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10 Simple Steps To Keep Your Home Safe

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People who take preventative measures are far less likely to be victims of crime than those who do not. With this in mind here are ten simple steps that can dramatically reduce your chances of becoming another crime statistic.

  1. Lock your home! Such a simple suggestion, but you wouldn’t believe how many people feel it’s not necessary if they are just going to a neighbour’s house or running a quick errand. Law enforcement officials report that one out of four burglars simply walk in. Lock your windows and doors at all times.  The same applies to your vehicle, wherever you park it.
  2. Stop kick-in attacks! Burglary statistics show that over 60% of the time brute force was used to gain entry; the front door was simply kicked in. In addition to a good deadbolt, you should have a special high security strike plate installed that attaches directly to the framing of the house and not just the door trim.
  3. Cut the bushes! Shrubs and trees around doors and windows give burglars a perfect working environment. They hide behind the bushes before entering, and once inside the plants prevent detection of the crime. Take away this advantage by removing anything that blocks the view from the street.
  4. Control your keys! Many people loan keys to cleaners, dog walkers, contractors and delivery people. If you no longer know who has keys to your house you are at risk and should change the locks immediately. Similarly, when you move into a new place, one of your first tasks should be to have the locks serviced and re-pinned to a new key. All of your locks can likely be made to operate from one key.
  5. Secure your valuables! Criminals are quite good at finding special hiding spots for cash and jewellery.  A fire-rated safe mounted securely to the house’s framing in an out-of-sight location is a great way to keep important documents and valuables safe.
  6. Look before opening!  You don’t want to open the door to just anyone, and since you can’t see through a solid door, a peep hole viewer is a wise security option.
  7. Upgrade sliding doors! A broom handle in a sliding door track is not a lock.  It may prevent the door from being slid open, but it does not prevent the door from being lifted out of the track. Consider installing proper patio door locks.
  8. Service locks regularly!  No matter how many locks you have, if they don’t work they’re useless. Check them regularly to make sure they operate smoothly and do not bind.  All screws should be tight and the handles should feel solid and not loose.  The key should slide firmly into the key way and not have excessive play.  Replace/repair worn or damaged locks as necessary.
  9. Be smart outside! Be careful of where you go for a run, or the route you use to walk your pet. If possible do not go out alone, especially at night.  Vary your routes so they don’t become predictable.  It’s a good idea to carry a whistle, or self defence spray, and use it if you feel threatened in any way.
  10. Educate the kids!  If you can’t be home when your children arrive from school, you should teach them how to be aware of danger, secure the premise and call for help if needed.

If you like to have assistance in developing a personal crime prevention plan for your home, contact your local police department, a neighbourhood watch association or Pop-A-Lock.  One of our representatives will gladly drop by and complete a free home security audit for you. You may think you know your house better than anyone else, however, a trained security professional will provide a fresh perspective, and most likely identify unforeseen weaknesses in your home’s security.