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My tips for safeguarding your home against intruders


Break-ins, while not common, can happen even in safe, family-friendly neighbourhoods such as Oakville and Burlington.

Often they can be crimes of opportunity where an intruder notices an easy target (your unlocked back door for example).

These are my tips to help safeguard your home and hopefully deter a potential thief.

LOCK UP: This is the easiest first step you can take! Consider installing deadbolts to all exterior doors or in some cases, upgrading any entry doors. Don’t forget to secure sliding glass doors, lock the door leading in from your garage as well as all the windows! Never leave keys under flower pots, doormats or in other “hidden” places.

*Pro Tip: When moving into a new home, have all the locks changed.

HOME SECURITY SYSTEM: These can often qualify you for a discount on your home insurance. Make sure to add the home security sticker to your front door as well. The key here is to actually use it! Activate your alarm and motion sensors when you are leaving your home! Strategically place any cameras to capture activity around entry doors or ground floor windows.

DOGS! Some breeds are great deterrents to thieves. If you have one, let your dog be seen and heard. Dog ownership, however, is not for everyone so you can try affixing a sticker (like this one) to your door! A thief just may think again!

BE HOME: (or at least pretend to be) Leave a few lights on if you are going out for a short period of time and utilize timers when needed. Some people even purchase an electronic device that simulates lights and flickers of a TV that they leave on while they are out!

HIDE THE GOOD STUFF: Thieves are typically looking for small items they can grab quickly. Hide your valuables, cash, jewellery and important documents. Use a safe and if storing it in your home, keep it out of sight.

*Pro Tip: Keep photos, descriptions and model numbers of your most expensive possessions. (If stolen, your insurance company may ask you for this information).

MAINTAIN SOME PRIVACY: If you have just purchased some new electronics, avoid leaving the packaging sitting out by the curb. Ask the kids not to leave their fancy bikes on the front lawn. Close your curtains when away from home or at night when interior lights make it easier to see in. Encrypt vulnerable information that may be stored on your home computer.

*Pro Tip: Periodically backup any important information to a separate drive!

STRATEGIC LANDSCAPING: Having some thorny bushes under your windows may help deter a thief from trying to enter that way. Keeping other hedges well trimmed will make it harder for thieves to hide while scoping out your place. Is your home fenced in? Consider some outdoor lighting (many options to choose from) that will keep your property well lit.

DO NOT BROADCAST A TRIP: Leave posting about your vacation until after you’ve returned. While you are gone, ask a trusted neighbour to watch over your home. They can collect your mail and any packages that are delivered and bring in the accumulating newspapers off your driveway. Arrange for your lawn to be mowed or snow to be shovelled if you are going away for an extended period of time.