Enjoy your summer vacation without worrying about the safety of your home by following the advice of our experts: Gemma Broderick, executive director of the Crime Prevention Association in Toronto; Terri Ste-Marie, director of Prevention NDG in Montreal; and Jonathan Motyka from On Side Restoration in Squamish, B.C.
1. Secure it. Take a walk around your property. Do you see any way to get in? Purchase a good lock with a reputable brand name ($100 to $150 at a local hardware store) and lock up ladders, patio furniture, recycling bins and anything else a thief could use to gain access to a second-storey window. And never hide a key anywhere outside. Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, so a home that's well protected is less likely to attract the worst kind of attention.
2. Keep it living. Your home is less likely to catch the attention of a thief if it looks like it's being lived in, so it should reflect your regular schedule and give the indication that someone is home. If there are normally children's toys in the yard, leave a few out. Also consider placing extra shoes at the front and back doors. Inside, tune the radio to an AM talk station, so there are voices to be heard, turn down the volume on your phone – constant ringing is a sure sign that you’re away – and don't forget timers for your lights.
Page 1 of 2 -- On page 2, learn how to out-smart would-be burglars from entering your home cheaply and effectively.