Unless you’re a super-villain or a reclusive billionaire, the truth is that there are probably no teams of expert safe-crackers or cat burglars trying to get into your home. That’s not to say that criminals and thieves don’t exist – just that they are often amateurs who are looking for easy targets for their crimes. Unfortunately, there are plenty of easy targets out there. It’s amazing how many homeowners neglect basic home security because they believe they live in a safe neighbourhood, or that theirs is a good street where everyone looks out for everyone else, or that bad things don’t happen to good people. The bad news is that thieves are out there, in every part of the GTA, looking for good opportunities. The good news is that by implementing a few simple home security tips, you won’t be one of those good opportunities.
Ridiculously simple home security tips
These may seem like no-brainers, but these tips are actually your first and even best line of defense against unauthorized entry.
- Keep your home locked, even if you’re only dashing out for a pack of smokes (or a pack of diapers). Some homeowners like to play the odds, but the fact is that you never know when someone might see their opportunity.
- Change the locks when you move into a new place, to thwart anyone who might still be holding a key.
- When going on vacation or being absent for an extended period, use timers to switch lights on and off periodically and get a friend to take your mail inside regularly and check on things from time to time. That will prevent your home from getting that unoccupied, vacant look.
- Invest in a deadbolt. Even a regular, as opposed to a high-security deadbolt, requires an intruder to use heavy duty tools to get past.
- Check the credentials of anybody you let into your home unsupervised, like house cleaners or gardeners who require interior access.
- Don’t keep a spare key under the mat or under a flowerpot!
- Install lighting near the front door, and if your home is shrouded in darkness, consider cutting back some of your trees and shrubs that might shade an intruder from view.
Second level security precautions
While still simple, these techniques can help you foil burglars even more effectively.
- Don’t list your full name in the phone directory. Phone directories appear online and unscrupulous people (for example, fraudsters who pretend to be selling a legitimate product, or representing a charity) will have all the information they need to convince you to open your door.
- Consider getting a dog. Even a house pet (as opposed to a trained attack dog) will always alert you to the presence of a stranger.
- If there’s too much space between your door and its frame, consider reinforcing the door with a thin sheet of plywood or sheet metal.
- Set door hinges inside, rather than outside.
- Opt for heavy-duty high security locks and deadbolts rather than their cheaper counterparts, which are easier for thieves to pick, drill or ‘bump’.
- Opt for a sophisticated alarm system or even a home monitoring package that can turn any home into a ‘smart’ home and allows you to view live video of what’s going on outside your home right on your smart phone.
There are many more ways to keep your home safe and secure, but these home security tips are a good starting point. For more information on how to maintain a high level of home security, please call or email Pro Locksmiths. A skilled technician would be happy to advise you based on your own individual situation.