Now that spring is here the temperatures will rise and the snows will recede and melt away. It’s a time when many Canadians start planning their vacations and holidays for later in the spring and into the summer. It’s exciting to dream about finding a new favourite place to visit. New adventures await.
After a great holiday no one wants to return home to find they’ve been burglarized and robbed. The stress of a break-in hits many people in a number of ways both financially and emotionally. Anger, fear and insecurity are common experiences for victims of burglaries. So, while you are making plans for your holidays this summer, take some time to prepare your home for added security.
Use These Tips to Help Reduce the Risk of Your Home Being Burglarized While You’re Not There
- In an age of sharing a great deal of information on social media refrain from sharing information about an upcoming vacation and don’t share daily posts while on your vacation. Instead, consider sharing the news after you are back home. Thieves now use social media to gather information on who’s home and who’s away. And with GPS services on most smart phones information on where you are is getting easier to find.
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- Connect lamps and lights to automatic timers so they switch on in the evening and switch off during the day.
- Arrange with a neighbour for them to pick up any deliveries while you’re away. Or, suspend your mail with the post office and daily newspapers.
- Leave a key with a neighbour rather than under a mat and have them park their car in your driveway.
- Check all your locks on windows and doors and replace any with deadbolts or other secure devices and install door jams on sliding doors and windows.
- Arrange to have your home checked during the heating season to ensure the heat still works, but also to shovel your snow. In summer, arrange to have your lawn mowed.
- Don’t tempt would be thieves. Store your things out of sight – bikes, lawn mowers and bbqs. And use curtains on basement or first floor windows to prevent casual snoops.
- Install motion sensor lighting on outdoor lights which will activate during the night.
- Getting a centrally monitored security system, with signage for your home, can really deter thieves and could qualify you for additional discounts on your home insurance.
Related Read: A Spring Home Checklist
Itemize Your Things
Create a home inventory of all your belongings and possessions. Click here to print copies of Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd. home inventory sheets. Take pictures or videos of your things. This is good to have and not just for a burglary situation but other situations (such as fires, wind damage, etc) where you have to prove what you owned for the police or your insurance company.
What to do if Your Home Is Broken Into
- Don’t enter your home as the thief or burglar may still be inside.
- Call the police from a neighbour’s house and wait for the police to inspect your home for evidence.
- Note any suspicious vehicles or people in your neighbourhood
- Call your broker to arrange a restoration company to come and secure your home again as soon as possible.
Utilizing all these ideas will make your home look like it is occupied even while you’re away. Because most thefts are crimes of opportunity, meaning if someone sees a garage door open they can easily take an item or two, securing your home and belongings will make it more difficult for thieves. Most thieves will move along to an easier target.
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