Since most people tend to stay indoors during the cold winter months, there’s a tendency to be a little lax when it comes to home security.
After all; what burglar is dumb enough to try to break into a house when it’s -20˚C out AND when the homeowners are there?
Even though it’s snowy and wintry, your home is still susceptible to break-in and theft for a variety of reasons:
It gets dark early, making it hard to see would-be thieves
Doors and frames may not close properly due to snow or ice accumulation
Older locks and hardware may not work properly in cold weather
And – according to a report by Crimestoppers, cold weather does impact crime rates due to:
- Depression: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) causes stress, anger and agitation
- Desperation: People may resort to drastic, illegal measures to survive the winter
- Opportunity: Fewer people are out and about, meaning fewer witnesses to worry about
Since you can’t be home 24/7 during the winter, here are some helpful tips from Aim Lock & Safe to help keep your house safe and secure.
Clear snow and ice away from doorways
Trying to push a door shut through a pile of snow accomplishes a few things. None of which are good:
- It could damage the door (especially if the snow is wet and heavy)
- You may not get a proper seal (your door may seem closed, but it actually isn’t)
- Wet snow and ice on door frames could warp the material
It’s much easier to close and lock a door that’s free of obstruction.
So whenever there’s accumulation of snow or ice in and around your doorways, be certain to clear it all away.
During the day in winter, an empty house with the lights off doesn’t really stand out.
But at night, that same house looks incredibly dark; making it an inviting target for would-be thieves.
If you’re going to be out at night (working late, taking the kids to-and-from hockey practice, out visiting friends), you want to create the appearance that you’re home.
The best way to do that is with light-timers throughout the house in key rooms which have a street view:
- Living room
Set them for different times. That’ll create the illusion that someone is walking from one room to the next.
One last tip: Draw your curtains and drapes closed. That way, prospective burglars can’t study the interior of your home.
Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed and clear
Usually, the middle of winter is not the time for outdoor landscaping.
But any bushes or shrubs which are overgrown or excessively snow covered can serve as a perfect hiding spot for criminals.
While you’re at it, keep shovels, tools and other equipment out of sight too.
Otherwise, someone may try to use them in order to break a window or jimmy open a home or commercial door.
Replace any burnt out outdoor lights
Tonight, turn on all the exterior lights of your home and then take a walk around your property.
If there’s any area that’s dim or completely dark, you’ll want to replace those bulbs.
Don’t just limit this to doorways (both in the front and back); you’ll want to make sure all your lights are working properly:
- House number lights
- Garden lights
- Driveway lights
- Flood lights
- Side entrances
- Garage lights
The more lit up your house is, the less likely a burglar will want to target it.
Other common sense tips
In addition to the tips mentioned above, don’t forget to:
Lock your doors and windows: It’s easy to forget to do this when fighting off bitterly cold temperatures. But take a moment to ensure your security locks are in place.
Use a safe: If a burglar breaks in, they’re determined to find something to take. Leaving valuables in a home safe will encourage them to leave your home sooner than later.
Get a security consultation: You may think your home is secure in winter, but an on-site security consultation will tell you for certain.
Secure your home this winter
It’s never too late to boost your home’s security for this winter.
And by doing it now, you’ll make sure it’s ready for next winter too.
Contact us with any questions you have about winter home security. We’ll get back to you quickly with the answers and information you need.