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Security Tips » Home Security

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We all have the potential to be victims of crime. Each of us can minimize the chance of our homes being victimized by using the following strategies. Break-and-enter is a crime of opportunity. You, as an individual and in conjunction with your neighbours, have the ability to reduce your chance of misfortune by working together.

For more information on Home Security, visit the Toronto Police Service Crime Prevention website at torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention


Door security

  • Locks with key cylinders in the doorknob are not reliable and can easily be forced.
  • Install a good quality deadbolt lock on the door and a security strike plate on the door frame.
  • Doors should be mounted so that the hinge bolts are facing the inside of the house.
  • Outside doors and frames should be made of solid wood or steel, which are harder to force open than hollow-core doors. Frames in outside doors should fit snugly (within 1/4 inch) against the door.
  • Chain locks are poor security. Install a wide angle viewer instead.
  • If keys are lost, you should change your locks.
  • Garages are a favourite target for thieves. Keep your garage door locked, even when you are at home.

Window security

  • Most windows can be pinned for security. Drill a hole through both frames and insert a double-headed nail. Consider drilling a series of holes, which allows the window to be fixed in a number of open positions. Be careful not to make the opening so large that a criminal could squeeze through or reach in a remove the nail.
  • Good quality locks should be installed and used on all windows.

Going on Vacation

  • Inform a neighbour of your departure and return dates.
  • Where possible, cancel all deliveries or redirect your mail and deliveries. Alternatively, have a neighbour collect these items.
  • Arrange to have the lawn cut and walkways cleared.
  • Use timers to activate lights at various intervals.

Know what criminals look for

  • Landscaping: Tall plants and bushes will reduce visibility and conceal entry into your home.
  • Doors: Criminals know the difference between door styles and locks, and which ones are easiest to break into.
  • Garage: An open and/or unlocked garage door is an easy entrance for criminals to enter into the interior of the house.
  • Windows: Bare windows are a way for criminals to see the potential reward inside and to see if the risk is worth taking.
  • Garbage: A garbage can/bin can be used as a way to elevate the criminal onto a second floor or balcony, give them insight in to what you recently purchased and the contents can help them steal your identity.
  • Vehicles: Criminals look for empty driveways for an indication that no one is home. Don't leave valuables in your vehicle either, take them inside your home.

Has your home been broken into?

If you return home an discover that your house has been broken into, do not enter... the criminal may still be inside. CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY. Do not touch anything or clean up until the Police have arrived... you may disturb evidence.
  • IN CASE OF EMERGENCY or a crime in progress, call 9-1-1
  • To report a non-emergency crime, call the Police at (416) 808-2222. 
  • To report anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)



Home Security | Transit Safety | Senior Safety | Distraction Theft | Online Safety

For more information on Home Security, visit the Toronto Police Service Crime Prevention website at torontopolice.on.ca/crimeprevention