Burglary Safety

Fact Vs. Fiction

The portrayal of a burglar as a sinister thief operating at night, a handkerchief over his face, coat collar turned up and peaked cap on his head is misleading and inaccurate.

Statistics indicate that the thief will most probably be one of the male youths in the neighbourhood, usually under 30 and most likely a teenager. He may be well dressed, wearing a recognizable uniform or a suit jacket. It will more than likely be broad daylight. The typical burglar does not want to harm you, just get into your home, steal what is available and valuable, and get out as quickly as possible, unobserved.

Senior Security

Did you know that Seniors are actually less likely to be victims of violent crimes than the average population? It's true, but isolation, media sensationalism, or physical and social changes can lead to a heightened sense of vulnerability. By becoming involved in your community and participating in crime prevention programs, you can reduce the risks and feel more confident in your safety.

Despite low levels of violent crime, criminals often regard older people as easy targets for many other kinds of crimes including burglary and con games. Every elderly person should be aware of these crimes and how to prevent them.

There is evidence that some people who have been victimized are too embarrassed to report the incident to the authorities. For your own well-being and to help others from becoming victims, if you have been victimized (or think you have been) report the cirumstances immediately to your local police.

(Information from RCMP)

Preventing Burglary at Home

For the majority of people, a feeling of security is found in the safety of their homes. However, many Canadians fail to take even fundamental precautions to secure their homes against robbery. There are a number of things you can do that will reduce the opportunities a burglar is looking for.

Securing Your Home

Get a color video Door Phone with your home alarm system

  • When moving into a new home, be sure to have locks re-keyed or replaced. Keep duplicate keys to a minimum.
  • Security alarm systems should be used in addition to, not in place of, other security measures.
  • House numbers should be in a well-lit area and easily visible to neighbours and emergency response units.
  • Exterior doors should be solid core. Hinges should be on the inside. Seal gaps between the door and frame in order to prevent a jimmy bar from being used.
  • Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and other entrances into the house from the garage or basement.
  • Install wide-angle viewers for exterior doors.
  • While proper locks on sliding glass doors are recommended, inserting a fitted piece of wood or metal in the door's lower track improves security.
  • Secure basement and ground level windows, as well as other possible points of entry, such as pet doors and window-mounted air conditioners.
  • Check references of people you employ to work in and around your home.
  • List only surname and initials in the telephone book.
  • Have adequate insurance coverage on your home and contents.

Interior Safety

  • Leave doors and windows locked whenever possible.
  • Use curtains on basement and garage windows to prevent others from shopping for goods.
  • Store credit cards, identification and other valuables in a safe place, and use a safety deposit box for seldom used valuables (e.g., jewellery).
  • Avoid leaving house and car keys available to a thief or intruder.
  • Do not leave purses or valuables in view of persons at your door.
  • Insist on seeing identification from sales and service people.
  • Consider purchasing a home security system.

Exterior Safety

  • Keep tools, ladders and garbage pails locked away.
  • Keep bicycles, barbecues and lawn equipment securely stored.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting.
  • Trim trees and shrubs that could easily hide intruders.
  • Don't leave notes on your door.
  • Don't leave spare keys hidden outside - they can be found.
  • Don't use a nameplate outside of your house with your full name. A criminal can use this information to look up your number in the phone book and call to see if you are home.

Vacation Security Tips

  • Inform trusted neighbours or relatives of your vacation plans and where you can be reached. Leave a key with them so they can check your house.
  • Have a neighbour park a car in your driveway, and pick up your mail, newspapers and flyers.
  • Ask a neighbour to put one of their garbage bags in front of your house on collection day.
  • Don't order merchandise for delivery while you are away, and cancel regular deliveries.
  • Don't talk about your vacation plans with strangers or service people.
  • Use your work address on your luggage tags so a potential criminals won't know where your empty house is.
  • Secure or remove valuables and firearms from your home.
  • Leave your house with a lived-in look. Use automatic timers to turn on lights and radios.
  • Have your lawn cut or snow removed while you are away.
  • If you come home and see a door ajar or a window broken, call the police immediately. NEVER enter the dwelling. If it looks suspicious - don't hesitate - call police.

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