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A sense of personal security is essential in maintaining your quality of life. All of us want to feel safe when we’re going about our daily activities, but nothing’s more important than feeling secure in our own homes. After all, it’s where we spend time with our loved ones, keep all our valuables, and spend time to unwind.

If there’s a break-in, you’ll lose much more than a few possessions. A burglary can be emotionally devastating taking away your sense of security and peace of mind while you’re at home.

The good news is, there are many things you can do to prevent theft in your home. Here are some tips to boost your home’s security and keep thieves from targeting your place.

Always appear to be home

Burglars will avoid a property that seems occupied. Give the illusion that someone is home by simulating household activity, even when you’re not there.

  • Control lights with automatic timers that imitate the movement of people from room to room.
  • Arrange to have your lawn cut or the snow shovelled while you’re away. 
  • Have all your calls forwarded; some burglars will phone to see if someone’s home before breaking in. 

Update locks and reinforce your windows

Make sure all locks are working properly, and replace any that are worn out. Deadbolt locks are more expensive, but they’re well worth the investment. They’re typically more secure because a deadbolt can’t be moved to the ‘open’ position, except by rotating the key.

Burglars can easily climb through windows, so put locks there, too. For added protection, install impact-resistant glass which is very difficult to break.

Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home if you’re away

If you’re going to be away for longer periods of time, ask a trusted neighbour to pay special attention to your home. Many thieves will stake out a property for several days before breaking in.

One sign that a home may have been empty for a while is mail piling up at the door. Have your neighbour collect your mail and packages, and hold them for you until you return. Thieves are less likely to believe no one’s home if they see that everything is business as usual.

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Keep valuables out of sight

Electronics, jewelry and other valuables should be well hidden. Burglars will usually peek inside first to see which items can be easily snatched; don’t tempt them by leaving prized items in plain view.

Hide family heirlooms in cabinets, and lock up smaller items in a safe. Consider mounting expensive TVs and stereo systems in an entertainment console with doors that can be shut when not in use.

Don’t post upcoming trips on social media

It’s easy to find a ton of info about others on social media, but a seemingly innocent post can make you a target for burglary. Resist the urge to tell people who don’t necessarily need to know about plans that involve you being away from home.

Join a neighbourhood watch program

One of the most effective ways to increase personal safety is through a community-based approach. Burglaries can be prevented when you have a team of people looking out for one another. Join a neighbourhood watch program, which typically involves an organized group of citizens committed to protecting their community.

If your area doesn’t have this program, consider organizing one. Neighbourhood Protect is a free Canadian tool that can help you put a group together. Not only is a watch program useful in preventing break-ins, but it can also address a variety of other issues in your community.

Protect yourself with home insurance

Despite your best efforts to prevent theft, some situations are simply beyond your control. Should you become the victim of a burglary, home insurance offers peace of mind knowing you’re protected.

Contents coverage will take care of the cost to replace stolen belongings, up to the limits of your policy. Items can include electronics, furniture, and even jewelry. Without this important coverage, you could be risking everything you own. It’s a small investment for peace of mind hat your home is well safe, and protected.

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