Take a few precautions to protect your property over the holidays
Christmas is approaching, which means Canadians will soon be cracking out advent calendars and indulging in an array of festive films.
Watching notable classics such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Home Alone, a common theme that comes into play is that of home security: Kevin McCallister defends his household from burglars with inventive DIY decoys, and the Grinch slithers chimneyto-chimney as he steals toys from the residents of Whoville.
Residential break-ins are often featured within fictional holiday films; however, this does not make the threat of them any less real.
“In Canada, a break-in happens every 90 seconds,” says Steve Kolobaric of Weiser, one of Canada’s most trusted lockset manufacturers. Rather than thwarting thieves with elaborate booby traps, Weiser Locks recommends the following security tips to prevent seasonal break-ins:
1. Be wary of social media. Although it might be enticing to showcase your latest vacation travels on social media, posting statuses about your current whereabouts and disclosing that your home is sitting empty elevates the risk for thieves and break-ins. Wait until you have safely returned home to upload all of your creative selfies and wanderlust snaps.
2. Lock your doors. This might seem like an obvious tip – but it would surprise most homeowners to find out that 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.
3. 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, this should be avoided under all circumstances. 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 to feed your pets, water your plants or retrieve your mail, 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 grant 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-and-tumbler 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.
4. 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 closets, drawers and other safe spots away from locations that can be seen from the outside.
5. Set an electronic timer for lights. This is a great way to keep 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.