10 ways to help prevent home break-ins

Break-ins can occur at any time to anyone in any neighbourhood. The highest percentage of break-ins happen in the summer, while people are away on vacation, or begin to leave their windows and doors open more often.

Most burglars rely on hiding, speed and force to gain entry to a home. A home security system is an effective deterrent, and an approved burglar or fire alarm can save you money on your home insurance.*

Unfortunately, a home security system isn’t a guarantee your home won’t be a target. Here are tips you can use to help protect your home from burglary:

  1. Lock your windows and doors at all times; even when you leave briefly, are outside on your property, or inside your home. Also, keep your valuables in a safe or lockbox when you go out.
  2. Change passcodes on electronic locks and garage doors from time to time.
  3. Keep your windows covered and your garage locked so valuable items are out of sight.
  4. Install motion sensor lights, deadbolt locks and upgrade patio/sliding glass door locks.
  5. Trim shrubs and bushes to eliminate hiding spots, and never hide keys outside.
  6. Don’t announce your vacation or trips on social media.
  7. If you go away for an extended period, use these tips for giving your home a lived-in look.
  8. Always change the locks when you move into a new home, condo or apartment, or if your keys are lost or stolen.
  9. Opportunistic criminals commonly target unlocked cars. Don’t leave anything valuable in your car and always lock the doors.
  10. If you live in an apartment or condo building, close the door behind you when entering or exiting the building. Report any security concerns, such as dim lighting around entrances or points of easy access, to your property manager.

If you come home and notice your home has been broken into or sense suspicious activity on your property, don’t go in. Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive.

Plan ahead of a possible home claim by keeping an updated inventory of your belongings. It will help the police identify your items if they’re recovered and help make the claims process easier.

*Under condominium or tenant insurance, the alarm must be inside the unit to qualify.