That stress doesn’t just disappear, though, once the sale goes through. Homebuyers face additional problems once they take ownership, not least of all, keeping their new home secure and safe.

The first thing to understand about home security is that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all option.  Homes and the people who live in them are different, and require different solutions. However, there are many practical steps that homeowners can take to keep their property secure. External doors and windows should be fitted with high-quality locks. Tall trees and shrubbery offer concealment to burglars and should be cut back. Garage doors should be kept closed at all times. Arrange to have your mail or newspaper picked up by a neighbour if you’re going on holiday, and use timers to activate lights inside your home at random intervals.

Sound the alarm

Perhaps the most effective step in keeping a home secure is investing in a security system. Homes that have security systems installed are four times less likely to be burglarized than those that don’t. Security systems offer a visible deterrent, particularly for the opportunistic burglar. While a security system can’t always prevent a burglar from gaining entry, they do drastically limit property losses. A ringing alarm will cause a burglar to flee more quickly, thus limiting the amount of property they can steal.

"Homes that have security systems installed are four times less likely to be burglarized than those that don’t."

Today’s modern security systems offer much more than just a blaring alarm. Thanks to major advances in home automation technology, homeowners can now take advantage of a whole slew of security and monitoring systems. Homeowners can monitor their homes and receive alerts of visitors or intruders via their smartphones. Cable companies now offer systems that can even monitor carbon monoxide levels in the home. 

According to Jean-Francois Champagne, Executive Director at Canadian Security Association (CANASA), “it’s a rapidly changing landscape. But the basis should be the capacity to arm and disarm the system when you’re at home and away, and having control via key fobs and remote controls. Also consider fire protection: we all have smoke alarms in our house, but to have that connected to your security system gives added safety benefit. There are also a series of devices that provide an easy call for help in the case of a medical emergency.”

Bottom line

Home security systems also increase the likelihood that burglars will be apprehended. Catching a burglar on camera, or alerting authorities to a break-in as it happens, increases the chances that a thief will be caught, and valuable property returned safely.

A solid security system then, should be at the centre of a holistic, common-sense approach towards home security. A visibly well-maintained, secure home that shows signs of regular activity is a major deterrent for any burglar.