In about the time it takes to watch a TV show, homeowners across Canada can reduce the risk of home burglary with a quick do-it-yourself home security audit checklist.
Weiser, Canadian makers of residential locksets and door hardware, is urging home owners and renters to perform an annual home security audit this October to reinforce their home protection measures and better prevent a possible burglary from occurring.
“An annual home security audit is something that you can do yourself in about 30 minutes or less and it can help protect your home from possible burglary for the entire year,” says Steve Kolobaric, Marketing Manager at Weiser. “The main idea is to reinforce the security of your home, including locks and points of entry, but to also make sure that your home isn’t attractive to potential burglars. Following a checklist will allow you to make sure you hit all of the important areas of your home and ultimately make it look less desirable to burglars.”
Kolobaric recommends every home owner and renter make a checklist of security items to evaluate in their own home. To help create this list, Weiser suggests the following items to get them started:
Windows and doors: Check all points of entry to your home and ensure that doors and windows fully shut and lock. Keep windows locked and ensure that your front, back and side doors have functioning deadbolt locksets. Sliding doors and windows can also be reinforced with a bar placed in the tracks to prevent them from sliding open. Garage doors and doors from the garage to the house should always be closed and locked at all times.
Fences: Check all fences bordering your property and look for any rotted posts and loose boards. Check your gate hardware as well and ensure that the gate fully closes and latches shut.
Locksets and keys: Do a quick inventory of who has keys to your house. If you can’t remember who you gave keys to, or if you have recently moved in, consider changing your exterior door locks. This is a quick DIY job and gives you peace of mind knowing that you are the only person who has access to your home.
Outdoor lighting: Check all outdoor light bulbs to ensure they function and test the range and sensitivity of any motion sensor lights that you may have. Double check that they are also positioned to shine in dark areas - especially back and side doors.
Curtains: Do you have curtains and if so, do you close them when you’re not home? Open curtains allow everyone to see what you have in your house.
Safe: Consider storing valuables in a fireproof safe, including important documents and emergency money. Not only does it help to prevent theft, it protects documents in case of a fire. Consider hiding some valuables in spots no one would think of looking but don’t forget where you hid them!
Valuables list: For insurances purposes, you may want to make a list of all of your valuables, including model, make and serial number. Keep this list somewhere safe, or even better, on the cloud, such as Google Drive, so you can access it from anywhere and at any time.
Yard maintenance: In the winter, a sidewalk that goes unshoveled for a couple days makes it look like no one is home. Ask a neighbour to shovel your sidewalk and walk-way if you are planning to be away. This goes the same for collecting newspapers and mail and cutting grass and raking leaves in the warmer months.
“Home security is a year-long exercise but taking the time once a year to really look at your house in a critical way can help you in the long-run. For the sake of about 30 minutes of walking around your home and performing a little maintenance, you could be saving yourself a lot of heartache,” says Kolobaric.