As Christmas is right around the corner and homes are packed to the brim with presents for friends and family, we thought we would share a few tips on helping you prevent those presents falling in the wrong hands and keeping your home secure.
Keep all doors, gates and windows locked
That’s including external buildings or entrance ways such as garage doors, fences and sheds. Many of us keep tools and other equipment [such as ladders] that may help a potential burglar gain entrance to your home in these external buildings.
An open exterior window or door is an invitation for burglars to easily enter your home, so keep them shut and securely locked whether you’re home or not. Don’t underestimate strong window locks, and update them if needed. Thieves know how to spot weak locks that would be easily forced open. Make sure exterior doors have deadbolt locks. Sliding doors should have vertical bolts and a metal or wooden rod in the track to prevent being forced open or doors being lifted off the track. Never leave your home without locking the front door, no matter how brief your trip. Even if it’s pouring rain, don’t forget to take the extra moment to lock up. Burglars don’t take days off due to weather! And don’t forget the door attached to the garage is one of the easiest targets and a likely route of entry. Don’t depend on your automatic garage door for full security.
As a side note, if your going to be away from the house for a longer period than usual [visiting family for a weekend for example] Lock your garage door and disconnect the automatic opener. This is an easy, but often forgotten step to keep your home safe while away. Garage doors seem like impenetrable forces so it’s easy to overlook additional steps in securing them. But if you’re going to be gone for a week and won’t need the automatic lift anyway, why not disconnect it and add an easy extra layer of security?
Change the locks when moving into a new place.
If you’re a renter, ask the landlord to change them if it wasn’t already done. Even if an old tenant returned all the keys originally issued, there’s no way to know for sure if there were ever other copies made and distributed. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to a stranger being able to walk into your locked home.
Don’t label your personal keys or or hide spares outside.
If your keys are labeled and get lost or stolen you could be in big trouble, especially if your wallet with your ID and address are with them. And thieves know to look under mats and in the gravel for fake rocks to find hidden keys, so instead leave a spare with a trusted neighbor. If you live in a rural area and your closest neighbor is miles down the road, opt for a combination lockbox in a discreet area of your property.