are many things you can do to the exterior of your house to prevent forced entries. Keep your shrubbery and hedges trimmed to avoid blocking sight lines to windows and doors. Lighting to all areas is a great deterrent. Exterior doors should be solid core, not hollow using proper exterior hinges. Metal doors provide the best protection. If you use fencing on your property, remember that if you can’t see out, others can’t see in. Burglars love privacy. Any glass that is less than 40 inches from a door lock should be secured with either security film, bars or replaced with laminate. Install quality deadbolts or high security locks with striker plates that extend at least 12 inches on the door frame.
Basement windows are often very vulnerable, consider window bars but take caution to provide easy release in event of a home fire. Patio doors should be secured by pinning together or pinned to the track so they cannot be removed from the track.
Keep trees that are close to the house trimmed to prevent access to the roof, and store ladders in a locked garage.
There are also some common mistakes people make. Never put a nameplate outside our home with our full name. This information can be used to obtain your phone number to see if you are home. Avoid leaving notes on doors or in mailboxes for friends telling the world you are not home. Never hide spare keys in all the obvious well known places such as under door mats, flower pots etc. Never leave cash or handbags in easy view from outside your home. Always keep doors and windows locked, even when you are home. Many homes get robbed while the owners are in the backyard.
Keeping your home safe should be a priority. It’s easy to get complacent. But remember that the complacency greatly increases your vulnerability.