Protect your home over the Christmas season
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.
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.