Thieves want to minimize the risk of being caught. So, the homes that they look to break into are the homes that make the easiest target. If you take steps to make your home a more difficult target, you’re more likely to be left alone. Here are some ways you can protect your household.
- Lock your doors and windows before leaving the house or going to bed, even if you will only be gone for a short time.
- Lighting is one of the most inexpensive crime deterrents. Leave lights on when you go out. If you will be away for an extended period, use automatic timers to turn some lamps on in the evenings and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked. Never leave your garage door opener inside a vehicle parked in your driveway.
- Check locks on doors and windows regularly and replace them as needed.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flower pots, or in other “secret” hiding places. Intruders know where to look!
- Keep an inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description or photo of the item, date of purchase, purchase value and serial numbers. Keep this in a safe place away from your home (e.g., office).
- Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed around your home to reduce cover for intruders.
- Consider installing an alarm system.
- Be a good neighbour—if you notice any suspicious activity around a neighbour’s property, call 911 immediately.
If you are going to be away for an extended period:
- Do not advertise your absence by posting your vacation plans on social media.
- Record an outgoing voicemail message that gives the impression that you’re home.
- Don’t allow deliveries of mail and flyers to build up. Have the post office hold your mail or arrange for a friend to pick them up daily.
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed (or driveway plowed) regularly.
- Have a trusted friend check in on your home each day.
- If possible, leave a vehicle parked in your driveway or have a friend park in your driveway while you are away.
- Advise trusted neighbours that you will be away. Tell them who you expect to be on your property in your absence and ask them to call the police if they see anything suspicious.