It’s that time of year when many of us are heading out for our annual vacations

Saturday, June 28th, 2008



It’s that time of year when many of us are heading out for our annual vacations — the ideal time to review the security of our homes while we’re away.

The Weiser lock company has come up with some good ideas that might help protect your home and your belongings from the attention of thieves while you’re away.

– A car parked in the driveway gives the appearance that someone is home.

– Good exterior lighting around your perimeter creates a psychological barrier.

– Make sure all exterior doors have deadbolts with at least a one-inch throwbolt.

– Keep your doors locked at all times. Half of all break-ins are through unlocked doors.

– Going out of town? Give your neighbour a house key so he or she can check in.

– Help the police help you. Make sure you keep your street address visible. When affixing numbers to your house, make sure they are at least four inches high, reflective and visible from the street.

– Park your car outside? Always lock your vehicle and consider taking your garage door opener with you instead of leaving it in the car.

– Been at the same house for a while? Replace your outside locks as you’ve probably given out your house key a lot through the years.

– Backyard secure? Consider installing a fence and plant fast-growing bushes as extra barriers around the exterior of your home.

– Start a Neighbourhood Watch program — it’s the most effective method of keeping your home safe.

– Keep an extra key outside your house? Not a good idea. Burglars know all the hiding spots. Instead, leave a key with a trusted neighbour. Better yet, install a keyless entry system.

For more information, check out


Growing concerns about the environment have prompted some British Columbians to call for a revival of an age-old institution — the backyard clothesline.

Victoria‘s Leah Sherwood and friends have launched what they call The Great Rebate Ecochallenge, and are encouraging British Columbians to pool their $100 climate-action dividend and invest it in grassroots environmental action. Among their green goals: more clotheslines.

They may be in luck. British Columbia homeowners will be able to air their clean laundry in their yards if the B.C. government follows in the wake of Ontario‘s new law that bans clothesline restrictions in single detached, semi-detached and row houses.

Graham Currie, speaking for the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, says the province is informally reviewing the issue. “If you want, call it the right-to-dry issue,” says Currie.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008


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