A colleague had their apartment broken into recently. She came home to find a hole in her wooden apartment door and a broken dead bolt. Most of her and her partner’s jewellery and laptops were missing. Thankfully, nothing was broken and all her larger electronic items like her TV and stereo system were untouched.
She didn’t touch anything and waited a few hours for the police arrive. The incident happened in the middle of the day so neighbours didn’t hear or see anything. Culprits were caught on the surveillance cameras in the lobby, but no identification was made. The video showed the group pressing random intercom buttons and being let in by someone in the building. You should never let anyone in the building that you don’t know, because things like this can happen!
It’s easy to look back and think about the things they could’ve done to make their home safer. Why didn’t they put a better lock on their door? Why didn’t they buy the safe they talked about? Why didn’t they keep those receipts or take photos of their valuables? Will the documents they have be enough for their insurance claim?
Did you know that insurance companies ask for evidence of ownership for every item that you claim? This could in the form of photos, receipts, packaging, name and contact of the person who gave you the gift, etc. – of course, the more evidence you have, the better.
Thefts happen more often than we hope, but there are things you can do to make your home a little safer for you.
- Get a good lock for your home. Talk to your local locksmith for a recommendation. If you’re really concerned about home safety consider getting a Medeco security lock. The patented key programs prevent the unauthorized duplication of keys. This also means if you need an extra set of keys, you can’t just go to home depot or your local key cutting place – you have to go back to the locksmith who sold you the lock.
- If you’re on the ground floor, make sure you close your windows at night or when you go out. It seems obvious, but it’s always good to check before you leave.
- Consider getting an alarm system. The noise of alarms will scare away most thieves and could give you peace of mind. Talk to security companies like ADT or AlarmForce. Some alarm systems can even notify you through text messages if movement is detected. Having an alarm can reduce your insurance costs.
- Keep valuables in a safe or safety deposit box. Most banks offer safety deposit box services for a fairly low fee. For more frequently used items like your passport, a safe in may be a good idea.
- Document all your valuables. Keep receipts and a photo of the product for reference. This will come in handy in the case of insurance claims or even for your writing a will. Be sure to update this list periodically.
- Check with your insurance company to make sure you have the right coverage. You may need to purchase additional coverage to protect special items like expensive jewellery or rare antiques.
- And most importantly, make sure you lock your doors when you leave your home.
What do you do to keep your home safe?