It is easy to take your home security for granted, especially if you live in a relatively safe neighbourhood.
Even so, crime can happen anywhere, and every homeowner is potentially at risk.
One of the best ways to keep your home and family safe is to perform a thorough home security audit several times a year. You do not have to pay a professional to do the work; you can do it yourself with nothing more than a discerning eye and a few simple tools.
Start by walking around the perimeter of your home and looking for potential entry points.
Those entry points could include unlocked windows, weak utility doors and broken basement windows.
Take note of any problems you find so they can be addressed promptly. You may be able to fix some of these issues on your own, while others will probably require the assistance of a contractor.
While you are on your security inspection, take a few minutes to look at the shrubbery and landscaping around your home. It is easy to overlook something like an overgrown bush or shrub, especially if it improves the look of your home.
Even so, what looks attractive to you could look enticing to a thief. A large shrub right in front of the window could give a crafty burglar a place to hide while they figure out a way to get into your home.
Trimming those overgrown bushes so they are no higher than the window could eliminate that potential hiding spot and keep your family safer.
Lighting is another important part of your home security, and another factor that is often overlooked. You may simply assume that all your lights are working properly, especially if you have lights designed to go on at dusk and off at dawn.
The failure of a single light could give burglars a chance to enter your home unobserved, so it is important to check those lights and make sure they are in working order.
Go outside after dark and look at your home objectively.
Is there a large spotlight illuminating the front door and exterior of the property?
Is the path well-lighted, or are there dark spots and shadows where a burglar could hide?
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot, so pay careful attention to them.
If you do have a home security system installed, make sure all the sensors are in place and working correctly.
The home monitoring service should be able to help you with this, but periodically checking the sensors yourself can give you extra piece of mind. Having a home monitoring system in place is great, but it is no substitute for your ongoing vigilance.