People tend to think of break-and-enter crimes in strictly physical terms, however, they can also have a significant impact on a person's mental well-being. Victims often speak of a sense of violation.
To a criminal, there are certain indications that a home is vacant or a better target for a break and enter.
The OPP would like to offer some simple home security tips.
Below is a list of suggestions to reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
- When you move to a new home, you should change or re-key the lock immediately.
- Always keep your front door locked.
- Keep screen doors locked whenever your main door is open.
- Never ignore a knock on the door.
- Garage doors leading directly into the house should be locked, even when you are in the house or backyard.
- Chain locks are NOT recommended as security for doors. Instead, invest in a peephole or smart doorbell or smart outdoor camera. These will allow you to see the person outside and not allow them to see inside.
- Limit the size of accessible window openings. If they are being used for ventilation at night install a securable, window stop.
- Place ladders inside a locked shed or garage.
- Place tools i.e.: rakes and shovels inside a locked shed or garage when not being used.
- Be sure windows, even upper story windows are closed and locked when you are not at home. Patio furniture can be used as a stepladder to gain access to the upper level of the home.
- Trim hedges below the window level to eliminate areas that criminals can hide.
- Make sure outside lights are working.
- Always lock your vehicles, even when in the garage, so access cannot be gained by intruders.
- Keep your vehicle keys out of sight and in a location where no one would look for them.
- Make sure that your home always looks lived in (e.g., newspapers/flyers picked up, grass cut, snow shovelled etc).
Break and enter is a crime of opportunity, which you can help control! Please take some time to implement some or all of these suggestions.