Criminals are always looking for opportunities to relieve us of our belongings. Most of us are too trusting and often don’t realize that we are making it easier for the bad guys. There are a few simple steps we can take to protect our property, or at least make it more difficult to gain access.
- Always keep your doors locked. Even if you are home you should always lock all doors that provide access from the outside of your home. This includes the door that leads to the garage from inside your home, if you have one. Some people feel they don’t need to lock their doors if they live in a gated community, but this is not true. Criminals will always find a way to get through the gates or over the fence.
- Make it more difficult to open sliding doors and windows. If you have sliding patio doors that lead to the outside, or windows that open by sliding, place a piece of pipe or wood in the inside track to prevent opening.
- Install home security. This is a great deterrent, but it comes with a cost. If you don’t have the budget to put a home security system in place, posting a sign on your lawn or placing a sticker on your door can also be effective.
- Let people know you are home. While you should not open your door to strangers, you should let them know you are there. When visitors come to your door, ask them who they are. If you do not know them or know what they want, tell them you’re not interested. If they don’t leave, tell them you will call the police. Watch them to make sure they leave the property. If they don’t, call the police
- Make your home look occupied when you aren’t there. When you are away from your home, make it appear as if people are home. Leave lights on in various rooms or have them on timers to turn on automatically. Play the radio or leave the television on to give the impression that the house is occupied.
- Get to know your neighbours. Having people look out for your residence while you are away is valuable; you can return the favour when they go away. Picking up the newspapers and mail and looking after other things that advertise no-one is home will help to make your place seem occupied.
- Keep your sight line clear. You should be able to see from your front door and windows to the street. Don’t let overgrown trees and shrubs block your view. Hire a landscaper if necessary to trim overgrown vegetation.
- Keep your valuables out of sight. Your jewelry and other accessories, including easily transported electronics, should not be left in plain sight. Keep them stored in a safe container out of view. It’s just too convenient for the criminal to find all the valuables available in a box on the dresser.
- Keep records. Record serial numbers and take pictures of all your electronics. If there is no serial number, engrave identification on the item. Take pictures to help identify the objects should they turn up in pawn shops or for sale online.
- Keep your garage door closed. You should only open the garage door when a vehicle is being driven in or out. It’s ok to leave the door open if someone is actually in the garage, but do not leave an open garage unattended. Burglars will happily help themselves to the many valuable things such as bikes, tools, sports equipment and other items stored in your garage.
- Don’t leave a garage door opener in your vehicle. A favourite way for robbers to gain access to your home is by stealing a garage door opener from your vehicle. Often your address is conveniently located in the car or truck as well – on your license registration. Once they have access to the garage, the thieves can go in, close the door and take their time loading up or breaking into the house.
The main goal is to keep those who would like to help themselves to your stuff away from your home. You expect your home to be a safe haven for your family and you’ve worked hard to earn the things you need and enjoy. However, as much as you want to protect your property and your family, it is imperative to remember that nothing is more important than your life or the life of your loved ones. Do not put yourselves at risk by taking on an intruder ─ call the police. If you observe suspicious activity in your home or community, report it.
Keeping your community safe is as important as protecting your home. Your condominium may already have safety features in place such as video surveillance, security patrols, or a neighbourhood watch program. For more information about creating safe environments, contact FirstService Residential
, Alberta’s leading condominium management company.