Your home security checklist

Monday Nov 06th, 2017


Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the most common risks for break-ins, thefts, fires and other mishaps that can occur in homes today.

“Home security doesn't necessarily mean hard-wiring alarms and installing cameras. While those are certainly options, there are often simple steps you can take to decrease the opportunity for crime or accidents to occur,” says Marian Barry, a broker-owner with Royal LePage True North Realty in Fort McMurray, Alberta. She recommends this checklist to protect your investment and to develop a comprehensive home security plan:

Make your home an undesirable target for would-be criminals. The best way to prevent crime is to reduce the opportunities around your home and property. Keep windows, doors and vehicles locked. Ask a neighbour or house sitter to check your home every day while you're out of town. Avoid broadcasting your latest purchases – break down packaging from new purchases before taking them to the curb. Ensure entrance ways, windows and doors are clearly visible and not obscured by trees or shrubs.

Be aware of crime in your area. Subscribe to a local police department blog or social media feed. Read your local newspaper. Talk to your neighbours.

Prepare against fire and adopt fire-safe habits. Install new batteries in smoke detectors every fall and keep loaded fire extinguishers scattered around your home. Periodically spot check around the home to assess the fire-safe habits of occupants. Look for electrical problems such as overloaded circuits or exposed wiring. Fire prevention involves both fire-safe surroundings and fire-safe habits by everyone.

Conduct a risk assessment. List things about you, your home and your location that make you susceptible to crime, fires and other accidents. Include your own observations, gather information from police, neighbours and insurers. Rank your list to show where your greatest security weaknesses lie. Match those risks to an appropriate security system in terms of technologies, complexity and cost.

Promoting consistent and mindful security habits and developing awareness of your greatest risks will help you to protect your investment for years to come. More information is available at

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