Property crime represents 35% of all reported crime in Canada. These incidents include breaking and entering, theft, fraud, motor-vehicle theft, and being in possession of stolen goods. Of these property crimes, breaking and entering account for nearly 15% of reported cases. It is not hard, therefore, to understand why we are all so concerned with protecting our homes and families from these crimes. Could we do a better job than we currently are? Certainly!
Install heavy duty locks & get in the habit of using them
The easiest thing we can all do is ensure that we use the locks we have. Keep your home, garage, and car locked at all times. More than 30% of all home burglars gain access through an open door or window!
The favored door entry points for thieves are well-covered doors, usually back doors or garage doors. Why is this? Homeowners tend to put heavy duty locks on the front door and leave relatively lightweight locks on the rest!
The most common method used to force entry through a door with a wooden frame is to kick it open. Burglars know that the strike plate which holds the latch or lock bolt in place is a construction weakness. It makes sense for homeowners to upgrade to a four-screw, heavy-duty, high security strike plate.
Sliding glass doors are also a prime target. Burglars can pry the door near the latch and lift it off the track. Wedging a simple stick or bar in the runner of the door will provide a deterrent.
Make your home unattractive to burglars
- Inside lights: Invest in timers for lights and appliances. This can be effective at making your home appear occupied.
- Exterior lights: Bright exterior lights at doorways and pathways controlled by timers discourage would-be burglars; photo cells and motion detectors also provide excellent deterrents.
- Reduce foliage cover: Trim trees, hedges and bushes that obscure the view of doors and windows.
- Tools: Saws, axes, wire cutters, drills, ladders, etc. are all handy tools for the thief that didn’t bring his own! Keep them in the house or a locked shed, rather than outside or unlocked where a thief can access them.
- Dog House: Dog or no dog, a dog house in the backyard can provide a deterrent to a would-be thief.
- Alarm System: Alarm system window decals and “Beware of Dog” signs can decrease your chances of being burglarized—you are no longer considered an “easy mark!” If you do install a monitored alarm system, let your broker know. You could be eligible for discounts on your property policy.