According to The Conference Board of Canada, we have about 578 burglaries per every 100,000 people — a statistic that earns the country a "B" mark when compared with 17 of its peer countries. For comparison's sake, Canada has about five times more burglaries than the country with the least amount, Japan. Crime and burglaries are commonplace throughout the world, but you can take measures to minimize your risk. Some of these tactics are obvious, like having a security system installed. Others aren't so obvious.
Here's a look at some aspects to help determine whether your home is truly burglar-proof and what to do if it’s not.
Think for a moment about how many people, other than you and your spouse, have a spare key to your home. If you're uncertain or if you don't recall changing the locks when you first moved in, then change them now. You never know who had a spare key to your place before you moved in. The same goes if you lose the keys to your home or if anyone with a spare loses the key. Replace the locks immediately.
If thieves believe they're at risk of being detected, they pick a less obvious target. One way to accomplish this after dark is with motion lighting around your property. Motion lights, as the name implies, illuminate when they detect any type of motion. They can be enough to stop potential burglars in their tracks and make them flee before they get to the door.
Extra Door and Window Security
Changing the locks is one thing, but adding a dead bolt can offer even extra protection for doors. Just make sure the dead bolt you install is at least 1 inch thick for best results. For bonus points, you might even place a "Beware of Dog" sign on your front door, as this can also scare off potential crooks. As well, be sure to place a metal bar on the inside bottom track of any sliding door, so it can't be opened. Finally, don't skimp on window security. To beef it up, invest in more secure window locks or even burglar-resistant glass.
Is your front yard in tip-top shape? Or are your shrubs and landscaping so overgrown you can't even look out the front window? If your situation is closer to the latter, consider doing some landscaping and pruning. The more cover there is, the more places there are for potential thieves to hide as they sneak up to your property.
Arguably, the best way to safeguard your home is with a home security system. Most systems these days do more than just guard against forced entry. They also help with fire emergencies, carbon monoxide detection and medical emergencies. What's more, you can likely save on your homeowner's insurance policy by having one installed. One thing to consider is what type of security system to invest in — wired or wireless. While both are effective, with a wireless system, you don't have to worry about a crook eliminating its effectiveness by cutting the power to your home.
So how safe is your home? Remember that even in a country like Canada, which has a fairly low crime rate, burglaries still happen. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Article courtesy of Johnson Inc. Johnson is an insurance provider specializing in home, and travel insurance, as well as group benefits. More information about Johnson at www.johnson.ca/federalretirees.