Pro­tect your home over the Christ­mas sea­son

Calgary Sun - Homes - - Homes - Myke Thomas CALGARYSUN

Vis­it­ing fam­ily and friends over the Christ­mas and hol­i­day sea­son is a great way to spend your time. Make sure the fond me­mories don’t evap­o­rate when you re­turn home and find out you’ve been robbed.

“In Canada, a break-in hap­pens ev­ery 90 sec­onds,” says Steve Kolo­baric of Weiser, one of Canada’s most trusted lock­set man­u­fac­tur­ers. “It is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to en­sure your valu­ables are pro­tected dur­ing the hol­i­days, as this is a time when homes are highly vul­ner­a­ble.”

Kolo­baric rec­om­mends the fol­low­ing se­cu­rity tips to pre­vent break-ins:

n Be wary of so­cial me­dia: Post­ing sta­tus up­dates about your cur­rent where­abouts and dis­clos­ing that your home is sit­ting empty el­e­vates the risk for thieves and breakins.

Wait un­til you have safely re­turned home to up­load all of your cre­ative self­ies and wan­der­lust snaps.

n Lock your doors: It might sur­prise most home­own­ers to know nearly half of all bur­glar­ies oc­cur sim­ply by walk­ing through an un­locked front door. It is vi­tal that all doors — front, back and side doors — have a re­li­able lock­set with a work­ing dead­bolt lock. Ex­te­rior doors should have dead­bolts, with at least a one-inch throw bolt.

n Have a trusted neigh­bour check in: Whether it is to clear out your mailbox or shovel your drive­way, it is help­ful to have some­one check­ing in on your prop­erty. Al­though the hide-a-key ap­proach to give neigh­bours ac­cess may seem ben­e­fi­cial, it should be avoided. Most crim­i­nals know about the best hid­ing spots: Un­der the mat, in the mailbox, top of door frame, etc. It is far more se­cure to in­stall a se­cure lock that en­ables you to pro­vide cus­tom ac­cess to spe­cific peo­ple:

• A key­less en­try sys­tem like the Weiser Premis is com­pat­i­ble with your iPhone; if you for­got to lock your door or want to grant a trusted per­son ac­cess to your home, sim­ply ask Siri to lock or un­lock the door.

• SmartCode locks al­low you to pro­vide a per­son­al­ized code to friends, fam­ily or neigh­bours that will give them tem­po­rary ac­cess to your home.

• Weiser SmartKey locks use a patented side-bar lock­ing tech­nol­ogy that has proven tougher to crack than a tra­di­tional pin-and­tum­bler lock de­sign and it has a unique fea­ture that al­lows you to re-key your lock your­self with­out re­mov­ing it from the door or hav­ing to use a lock­smith.

n Hide your valu­ables: If you have a safe, great. But if not, keep items such as lap­tops, ex­pen­sive cam­eras, stereos and other equip­ment away from all win­dows. Tuck them away in lo­ca­tions that can’t be seen from the out­side.

n Set an elec­tronic timer for lights: This keeps up reg­u­lar light­ing pat­terns as op­posed to just hav­ing one porch or liv­ing room light on at all times — a dead give­away. You can also set timers for some ra­dio and tele­vi­sion sets to sim­u­late nor­mal use and noise.

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This is the only cat bur­glar you’d want to see over the Christ­mas hol­i­days. If you are go­ing to be trav­el­ling over Christ­mas, don’t post about it on so­cial me­dia, set an elec­tronic timer for your lights and have a trusted neigh­bour check in with a key­less en­try sys­tem.

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