Our home may be our castle, but that doesn’t mean we should take it for granted. Here are a few simple tips to make your home a little safer from unexpected entry, or in the case that you need to get out quickly.
Watch this CTV Segment from March 21 for more information, and read on for tips you can use today.
Know your floorplan: In the event of an emergency or a fire, how quickly can you get out of the house to safety? Can you rapidly describe the best way into the home for paramedics and firefighters? Teach your kids about fire safety and practice a fire escape drill until they’re champs.
Doors: Deadbolts. Period. If you have a door that has a sidelight, consider that a thumb-latch deadbolt can be unlocked if the window is broken. Consider a keyed deadbolt at the front door and keep the key near the door in case of emergency, but not close enough that a burglar can reach it. Lock your doors at night. All of them. Lock access devices (garage door openers, remote disarms) in the glove box so they aren’t appealing to thieves.
Deterrents: Don’t get an alarm system after you’ve been burgled. Statistically, it won’t happen again. Don’t pay twice. Get a monitored alarm and put stickers in all the most visible windows. Pay the $30/month to have no-verification security dispatched in case of an alarm. A “Beware of Dog” sticker is great to keep most honest crooks away. Turn your exterior lights on at night. Crooks like shadows.
Windows: basement windows should have BARS! Keep the key on a string that’s 3-4 feet below or beside the window, unreachable from outside, but accessible if you need to get out. Low-traffic areas of the house with large windows should have a motion sensor attached to an alarm with a no-delay trip if someone enters the house.
Understand that criminals who want your stuff don’t want to run into you. They know where to find dangerous goods (kitchen, workshop) and will use them to intimidate you and harm you to escape. If you walk in on a home invasion/burglary, get out FAST, go to the neighbour, call the police, stay away from the guy. DO NOT GRAB ANYTHING and try to fight. This is a good way to get hurt, killed, and charged with aggravated assault. It’s only permissible if your life or the life of a child is already in danger.