10 lessons in preventing crime at home

burglar in front of home

Burglary, home invasion, vandalism — do you know what to do to protect your property? Here are ten safety measures we tend to forget:

1. Lock your windows and your doors, even when you are at home.

2. Trim any shrubs or hedges that may serve as hiding places.

3. Put away any objects that may have been left outside, so they can’t be used as weapons or as tools to break windows.

4. Never leave a spare key under a mat or in the mailbox.

5. Keep handbags, wallets, and jewellery in a room other than the master bedroom or the bathroom. You can also forget about hiding things in the freezer; that is one of the first hiding places thieves search out.

6. Turn lights on as soon as it gets dark.

7. Never open the door to strangers.

8. Keep your valuables in a safety deposit box.

9. If you are leaving on a trip, make sure your home looks lived-in. Set timers for lights, leave a car in the driveway, and have a neighbour put out the garbage bins and collect your mail.

10. Be wary of what you post on social media. ‘‘We are at the airport, leaving for Italy in a few minutes!’’ is the type of status update that makes a burglar’s work easier.

Owners and tenants should buy home insurance. Of course, the unexpected can still happen, but insurance helps you avoid serious financial difficulties. But remember, being insured does not mean you can neglect other safety measures!