It’s high season for break-ins, here’s how to ensure you and your home stay safe in Vancouver

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Take these steps and enjoy the rest of your summer vacation with some added peace of mind.

Photo: iStock

A home robbery or break-in not only poses a threat to your most valuable possessions, it violates the sense of safety everyone deserves to feel at home. With summer being the peak season for break-ins throughout Vancouver, we’ve partnered with BCAA to share valuable tips on how you can keep your home and your possessions safe.

GET TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

First things first; get to know your neighbourhood. You probably know how many coffee shops are within walking distance of your building, but what about crime stats? It may not be the most fun information to read about, but nevertheless, it’s important to know what’s going on around you. The VPDs GeoDASH interactive crime map shows what’s going in your neighbourhood in real time. This map is a great tool if you’re considering moving to a new neighbourhood. Now, back to those coffee shops…

ASK ABOUT CHANGING YOUR LOCKS BEFORE MOVING DAY

Photo: Unsplash / Erda Estremera

Getting a brand-new lock is a great way to protect your home from unwanted guests. Often times, locks are switched between units and properties as tenants move in and out, so while your lock may have been “changed”, there’s still a possibility that a former tenant has the key. If possible, ask for a new lock before moving in. According to Tenants BC, a renter must “not change the locks on their rental unit without the Landlord’s written permission”, so be sure to check with your landlord first, as changing your own lock could be cause for eviction – and you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot.

PURCHASE A WIRELESS ALARM SYSTEM

Wireless alarms are effective because thieves can’t cut wires to disarm them. There are also tons of incredible, borderline futuristic new smart-home tech options available now to homeowners and renters alike. From cameras and alarm systems to video doorbells and timers, you can now monitor your apartment from anywhere, including from those coffee shops… Be sure to check with your landlord before installing any new security systems of permanent items in your apartment.

INVEST IN LIGHT TIMERS

Big locks and alarm systems are great, but lighting can work wonders as it may deter thieves before they even step foot close to your building. You can purchase light timers for as low as $25 from local hardware stores, which will set lights to turn on and off according to predetermined intervals, making it appear as if someone’s home at all times. They’re also super helpful if you frequently fall asleep while watching Netflix on the couch.

GET RENTERS INSURANCE

Photo: Unsplash / Timothy Buck

Home Insurance is not just for homeowners. As a Renter, things can happen that are out of your control. While your landlord’s policy covers the unit itself, it doesn’t protect your belongings inside. Renters insurance will help you replace everyday essentials, your ‘prized possessions’ and everything in-between due to fire, water damage and theft. Replacing everything in your home could cost thousands! As an added bonus, renters insurance also provides coverage for personal injury damages if someone gets hurt while in your home, along with any legal fees you may be on the hook for – which can really add up and dip into that coffee fund.

To learn more about getting insurance that’s right for you and save 5% when you buy online, visit bcaa.com/renters