Security for your home
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.