Simple ways to reduce your home's burglar appeal

This advice will help reduce your chances of being a victim, plus show you which steps to take if you discover your home has been broken into.

Simple ways to reduce your home's burglar appeal

Basic tips to keep trouble away

Burglars most often enter a house through an unlocked door or window, so develop a habit of locking entry points. Basement windows are popular with intruders because often they are easy to open and crawl through. If your garage is attached to the house, make sure the garage door is secure. In addition, take these precautions:

  1. Make the house look occupied even when it isn't. Burglars prefer to work in empty houses, so always make your house look like someone is home. Use timers to turn lights on and off. Do the same with the radio and TV, but vary the pattern to simulate something like normal use. A burglar staking out a house will suspect timers are turning on the appliances and lights if they go on the same time every day.
  2. Make discovery difficult by hiding valuables in unlikely locations. Burglars like to work fast, and they are well aware of where most people store jewelry and other valuables. Because so many people choose the refrigerator, try to be more original, or get a sturdy home safe.

If you do get intruders

  • If you come home to find that your house has been entered, leave immediately because the intruder could still be inside.
  • Go to a nearby phone and call 911. Wait for police to arrive before going back inside.
  • To help police capture the thief — and perhaps recover stolen property — don't touch anything in the house, including doorknobs or the phone. The culprit may have left fingerprints or used the phone. Insist that the police dust for fingerprints.

When you're on vacation

Even without security devices, you can quickly secure your home before you leave for your vacation. The main object here is to make it look as though you are still at home. Here are a few tips:

  • Use timers, which you can buy at hardware stores and home centres, to turn lights on and off at normal intervals. Plug-in timers, as the name implies, go between the lamp and the receptacle; security timers are wired into your electrical system and can turn overhead lights or appliances on and off up to 24 times a day.
  • Keep a car parked in the driveway.
  • Arrange for the lawn to be mowed regularly, as often as you normally do it.
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or have a friend retrieve them daily.
  • Leave the regular recording on your answering machine. It should never include vacation information.
  • Contact the police to alert them of your absence. They may be willing to drive by your house from time to time.

Home security is of absolute importance. Keep your family and property safe by following these tips.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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