Maple Ridge is a quickly developing city in the Fraser Valley and is just a short commute from Vancouver. The rapid growth in Maple Ridge is largely due to families looking for affordable single dwelling units to raise their children. The neighbourhoods of Maple Ridge are all community minded and well organized. The city is one of the safest places in the Lower Mainland. The community is a friendly, warm and a welcoming place that provides a unique setting and lifestyle opportunities for families as well as couples and young professionals. Unfortunately, like any city or town in British Columbia, crime does happen and home break-ins are a large part of Maple Ridge’s crime. Here is a list of safety tips to keep you and your family safe as well as keep your home from being a target for a home break-in.
1. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
When it comes to you and your family’s safety, the most important factor to consider and keep in mind is to pay attention to your surroundings. This rule applies at all times, not just in and around your home, but out in the community, on a trip or really anywhere for that matter. When it comes to your neighbourhood, make sure to pay attention to the regular comings and goings of your neighbours and other community members. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact the proper authorities. Remember, being aware of your surroundings at all times is the first way to ensure a safer you, a safer neighbourhood as well as a safer home.
2. Know your house or building
Another important way of making sure that your home is safe is to pay attention to all entry and exit points as well as windows and deck doors. If you live in a complex, pay attention to all stairwells, fire exits, as well as entrance and exit points. Make sure that windows with easy entrance points such as those on the ground floor are locked at all times or for even more sense of security, barred. Also make sure all deck and patio doors are locked unless you are using them. These small steps will ensure that your home is a safer home.
3. The difference between access control and full security
If you live in a complex, one of the biggest mistakes most residents make is confusing access control with full security. Even though you or your neighbours are buzzing in their guests, this doesn’t mean that your building is secure. Unfortunately this is one of the most common ways that criminals gain access to any secure condominium or apartment complex. It is you and your guest’s responsibility to make sure that these doors are fully closed and secured once you are safely inside the building. Make sure that no one sneaks through the open door or piggybacks with you entering the building. If the door will not latch, make sure to notify your building manager or contact security to deal with the matter in a timely fashion. This is just one more way to keep your home as safe as possible.
4. Identifying Trouble Spots and Entry Points
Every home has a ground floor window or backdoor that may not be as visible or secure as you would like. These entry points are the ones that are most used by criminals looking to gain access to your home. Make sure that you are extra vigilant to make these entry points as safe and difficult to gain access to as possible. If you live in any type of complex, make sure to pay special attention to side access doors and the underground parking gate. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, report it to the proper authorities at once.
5. Turn on the Lights
Ask anyone involved in law enforcement or on any type of safety committee and they will tell you the fastest and easiest way to deter crime of any type is to ensure proper lighting. Lighting makes everything visible, thus making criminal activity that much more difficult. Think about adding lights to any dark entrance way or invest in motion sensing lights to keep the outside of your home as light as possible. You may also want to leave a few lights on inside your home when you go out. This will give the illusion that someone is still home and hopefully deter anyone looking to break in.
6. Identify Yourself
If you are a tenant in any complex that relies on an access entry, it is in your best interest not to use your first and last name on any mailbox or call-up directory. These are some of the first places strangers will look to help them gain access to your building. Instead of using your full name, use your last name or just your initials. This simple trick may help keep unwanted guests and strangers out of your building.
7. Use your locks at all times
This is one of the easiest ways to keep your home and your family safe. Lock your door at all times! Even if you are at home, lock your door and use the peep hole to identify anyone who is at your front door. A peephole is just another added layer of security and is well worth the investment. Remember, never, ever open your door to strangers, instead communicate with them behind a locked door.
Although Maple Ridge is a very safe community, it is always good practice to follow these safety tips. No one wants a home break in and these tips should keep you, your home and family safe.