Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Safe and Secure- Know Your Street!

Where I live, break ins are uncommon but have still been known to occur. From small amounts of damage to traumatic home invasions, every instance has been talked about by our community and discussed. It got me thinking- what would you do if your house and loved ones were threatened?

I am lucky to live in a community where the neighbours know one another, and we look out for each other. Getting to know the people in your area is one of the best ways to feel secure, as they can keep an eye on your place and let you know of any suspicious activity if you are away on holiday. Having a neighbour with a spare key and your contact phone number is rare these days, but it gives me peace of mind. If you go away, make sure to have a friend or neighbour take in your mail. Piles of junk mail signal to a burglar that the home is unoccupied at the moment.

Neighbours are also one of the best to talk to about suspicious activity in your area- my neighbourhood even has an online forum where we can talk about things that are happening such as car break ins, people behaving strangely and other issues. 

Interestingly, one of the biggest tips I have picked up from Simplisafe is to make sure the outside of your house is in good condition. It is something I rarely thought about- I keep my locks maintained and do a check of the house each night. But having large trees to provide access to windows, or tall hedges that block a view of your back door from neighbours, can be a deciding factor during a break in. Keeping your home and garden well maintained and putting away any toys or tools that may be lying about, locking the shed and keeping your garage door closed are all simple steps you can take to make your property more secure.

Contrary to belief, a lot of burglaries happen during the day when thieves can pose as door-to-door salesmen, tradesmen or other professionals who have a reason to be in your area. Having a relationship with your neighbours will help them keep a closer eye on your home and the people who come and go from your property- they will then know if you plan on moving or having house maintenance done, and they will take notice if items are being taken from your home. We recently had new carpet put down and the workmen were approached by my neighbour as they worked. Far from being annoyed, I was grateful that they had the insight to check that these people were who they said they were and that they were allowed on my property. 

If, despite your best efforts, a break in does occur, your neighbours are usually the people you will want to talk to after you have rung the police. Not only will they be able to tell you if they saw anything suspicious, they will also appreciate knowing that a break in has occurred. It can also be helpful to talk to someone about what has happened, as you may be feeling unsafe or violated. 

Home security systems are one of the best options for peace of mind, as at the end of the day your community can only do so much to keep the area safe. Investing in a wireless security system can be a great choice for families to provide a simple solution to protect your home.

Do you have any tips for keeping your home secure? I would love to hear them!

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