The Dos and Don'ts of Protecting Your Home
Practical tips for keeping your living space secure.
Illustration by Pablo Iglesias
A total of 7,425 cases of break-and-enter crimes were reported to Calgary Police Services by the end of the third quarter of 2018. That’s an increase of more than 1,000 cases compared to the same period during the previous year.
Duncan Scoular, owner of Security Depot, says security is largely a mindset. “Security encompasses all sorts of things, not just a camera and an alarm system,” he says. There are many options: from window coatings and/or bars and steel storm doors to safes and surveillance equipment. Scoular says common sense should be your guide.
Do: Assess your property for vulnerabilities like bushes in front of windows, which provide cover for would-be burglars.
Do: Invest in security measures appropriate for your property and community. Think deadbolts, not razor wire.
Do: Make it obvious to potential intruders that they can’t easily get in, won’t find what they want and won’t be able to get away easily. Locked gates, automatic lights and security doors are good deterrents.
Do: Make sure your property is well-lit with clear, open sightlines, secure gates and sturdy exterior doors with reinforced deadbolts.
Do: Protect your garage and garage door (if you have one) especially if it attaches to your living space.
Don’t: Panic: security is a matter of risk-mitigation, not paranoia. “Just make it a little more difficult. That’s all you’ve got to do,” Scoular says.
Don’t: Wait until your home is broken into and then reinforce the door.
Don’t: Install a pricey alarm system (or worse, put an alarm system sign in your yard without actually installing one) and call it a day. “Alarms are the last line of defense,” Scoular says. “By the time they go off, the intruder is already inside.”
Don’t: Install a camera and not bother to monitor it.
Don’t: Be cavalier with your garage-door opener. If thieves break into your car and know where you live, it’s as good as handing them the keys. And deadbolt the door from the garage to your house.