Take a few pre­cau­tions to pro­tect your prop­erty over the hol­i­days

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Alberta -

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.

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