Going away? Ensure your home is secure

With the weather finally cooperating, and sunnier days upon us, many people are starting to prepare for weekend trips and vacation time. If you’re planning to get away over the next few months, for a week or even a weekend, it’s important to ensure your home is safe and secure while you’re gone.

While the number of residential burglaries continues to decline—it’s down 45% from 1998—the fact remains that a break-in occurs every 90 seconds in Canada. The good news is that numerous studies show that burglary is predominately a crime of opportunity. [Money Sense Magazine]

Here’s some easy tips for ensured security to outsmart burglars and protect your home:

  • Get a basic alarm system: this is something that will come at a cost, but will ensure your home is always safe, even for just an evening out.
  • Secure points of entry: check all your doors and windows and make sure there’s no weak points where easy access is possible for an intruder.
  • Hire a home and/or pet-sitter: if you don’t have a trusted neighbour to check up on your house while you’re away, consider hiring a professional. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your home is safe and your animals are being taken care of in the comfort of their own home.
  • Pause your mail and newspaper delivery: contact Canada Post and your newspaper provider, and let them know you’ll be away and to stop your service while you’re gone. A pile of mail and/or papers on your front door is a signal to potential thieves that nobody is home.
  • Let your home looked lived in: invest in some timers that will turn on lights and turn them off again a couple times a day. It’s a simple trick that will give the appearance that people are still home.
  • Keep up the lawn care: if you’re going away for an extended period of time, make sure your landscaping is kept up and grass doesn’t get out of hand. An unkept yard is just another signal to criminals that nobody is home.
  • Lock it up: this seems like common sense, but double-check to make sure everything is locked away, and don’t leave any spare keys hidden outside the home.
  • Don’t broadcast your trip: with social media so popular these days, sometimes we forget what we’re sharing with the world. Telling the Internet you are leaving for an extended period of time, probably isn’t the best idea.

Once you’re prepared and your home is secure for you to leave, enjoy your vacation!