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.
- 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.
- 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.