Safety measures and tips to help keep your home and valuables protected from would be thieves.

person breaking into a window


  • Lock all doors and windows when you leave or even when home alone. Especially basement and ground level windows and patio doors.
  • Ensure that locks are changed if you are a new tenant or owner, install deadbolts on doors and a peep hole in your front door.
  • Consider installing an alarm system and/or security cameras and be sure they are in working order.
  • Insure your home and its contents.
  • Store valuables in safety lock boxes such as passports, jewellery, coins etc.
  • Store credit cards, identification, and other valuables in a safe place and take photo copies of all important documents.
  • Take an inventory of your possessions, such as all electronic equipment and tools. Pictures, video and receipts are a good way of doing this.
  • Store your car and house keys in a safe, secure and easy to access place.
  • Do not leave purses, jewellery and other valuables visible through the front door.
  • Use curtains on your windows to prevent potential thieves from getting a look inside.
  • Before turning your house key over to a cleaner or other service person, ensure they are from a reputable agency.
  • Ask for credentials from any sales-person before they enter your home.
  • Shred personal papers that you no longer require.
  • Have newspapers and mail picked up, lawns cut or snow removed by a trusted neighbour or friend,  when you are away from home.
  • Buy fake home security decals if you cannot afford a real system.
  • Install ‘dummy’ surveillance cameras if you do not wish to install the real ones.
  • Motion-censored lights outside your home are a great deterrent but make sure to hide the wiring.
  • Keep shrubs and trees trimmed so that doors and windows are in clear view for neighbours to see a potential break in.
  • If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately.
  • Keep ladders and garbage pails locked up. Never leave then in the back or front yard.
  • Take your name off the mailbox and your home. These days with Google and the Internet, it's very easy to find your phone number online, then the thief can call and see if you're home.
  • Even if you do not have a dog, put a sign up that says beware of dog to deter strangers from entering your property.
  • Always keeps tools locked up as these tools can be turned against you and used to break into your home.
  • Do not leave notes on your door that say ‘come around to the back’, ‘leave parcel at the door’ etc.
  • Do not hide spare keys under your door mat, or in the mailbox.
  • Install a secure locking mailbox.
  • Do not post on social media that you are going away and avoid posting vacation photos until you have returned home.
  • Avoid being obvious when packing your car for a vacation.
  • Set a timer to switch various household lights and sprinkler systems on at night and off in the morning.
  • If you frost or cover your garage windows, burglars won't be able to tell if your car is gone.
  • Make sure that all possible entrances to your house are locked properly.
  • Use a metal bar or piece of wood on sliding doors and windows to make prying them open difficult.
  • Leave a key for your home with someone you trust.
  • Contact your alarm company and advise them when you will be away.
  • Make sure trusted neighbours know you are going away and are left with an emergency contact number.
  • A few dollars to a neighbour for yard maintenance can be money well spent.
  • Put your mail and newspaper deliveries on hold, but also arrange with someone to pick up any mail or newspapers that end up on your doorstep or in your mailbox.
  • In general, with the help of friends and neighbours try to avoid the appearance that no one is home.