Se­cu­rity for your home

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - METRO REGION -

It is cer­tainly dis­tress­ing to note that ev­ery day in Canada, well over 5,000 homes are bur­glar­ized. There are, how­ever, a few clever steps a home­owner can take to dis­cour­age a break-in be­fore it be­gins. In­stalling high-grade, one-inch dead­bolts on ev­ery en­trance door is first and fore­most when seek­ing max­i­mum se­cu­rity. An­other is an alarm sys­tem with de­cals promi­nently placed on win­dows and doors. But there’s more you can do.

Q: We like the idea of win­dow de­cals in­di­cat­ing the house is wired and mon­i­tored with an alarm. Are there any other warn­ing deterrents like this?

A: The de­cals of neigh­bour­hood sup­port sys­tems work very well too. A pro­gram called Op­er­a­tion Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for ex­am­ple will make your pos­ses­sions a risky li­a­bil­ity to a crim­i­nal if stolen. Op­er­a­tion Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in­structs its mem­bers to en­grave an iden­ti­fy­ing num­ber on pri­mary tar­get items such as stereos, tele­vi­sions, cam­eras, and com­put­ers. Elec­tric en­grav­ing mark­ers can be ar­ranged and pro­vided. If you were to en­grave an iden­ti­fy­ing code onto your big screen TV, who else could call it their own?

And if re­trieved by the po­lice there would be no doubt that the TV is yours. Op­er­a­tion Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion de­cals are pro­vided for prom­i­nent dis­play on house­hold win­dows and doors. You may also want to join Neigh­bour­hood Watch, a sys­tem that re­duces crime by get­ting neigh­bours to look out for each other.

Q: The doors on our older home are light­weight and prob­a­bly hol­low. What are the best fea­tures for se­cu­rity when re­plac­ing them?

A: Many older homes were built with hol­low doors — no won­der 80 per­cent of bur­glars en­ter by us­ing a door. Re­place low-grade doors with solid wood or metal ones. For those who can’t, or won’t be re­plac­ing their doors im­me­di­ately af­ter mov­ing in, it is highly rec­om­mended to at least have a lock­smith rekey the locks on both a new house and on a re­sale. This en­sures your keys are the only ones that un­lock your doors, as you have no way of know­ing how many keys a pre­vi­ous owner had made. While the lock­smith is at your home, have him do a se­cu­rity check doors and win­dows.

Q: What se­cu­rity fea­tures are rec­om­mended on new locks?

A: Be sure you choose pre­mium, dead­bolt locks with a one-inch throw bolt. Com­bine the top-of-the-line dead­bolt and up­grade the strike plate to a four-screw, heavy-duty strike plate with 3-inch screws to make the door dif­fi­cult to kick in.

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