Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Home from Theft

By Lesley Green
Family of four leaving their home to go on a road trip.
  • Every year in Canada there are about 160,000 break-ins reported to police.
  • 34% of burglars gain access to a home through an unlocked front door.
  • A home security system could help you save 5% off your home insurance premium.

We live in a relatively safe country but that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down.

Every year in Canada there are about 160,000 break-ins reported to police. The pandemic is sure to have cut that number down significantly. But as more people get vaccinated, businesses re-open, and in-country (or in-province) travel gains steam, homeowners should take precautions to minimize their risk of a break-in when not at home.

Everyone is looking forward to things returning to normal and thieves are no different.

1. Lock it or lose it

This one may seem obvious, but the fact is many people do not lock all doors and windows before they leave their home. Even if you're just in the backyard, lock your front. Some estimates suggest 34 percent of burglars gain access to a home through an unlocked front door. An open main floor window is the next easiest target.

2. Home alarm systems

When you leave the house always make sure to set your home alarm if you have one. If you don't have a home security system, it might be worth considering. A home alarm system not only offers added peace of mind knowing your house is secure but could help you save on your home insurance premiums too. Depending on the type of system you get (or have), you can probably expect to qualify for a discount of five percent, if not more.

3. Go for the ‘lived-in’ look

Before you go away on holiday, arrange for someone to mow your lawn, pick up your mail and park in your driveway. This will make it look like you’re still home and will help deter robbers. It's also a smart idea to use timers on indoor lights and install motion sensors on outdoor lights.

4. Don’t advertise

Don’t broadcast details about upcoming trips on social networks. Only those who need to know you’re away should know you’re away and keep that circle small.

5. Put away the packaging

Don’t leave big box packaging, especially for high-priced items like TVs, computers etc., in your driveway or carport. This sends a message to potential burglars that you have goods worth stealing.

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6. Lock up your tools

Ladders, wire cutters, and hammers can all be used to gain illegal access to your home. While it is common for homeowners to store many of these items in an unlocked garage or shed, it is risky. Don't give a thief the tools to break into your home. Lock your garage and sheds too.

7. Look out for one another

Consider joining, or setting up, a neighbourhood watch group in your area. This provides an extra incentive for your neighbours to report any suspicious activity around your residence.

8. Get a (fake) dog

If you have a dog, make it known. Even if you don’t have a pooch, consider putting up a ‘beware of dog’ sign anyway because not everyone is willing to risk tangling with another person’s pet, even if that pet is imaginary.

9. Do some gardening

Keep hedges, trees and bushes well-trimmed, especially if they are near doors and windows. These plants provide cover, making it easier for burglars to access your home without a neighbour noticing. Also, trim any large tree branches close to your second floor to discourage thieves with a knack for climbing.

10. Clearly display your house number

Make sure your house or unit number is clearly displayed outdoors in the day and night as this will guarantee emergency crews can find you quickly if someone breaks into your home.

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