Home Security Tips

While it's difficult to protect your home from professional thieves, most home burglaries are done by amateurs. These thieves are more easily thwarted if you employ some simple security precautions.

Below are several ideas to help make your home more safe and secure. Many of these ideas have come from law enforcement organizations and communities similar to yours.

Community Safety
The best way to deal with problems is to stop them before they start. All communities are safer when citizens act together and crime rates decline or remain low. Neighbourhood safety is a shared responsibility, in which both citizens and police have important roles.

Small steps are often the best way to start building a community, which could involve such simple things as alerting neighbours when suspicious activity seems to be happening.

  • get to know one another – residents should become familiar with the routines in their neighbourhoods
  • be aware of strangers and look out for each other
  • leave keys and emergency phone numbers with a trusted neighbour
  • keep up appearances – a well-tended neighbourhood is less attractive to criminals and vandals

Watch for Suspicious Activity 
One of the most useful tools for crime prevention is to call 911. Many people believe that the police do not want to be called if something suspicious is happening, but this is not so. When in doubt, call the police. Here are some situations in which you would call 911:

  • unusual noises, such as someone screaming for help
  • a vehicle that seems to be "casing" the neighbourhood
  • furniture being removed from homes when the owners are on vacation or at work
  • an abandoned car
  • a stranger looking into homes or parked cars
  • unusual activities of pets, such as a dog barking that is normally quiet
  • a salesperson going door to door who doesn't have proper identification

Install an Alarm System
Installing an electronic home security system is one of the most popular methods of protecting your home. One drawback is that the vast majority of residential entry alarms are false, which is a waste of valuable police resources, as well as reducing the integrity of the system.

An alarm system is intended to detect a burglary, but it will not necessarily prevent one. A system is only as good as its user and should be installed along with good physical security reinforcement, like deadbolt locks, adequate lighting, secure basement windows and strong exterior doors.

There are two types of alarms: monitored and unmonitored. An unmonitored alarm may mean you rely on your neighbours to call the police, which may or may not happen. As for a monitored alarm, it is possible for thieves to cut the phone lines before they enter, which disables the alarm. Speak to an alarm company representative about obtaining a system, which does not use the telephone wires to send its signal to the alarm company or consider installing a telephone line shield, which protects the phone line. All monitored alarm systems are serviced by an intermediate private company prior to any notification of police.

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