Ontario is among the safest places in the world to live, work and play. To maintain this standard, an effort must be made by homeowners to protect their property and discourage potential criminals.
The following outlines some of the techniques successfully used by homeowners to reduce opportunities for criminals. By incorporating these ideas into your home security plan, you and your neighbours are less likely to become targets of criminals who prey on residential areas.
Take the few extra few moments to see that your home is crime proofed. A secure home could help prevent you or your family from becoming a victim of crime.
Improving Home Security
- Start and maintain an accurate household inventory. Use, rent or borrow a video camera to video tape the interior of your residence.
- When moving into a newly purchased home, be sure to have locks re keyed or replaced.
- Take care of your keys and keep duplicates to a minimum.
- Do not rely on a security alarm system to protect you. They should be used in addition to, not in place of, other security measures.
- Install dead bolt locks on all exterior doors and other entrances into the house from the garage or basement.
- Exterior doors should be solid-core in order to provide strength for the locking system. Seal gaps between the door and the frame to prevent a jimmy bar from being used.
- Install wide-angle viewers for exterior doors.
- While proper locks on sliding glass doors are recommended, inserting a fitted piece of wood or metal in the door's lower track improves security.
- Secure basement and ground level windows.
- Secure all possible points of entry such as milk chutes and window-mounted air conditioners.
- Be sure to keep your garage or shed locked. Many times a garage has provided criminals with tools to break and enter.
- Use curtains on basement and garage windows to prevent others from "shopping" for goods.
- Timers on radios and lights will help give the impression that someone is home.
- House numbers should be in a well lit area easily visible to neighbours and emergency response units.
- Do not reveal information to unknown people on the telephone or at the door. Be wary of "wrong address" visitors and "wrong number callers".
- Check references of people you employ to work in and around your home.
- List only surname and initials in the telephone book.
- Have adequate insurance coverage on your home and contents.
- Inform trusted neighbours of your vacation plans and where you can be reached. Leave a key with them so they can check your house.
- Inform neighbours if you intend to have relatives or friends stay or visit during your absence.
- Avoid leaving an unattended motor vehicle in the driveway of your home, instead have a neighbour park a car in your driveway.
- Have a neighbour,in exchange for your help later, collect junk mail and other doorstep "litter".
- Have the post office halt delivery of your mail.
- Have your newspaper delivery suspended.
- Ensure all doors and windows are locked.
- Secure or remove valuables and firearms from your home.
- Arrange to have someone mow your lawn or shovel your snow.
- Never pull your drapes shut - it looks unnatural during the daytime and suggests your absence.
- Turn on a radio in the house and ensure the volume is loud enough to be heard just outside your door, but isn't so loud it bothers your neighbours.
- Never leave on a hall light to suggest your presence. Instead turn on an upstairs bathroom or bedroom light. A "burglar "casing" a neighbourhood will assume when he knocks on your door that perhaps you failed to answer the door because you were upstairs and didn't hear the knock. In any case, he may think someone is there and will leave your home alone.
- Consider putting lights on a timer so they go on and off at various times of the day and night.
- Consider using a motion detecting device that activates lights outside your home. One potential drawback is that they can be activated by harmless animals and needless concern may be aroused.
- A criminal will spend very little time attempting to break into a home that has strong, durable locks.
- Leave doors locked whenever possible.
- Lock windows when going out.
- Store credit cards, identification and other valuables in a safe place.
- Use a safety deposit box for seldom used valuables, e.g. jewellery.
- Avoid leaving house and car keys available to a thief or intruder.
- Do not leave purses or valuables in view of persons at your door.
- Insist on seeing identification from sales and service people.
- Keep tools, ladders and garbage pails locked away.
- Keep bicycles, barbecues and lawn equipment securely stored.
- Have adequate exterior lighting.
- Trim trees and shrubs that could easily hide a thief.
- Don't leave notes on the door.
- Don't have door hinges on the outside, exposed to the criminal.
- Don't leave spare keys hidden outside.
- Remember to report crimes or suspicious activities in your neighbourhood to the Police. We need your help so we, in turn, can help you in crime proofing yourself and your community.