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Security Tips*

Securing Your Home

  • 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 Security

  • 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 Security

  • 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 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.

* Courtesy of Ottawa Police Service.