Statistics show that of all burglaries, 1/3 break in through a basement window, 1/3 force open a door or window, and 1/3 simply enter through an unlocked door or window using no force at all!

Most burglars commit their crime during the day, select homes that look unoccupied, and prefer homes which provide some kind of visual barrier from passers-by, so they will not be seen.

With this in mind, the three essential points to crime proofing your home are: make your home look occupied; keep your home visible to neighbours and passers-by; and make it as difficult as possible for someone to break in.

Make Your Home Look Occupied

  • Don't leave notes on your mailbox or your door.
  • Illuminate as much of your property as you can.
  • Use electric timers to maintain normal lighting even when you are away.
  • While on vacation, have your mailed and newspaper delivery stopped, and a neighbor ensure that promotional flyers don't collect in your mailbox.
  • Arrange to have your grass cut or snow shovelled while absent.
  • Leave a radio on or, even better, put the radio on a electric timer.
  • Install motion detector lights for the perimeter and especially the back of your house. They illuminate only when movement is detected and can be set to function only after sunset.

Keep Your Home Visible to Neighbours and Passers-by.

  • Keep your shrubbery (trees and gardens) cut back so that your house and perimeter are visible from the street.
  • Don't use a fencing style that conceals your property. If you can't see out, others can't see in.

Breaking inMake it As Difficult As Possible for Someone to Break In

  • Secure window air conditioners from the inside.
  • Secure any glass that is less than 40" (100cm) from a door lock.
  • For wood frame windows which open from below, drill a hole high in the frame through both windows and place a long double-headed nail in the hole to act as a bolt preventing the window from opening. You can drill another hole with the window slightly ajar to secure an opened draft window.
  • Exterior doors should be solid not hollow. Better yet, get a metal door. These doors pay for themselves after a few years due to the insulation in them and the heating cost savings.
  • Door hinges that are on the outside should have a non-removable center pin that can't be tampered with.
  • Pin sliding patio doors when closed or construct a stop bar with a piece of wood.
  • Place hinged security bars on basement windows remembering to keep the key nearby for emergency exits.
  • Keep upper-level windows closed and locked.
  • Get an alarm system installed but don't rely on the alarm system alone; continue to implement the other security measures included on this information page. If you can't afford an alarm system, buy a fake sticker and stick them on all doors and windows.

Other hints

  • Identify your personal property by engraving or permanently marking it. Put a sticker on your doors to the effect that your property has been engraved.
  • Put a BEWARE OF DOG sign on your back fence or door, even if you don't have a dog.
  • Hide valuables in unusual places.
  • Tell your neighbour when you are leaving on a long vacation. You can return the favour!
  • Don't use your home address on luggage tags. Use your work address instead.
  • Don't leave valuables in plain view from the front door, such as wallets, cash or purses.
  • Lock your doors when you are at the other end of your home or yard.
  • Keep the phone number of the police by the telephone.