Adhering to the following advice, in conjunction with the installation of a professionally monitored alarm system, can greatly increase security and make your property much less easily targeted by burglars.

Don’t leave a key outside your home even if you think it’s well hidden. Instead leave one with a trusted neighbor or friend, better still - leave it with us. Most places you might hide a key can be uncovered by an experienced intruder. Make sure you close and lock all doors and windows that are accessible from outside your home.

Leave a light on in your home at night after you retire. Lighting is a deterrent to intruders and should be used when you’re away from your home. Timers are inexpensive and lighting can make potential intruders wonder whether the home is occupied. A radio should be controlled by a timer when you are away as well.

Deadbolt locks should be used on all doors. Windows should be well secured with latches. You might also consider shatterproof glass. Make sure you replace the batteries in your smoke detectors on a regular basis. A good time to do this is when you set your clocks forward in the spring. You should periodically check your locks to see if they have been tampered with.

Do not admit any stranger to your home that you are not expecting. In the event that a person represents themselves as an official employee of a utility or public agency, ask for identification. Do not be reluctant to refuse entry if you cannot verify by telephone that they are who they say. Use a chain and peephole whenever answering your door.

Test your alarm system at least monthly, LockUp Alarms Ltd. recommends weekly.

Make sure to have a friend or neighbour pick up your mail and any newspapers or packages when you leave your home unattended.

Arm your alarm system, whenever you leave the home and when you retire for the night.