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In 2016, Canada saw around 1.2 million property crime violations, including breaking and entering, mischief and theft, with 28% (320,000) of these incidents occurring in Ontario. With the alarming amount of property crimes in Ontario, we thought it would be a great idea to share some of our best home security tips with our clients.

Moving into a new house? One of your top priorities on move in day should be to change the existing locks! You never know how many people (previous owners’ friends, family members, neighbours) have a key to that property. One of the more obvious tips for new homeowners is to have a security alarm installed. There are reports that state even fake home security stickers and signs can deter intruders from targeting your home. Lastly, check to make sure your windows are in good condition and that doors are made of solid material, such as metal.

The outside of your house plays an important role! It is important to install motion detector lighting outside of your home to ward off potential intruders; they are more likely to go to houses that are dark since homeowners may not be home, and there’s less chance they will be seen in the dark. Don’t forget to remove large trees and bushes that are close to any door, again, because intruders will less likely to be seen if trees are blocking entrances.

Take pre-cautions when traveling. When leaving your house for a vacation, try to create the illusion that you’re still home. Have trusted neighbours check inside and outside your house every couple of days, and ask them to bring in your mail. If you can, park a car outside, and leave an outdoor light on. Lastly, do not post that you will be out of town on any of your social media channels, especially if you have minimum security settings.

Protect your identity. Before throwing away confidential papers, including credit card bills and anything from the government, be sure to shred it! Even every day mail in your recycling bin can contain enough information for someone to steal.

And finally, our number one tip… Lock your doors and don’t hide a key outside of your house! Gone are the days that you could just leave your house unattended, or leave a spare key under the front door mat. These common spare key locations are very common and make breaking into a house much easier.

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