Weiser’s tips for securing your home this holiday season
MISSISSAUGA – It’s that time of the year when Canadians begin to book train tickets and flights or plan a road trip for a holiday escape.
But as the cities begin to clear out, many places across Canada will become virtual ghost towns, presenting burglars with the perfect opportunity for residential break-ins.
“In Canada, a break-in happens every 90 seconds,” says Steve Kolobaric of Weiser, one of Canada’s lockset manufacturers. “It is especially important to know how to protect ourselves and our valuables during times when our homes are most vulnerable.”
Whether you’re headed to grandma’s house for a cozy Christmas surrounded by family, or booking a fabulous vacation somewhere sunny to ring in the new year, Weiser is offering up tips for home protection and things to keep in mind before heading out the door for an extended period over the holidays:
- Be wary of social media. As fun as it might be to brag about that family vacation and your escape of Canada’s harsh and bitter winter, “checking-in” and posting other statuses about your current whereabouts is like advertising that your home is sitting empty and at risk for thieves and break-ins. Wait until you’ve safely returned home to upload all of your great selfies and family snaps.
- Lock your doors. 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’s important that all doors — front, back and side doors — have a reliable lockset with a working deadbolt lock. All exterior doors should have deadbolts with at least a one-inch throw bolt.
- Have a trusted neighbour check in from time to time. Whether it is to clear out your mailbox or shovel your driveway, it’s great to have someone checking in on your property, especially if you plan on being gone for a longer period; however, do not try the “hide-a-key” approach, in order to give them access. Most criminals know about the best hiding spots: under the mat, mailbox, top of door frame, etc. It’s better and far more secure to install a secure lock that enables you to provide access to specific people:
- Hide your valuables. If you have a safe, great. But if not, ensure you’re keeping things like laptops, expensive cameras, stereos and other equipment away from all windows. Tuck them away in closets, drawers and other safe spots away from visible locations that can be seen from the outside.
- 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 do this for some radio and television sets to simulate normal use and noise.
“Make sure that the only person breaking and entering into your home this season is Santa Claus,” adds Kolobaric. “With these easy, common sense tips you can rest easy knowing your house is safe and secure this holiday season.”