Home security and burglaries
Most burglaries (also called breaking and entering, or B & Es) can be prevented with good locks, a few tools and simple precautions. While no home can be made totally burglar-proof, people need not live with undue fear. Everyone can take effective and practical steps to make their homes more secure.
If your home is broken into
- Do not enter the house in case the burglar is still there. Use a neighbour's telephone to call the police at 9-1-1. Watch your house until the police arrive.
- Do not touch anything until the police have finished checking your house.
- Provide police with a list of serial numbers of missing items so they can return your property to you if it is found.
Neighbourhood safety tips
Your neighbourhood is your first line of defence - burglars don't like watchful neighbours who are collectively interested in the security of their neighbourhoods. Next, look at your yard and neighbourhood from the burglar's point of view. These safety tips may help:
- Trim trees and bushes that could hide burglars.
- Pay particular attention to trees growing near your house. Could a burglar climb a tree to get onto the roof, then enter through an unlocked upper storey window.
- Keep your yard maintained to give the house a lived-in appearance. Cut grass, rake leaves, remove dead branches and debris.
- Install outside lights to brighten dark areas around doors or windows.
- Look at the outside of your house. Make sure emergency personnel can easily see your address from the street, even at night. Then check your doors, windows and other outside openings.
Home safety tips
- Outside doors and frames should be made of solid wood or steel, which are harder to force open than hollow-core doors. Frames in outside doors should fit snugly (within 1/4 inch) against the door.
- Glass in outside doors should be at least 40 inches from the lock or be unbreakable.
- Secure all outside doors with deadbolt locks.
- Install a peephole viewer (180 degrees) on the entrance door.
- If a window is in a bedroom that does not have an exterior door, any security bars on the window must be able to open from the inside without the use of any tools or special knowledge.