Safety First: Home Safety Tips and Advice

Home Safety

Being Safe at Home

Become familiar with Neighbourhood Watch or the Block Watch program in your community. Neighbours looking out for each other is one of the most effective ways to prevent crime. If none exists in your community, contact your local police agency. They’ll help you start one.

Keep records of valuables by recording serial numbers, marking items with an engraving pen, and using photographs or video to identify your belongings. Make sure there aren’t multiple copies of your keys in circulation. Change locks if you have just bought a home. Never give keys out to service people and never tag them with personal information, such as your name and address. Never put spare keys under floor mats or flower pots.

Aside from being a friend, a dog is one of the most effective ways to deter burglars.

If you do come home and notice something suspicious, such as a broken window or lock, don’t go in. Go to a neighbour’s home and call the police. If you notice a break-in has occurred after you’ve entered, don’t touch anything. Leave immediately and call the police.

Safety Checklist

  • Do not list your first name in the telephone book. Instead use initials.
  • Make sure your answering machine message does not indicate that you are alone.
  • Have deadbolts installed on all doors. Keep doors and windows locked.
  • Install a peep-hole on your door and look before opening the door.
  • Never open the door to strangers.
  • Keep blinds or drapes closed to discourage "Peeping Toms." Do not hang lingerie outdoors.
  • A set of sheer window curtains will help prevent people outside looking in, but will still allow in the light.
  • Verify the identity of any repairmen. Use the telephone number listed in the phone book, not on their identification.
  • If someone comes to your door asking to use the telephone, make the call yourself. Don't invite them in.
  • Don't hide a spare key under the doormat or under a flowerpot. Thieves know all the good hiding places.
  • Plant thorny bushes under all windows.
  • Invest in motion sensor lights and a good security system.
  • Get a barking dog or "beware of dog" signs.
  • Always double lock and check doors at night, lock all windows.
  • Be sure your garage door can be secured. Do not leave it open when you are away; an empty garage broadcasts your absence.