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Mybudget
10 tips for home security on a budget
By Tammy May


10 tips to protect your home and propertyFebruary is the month for barbeques, beer, backyard fun and… burglaries. Our houses are more open and empty in the summer, and crooks know it. But there are some easy, affordable ways to make your home more secure.

  1. Lock your doors, gates and windows. It sounds simple, but the police remind us that a significant number of thieves break in without doing any breaking. Also remember to remove keys from locks.
  2. Lock your shed, too—not only to protect your tools from theft, but to reduce the possibility that they might be used to break into your home.
  3. Get to know your neighbours so you can look out for and help each other, especially during holidays—you can help by collecting each other’s mail, mowing the lawn etc.
  4. Get a dog (or pretend to.) “Beware of the dog” signs, fake security cameras and security company signage are all good preventative devices. (Available on eBay from $1.75.) It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a dog or alarm—it tells would-be crooks to try elsewhere.
  5. Outdoor lighting is an excellent way to deter unwanted night-time activity around your home. Motion-activated lights and other outdoor lighting make it difficult for people to sneak around unseen. If you’re away, use a timer control to activate lamps inside your home—it makes the house look lived in.
  6. Trim back trees and bushes. Reduce any plants that might shield or assist a thief to enter your home.
  7. Jewellery, cash, handbags, laptop computers and iPads etc. should never be left where they can be easily grabbed. Valuables should be kept out of sight and marked with your driver’s license number using an engraver or ultraviolet pen.
  8. Leave a spare key with someone you trust, never under the door mat, a pot plant or in the letterbox.
  9. Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know, and ask unexpected tradesmen, meter readers and even police officers to show their identification before entering your home.
  10. Just got a new TV or stereo? Cut up the empty box before putting it in your recycling bin. Empty appliance boxes on the side of the road say “come and get ‘em” to burglars.

Quick statistics

  • Most common time for burglaries? 8am-noon
  • Most common days? Fridays and Mondays
  • Most popular items for thieves? Money, jewellery and firearms
  • Who gets broken into most? Rental properties
  • Burglars’ favourite entry point? The front door (but it also depends on the architecture of the home)
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