Improving the security of your home should always be an ongoing process, as is the safety of your condo itself. Criminals will always look for any opportunity to break in and take your belongings, and often, we give people the benefit of the doubt and think it will never happen to us, so it is always better to be safe than sorry. From keeping your door locked, installing home security, and keeping records, here are eleven tips to improve your home's security. 

1. Always keep your doors locked.

The simplest way to keep criminals from coming inside is by locking your doors. If you are at home, you should still have all doors locked, especially if you have more than one entrance, such as the door that leads to the garage from inside your home. Even if you feel protected by living in a gated community, you should still lock every door because criminals will always find a way to get through the gates, fences, or any other obstacle that provides them easy access. 

2. Make it more challenging to open sliding doors and windows.

Place something hard (such as a pipe or wood piece) in the inside track of your patio doors or sliding windows so that no one can open it by easily sliding it to the side. If a criminal finds it hard to get inside, they will eventually get frustrated and stop trying because to them, time is of the essence in order not to get caught. 

3. Install home security.

With all of the high-tech home security available these days, it is worth investing in security cameras in your home, or at the very least, a home alarm. It is a great deterrent, and now multiple affordable options are offered depending on how secure you want to keep your home. 

4. Let people know you are at home.

If someone knocks on your door unexpectedly, you should let them know you are there. If you open your door to them, ask them to identify themselves and what they are there for. If you do not know them or are feeling uncomfortable continuing a conversation with them, let them know you are not interested. If they refuse to leave, tell them you will call the police. Keep a close eye on them to ensure they have walked away from your property. If they are away from your door but still near your property, call the police. 

5. Make your home look occupied when you are not there.

If you leave your home for a few hours, even if it's during the daytime, make it look like people are home. You can leave a light or two on in different areas of the house, or have something playing in the background. 

6. Get to know your neighbours.

Getting to know your neighbours is an excellent way to have someone you trust to keep a close eye on your home if you're away, especially if it's for more than a day. They will know who certain people are, and if they see something suspicious, they can call you to let you know there are strangers around. Picking up the mail and looking after other things that advertise someone is home will help make your place seem occupied. You can always return the favour to them as well. 

7. Keep your sightline clear.

If you are unable to see what is in between your front door and windows and the street, it is time to landscape your garden shrubs and trees. Having these vegetations obstruct your view can prevent you from seeing potential danger. Hire a professional, so they know how to best landscape your property.

8. Keep your valuables out of sight.

Anything that is of value, such as jewelry or electronics, should be kept away from plain sight and in a safety deposit box or container away from any bedrooms. If a criminal were to break in, they would search for the most accessible spots, such as your bedroom dresser and nightstand. 

9. Keep records.

Record serial numbers and take pictures of all your electronics, and store them away. 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.

10. Keep your garage door closed.

Only open your garage door to have your vehicle being driven in or out of it. Otherwise, it should be kept closed. It's okay to leave the door open if someone is outside working on something, but an unattended garage is asking for trouble. Burglars will happily come inside and take anything they can get, including bikes, tools, sports equipment, etc.  

11. 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. 
Ultimately, the goal is prevent anyone who would like to help themselves to your valuables away from your home by any means necessary. You want your home as safe as possible for you and your family, and of course, you have worked hard to earn the things you need and enjoy. However, no matter how 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. Never try to be a hero by putting yourself at risk and taking on an intruder as you never know if they are carrying something dangerous on them. If you see that there is means to call the authorities because of sketchy activity in either your home or your community, do so immediately.  
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. Security tips for the holiday season are also very important to learn. For more information about creating safe environments, contact FirstService Residential, Alberta's leading condominium management company.
Monday August 31, 2020