Follow these simple rules to home security before heading out to the lake this weekend.
by Amanda Grinstead
Summer schedules are often busy with fun-filled activities that take you and your family out of the house. But before you leave on a camping trip, vacation, or a weekend visit to the cottage, check out our guide to home security. On the Danforth spoke with Constable Ingrid Hannah, Crime Prevention Officer for Division 54 of the Toronto Police Service, to learn about the 7 simple steps that can greatly reduce your risk of home invasion and theft while you are away this summer.
- Install window and door security systems. Alarms, deadbolts and window locks are quick and easy ways to make your home more secure since they discourage most intruders and can alert neighbours of break-ins so they can, in turn, contact the police.
- Set interior lights on timers and install motion sensor lights outside of the house. Lighting is a simple and effective way to deter criminals. It gives the impression that someone is in the house and attracts the attention of neighbours when motion-detecting lights turn on.
- Have a friend, family member or neighbour collect your mail. Planning ahead before taking an extended leave from home is the key to home security.
- Ask a friend, family member or neighbour to move your garbage and recycling bins to give the impression that someone is home. “The idea is to remove or change things around the home that act as clues to criminals and reveal to them that you’re not at home,” says Constable Hannah.
- Consider asking someone to housesit while you and your family are away. This ensures that someone will be around regularly to check-up on the house.
- Attend a presentation or workshop hosted by the Toronto Police Serviceto learn more about preventing crime in your community. Constable Hannah gives presentations to the community about personal safety and home security to help individuals avoid situations that can make them a target for crime.
- Double check. It’s easy to forget to lock every door and window while rushing to beat traffic out of the city, but it’s worth the extra time to check over locks, lights and alarm systems. After packing the kids into the car, take a quick walk through the house and make sure you have everything secure.
To learn more about home security and crime prevention programs in your community, contact Constable Ingrid Hannah at (416) 808-5429 or visit the website at http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention.