10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Property Theft
There is a steady increase in insurance claims and reported police calls due to theft of personal property in rural areas. Thieves typically look for a quick and easy way to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. The following are some tips you can implement to ensure that you can lower your chance of becoming one:
1.) INSTALL LOCKS –Ensure your doors are locked or dead-bolted. Be sure to do likewise for yard gates, and windows.
2.) EXERCISE CAUTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA- Don’t broadcast when you are leaving on holidays for the world to see on your social media. In fact, don’t share any personal information such as where you are going, your children’s information or pictures that disclose information such as your license plate, home address or other personal identification that can give thieves additional information about you to figure out your habits/personal activities.
3.) KEEP VALUABLES OUT OF SIGHT- Make sure you take important valuables with you from your vehicle. Keep valuables out of site of through your business/home windows. If a thief spots a cellphone, tablet or wallet inside your car, chances are they will do whatever it takes to get those high-cost items. It’s also a good idea to avoid leaving any ID in a vehicle like your driver’s license or car registration.
4.)INFORM NEIGHBOURS- Be sure to inform trusted neighbours know if you are leaving the area for an extended period of time. Have a designated contact person who can make periodic checks of the property and look for suspicious activity or tracks.
5.)PROPERLY LIGHT AREAS – Installing timers on regularly used lights on the property and ensuring you have good yard lighting and motion sensors highly mitigates the chance of theft.
6.) INSTALL SECURITY CAMERAS – If your building is in a remote area, consider using cameras or security equipment that is 3rd party or recorded/accessible remotely through a phone application. Do make sure that you have a unique password on your security camera login to make sure it isn’t accessible through the internet through a generic product password.
7.)DOCUMENT LIVESTOCK- tattoo or brand livestock and keep current inventory lists.
8.)FUEL PROTECTION- Empty or lower gas tank levels in equipment/vehicles not in use. Look for a vehicle that has a lock/interior release on the exterior fuel cap.
9.) KEEP KEYS OUT OF VEHICLES- Do not leave your keys in your vehicle or leave the vehicle running even if you are simply running into the gas bar to quickly pay your balance owing. An unlocked vehicle with keys accessible is simply asking a thief to take advantage of the situation.
10.) DOCUMENT BELONGINGS - Keeping detailed records/photographs of your equipment, tools and other valuables in a safe location (external hard drive, safety deposit box) is a great way to prove what you have. If you are the victim of theft, noting all identifying marks, serial numbers, make and model information, dimensions, value etc can assistance in recovering stolen items.