The warm weather means people are throwing open their windows to let in the fresh air, while at the same time spending time outside in their gardens, often out of sight of the front of the house. This can lead to trouble, warn the RCMP, who are urging homeowners to make sure their homes are protected against theft.
“Be aware of gatherings on your back deck or patio, with the front door unlocked,” warns Cpl. Richard De Jong, Media Relations for North Vancouver RCMP. “Someone knocks, there’s no answer, and people walk in. You’d be amazed what people leave by their front door.”
Windows on ground floors should be closed, or at least locked so that no one can force them open from outside, when no one is in the room. “Ask yourself if the window can be forced open,” says De Jong. “If it’s a sliding window, put something in the track to prevent it opening very far, and upgrade locks on older windows, which can be very flimsy.”
Patio doors should be secured with a snap-resistant cylinder lock, and De Jong says people need to be aware of the environment their house sits in. “Look at things such as hedges and lighting, and where your windows and doors are. Are they on the ground floor, or the second floor?”
De Jong also says that homeowners should make sure that garden sheds are locked. “People leave expensive things, such as bikes, lawnmowers, and tools in them.” Putting a secure lock on your shed will not only safeguard any valuables you have inside, it will prevent thieves using your own items, such as ladders and tools, to break into your house.
It only takes a minute for a thief to enter your residence through an unsecured door or window at the front while you are busy out back, so do not give them the chance. “You can’t trust everybody,” says De Jong. “Know your neighbourhood and property, and think like a thief for a few minutes.”