Prevention is always better than detection or recovery when it comes to crime and theft. It helps to know what the typical Burglar is looking for when he is looking for a target. Here are a few things to consider making yourself and your property less vulnerable to crime.1. In most cases, a burglar is only looking to take your valuables and does not want to be confronted by anyone. Consequently, an excellent remedy is to make your home or business look occupied. You can achieve this with lights and blinds on timers, having vehicles come and go from your driveway or have a friend or family member stay at your place while you are away.
2. It also helps NOT to advertise when you will be away with social media postings of you on a ski trip, or on a Caribbean beach. Wait until you are home before sharing your travel adventures
3. Thieves are also looking for items that are difficult to trace and that they can easily be exchanged for cash. Consequently, investing in a good quality SAFE, ideally bolted to the basement floor in a hidden area will provide you with a safe place to store jewellery, and family heirlooms.
4. While we like to show off our new purchases of state of the art technology like tablets, computers and TV’s it’s best to keep that information low key. Cut up the boxes or turn them inside out when disposing of them on garbage day. Utilize window blinds or window frosting to prevent unwanted potential thieves from seeing inside your home.
5. In many cases, a garage can have more valuables than the home itself. If you are in possession of your dream Harley, Ski-doo, or speciality tools, make sure you have taken measures to secure your garage. These actions can include; alarm systems,burglar high-security locks, and power door closers with notifications when doors are left open, security window film, and more. It’s also a good practice to keep your garage door closed as much as possible. It may seem innocent to leave the garage door open when you’re cutting the grass on the front lawn. However,  you are allowing all passersby to take inventory of your garage contents.
6. Your car is another target for many thieves. There are a few simple things you can do to reduce your chances of car theft from your driveway or garage. Avoid the winter ‘warm up’ with your car idling in the driveway with doors unlocked. Today’s cars are designed to be driven within moments after start up and will warm up faster this way. Avoid storing your keys in your coat pocket, on the coat hook inside the front door, or on a dish beside your shoe rack. Store your car keys in a safe hidden location that is NOT in proximity to your entrance.
7. Thieves often look for “low traffic” neighbourhoods, if you live in a remote area, or even a cul de sac or dead –end- street you may be more vulnerable. Thus, it’s even more important to be vigilant with your security measures.
8. Weak security features can be apparent to a criminal, a house with no security sign or window stickers, piled up mail and flyers, and shovelled walkways are an invitation. It’s time to up your game and secure your property.
9.The holidays or special occasions may also put your guard down. If you are planning a party or Holiday “Open House” when you will have a crowd in your home with people you may not know well, you are vulnerable to theft. Take some time to lock up valuables such as jewellery and small heirlooms.  Lock your home office or master bedroom door to limit where guests may wander.
10.Your landscaping (or lack thereof) may be providing many opportunities for thieves. Take a look at your hedges, trees, bushes and determine whether someone can hide behind or in them. If yes, it’s time to take the pruning shears to them. If you are going to plant bushes next to the house, make sure they have thorns or are uncomfortable for someone to hide behind. You want to be able to see your doors and windows and not have your landscaping obstruct their view.Remember, if you can’t see your windows and doors because of your landscaping, you can’t see the criminal getting into your home.   Privacy fences are a double edged sword, while they allow you to have privacy on a Saturday afternoon in your backyard, they also provide a burglar with the same privacy to find an entry point when you are not home.

The main point here is to try to put you in the mindset of the common thief.  When you look at your property from this new point of view, hopefully, you will see new ways to protect yourself and prevent damage and or theft.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.