It is safe to say that the harsh winter months are in the rearview mirror and Canadians are ramping up for the sunnier days and warmer temperatures of summer.
Of course, that means weekends away, road trips and excursions that take advantage of the good weather while we can. But whether you are taking off for a cottage, going camping, doing some sightseeing, hitting an amusement park or just relaxing for a day at the beach, you want to do so with the peace of mind that your home is safe and secure.
“Summer is a time when people tend to spend a lot of time away from home,” says Steve Kolobaric, Marketing Manager for Weiser, one of Canada’s most trusted manufacturers of locksets. “The problem is, those with less-than-good intentions also know that, and they don’t hesitate to prey on an unattended property.”
Here are some of the best ways protect your home (and cottage, for that matter) this summer:
• Lock your doors and windows. This one seems like a no-brainer, but a gentle reminder never hurts. Before you leave for vacation, double check that all of your windows are secure and your doors are locked. This includes back doors, patio doors and doors from the garage. Don’t forget about your upstairs windows and any access points to your basement.
• Limit your time on social media. This isn’t just to encourage more face-to-face with your family and friends — that is a given. It is also a security risk to broadcast to the world that you are several hours away on a boat in the middle of a lake as your fishing rod awaits the day’s catch. Because if you are there, it means your home is unguarded and ripe for the pickings of a burglar.
• Make it look like you are home. When you are away for an extended period, it will show at your house. The lights stay off, the lawn doesn’t get cut, the mail and flyers pile on the front stoop. Have a relative, close friend or trusted neighbour stop by to give your place a lived-in look.
• Don’t leave out a spare key. This is an ages-old technique for allowing people access to your home when you are away. A hidden key under a doormat, in a fake rock sitting in a nearby planter, in the mailbox. The problem is, most would-be thieves know all the common hiding spots and can easily gain entry without breaking a sweat. The good news is today’s modern locksets, you don’t need to hide a key. With the Weiser SmartKey, you can temporarily re-key your lock to give trusted people access to your home while you are away. Electronic locksets make keys redundant — temporary access codes can be shared with trusted people without putting your home at risk.
• Stay in control. You may be watching the sunset over the lake while enjoying a nighttime cocktail on the deck, but modern technology means you can stay in touch with your home security no matter where you are. The Weiser Premis puts control of your deadbolt on your iPhone. Use Siri to lock or unlock Premis, or remotely lock,unlock or check the status of Premis from anywhere in the worldon an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch when the smart lock is connectedto an Apple TV®. Premis has capacity for 30 codes, allowing you to easily send, add, delete or disable security codes.
• Keep an eye on things. Modern home security systems integrate cameras that allow you to see on your smartphone who is standing at your front door. Indoor and outdoor camera systems give you visual access to your home on your smartphone. It is reassuring to be able to see what is happening around your home when you aren’t there.