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Protecting Your Home

Your home is the most valuable asset you have and it is worth protecting. Take the Home Security Quiz to give you an indication of the level of security in and around your home and use this Home Security Checklist to help you protect your home.

Here are some tips to help you keep your home safe.

When at Home

  • When in your backyard lock your front door and vice versa.
  • When in the home, it is a good idea to keep your doors locked.
  • Consider keeping your blinds/curtains closed at night so people can't see in.
  • Consider installing an alarm system.
  • Have an emergency kit prepared.
  • Never leave your children at home alone.
  • Be wary of strangers coming to your door.

When on Vacation

Vacation is a time for fun and enjoyment. You can make each trip more enjoyable and carefree if you take a few simple steps to reduce the possibility that your house will be burglarized or vandalized while you are gone. A vacant house, or one that appears to be unoccupied, is an appealing target for a burglar.

  • Arrange to have your mail picked up and consider stopping newspapers.
  • Remember to have the grass cut, the leaves raked or the snow removed as necessary.
  • Use timers on a few lamps in rooms where the light will be noticed from outside the house.
  • Have a neighbour check both inside and outside the house every few days. Ask them to pick up items delivered while you are away.
  • Ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway / designated parking stall.
  • Have someone put out your garbage cans on garbage pick-up day.
  • Don't announce your vacation on your voicemail or social media.

In Your Yard

The following outdoor belongings are often targeted by thieves:

Ladders: If you keep ladders out, be sure to chain or padlock them. A ladder can be used to gain entry to second story windows. If at all possible, store the ladders in a shed or garage.

Tools: Put tools away after a day of yard work. Lock them in a shed or in an enclosed garage area. Screwdrivers, hammers and pry bars can be used to break into your home, garage, or vehicle.

Tables and chairs: Use a chain or a cable to lock your patio furniture.

Bicycles and other ride-on toys: Always put them in a garage or shed. If you do not have either, lock them to something that can’t be moved.

  • Trim trees and bushes that could conceal burglars, especially around windows and doors.
  • Keep your yard maintained to give the house a lived-in appearance. Cut grass, rake leaves, remove dead branches and debris.
  • Install motion-sensitive outside lights to brighten dark areas around doors or windows.
  • Ensure your fence and gate are in good repair - check for holes and damage that may need repair. Keep your gate locked at all times and ensure the lock works properly. A lock or latch that self closes and can be padlocked when you are away is recommended. Install privacy slats in chain link fences.
  • Plant spiky plants along the perimeter of your yard and under windows to deter intruders.

Firepit Safety

Be a considerate neighbour when enjoying a backyard fire and limit smoke and noise. The Community Standards Bylaw #14600 regulates the construction and use of firepits. Make sure your fire pit is safe and meets bylaw requirements.

Ensure firepit is safe and legal

  • Locate firepits at least 3 metres from buildings, property lines and anything else that could catch fire.
  • Assemble your firepit from bricks, concrete or heavy gauge metal no higher than 60 cm and no wider than one metre.
  • Fully enclose the sides of your firepit.
  • Use a spark arrestor with openings no larger than 1.25 cm to cover your fire pit.

Firepit fuel

  • Dry untreated wood.
  • Charcoal.
  • Natural Gas.
  • Dry wood.

Do not burn any material that creates excessive smoke must not be placed in a firepit including:

  • Yard waste.
  • Grass clippings, leaves or branches.
  • Garbage.
  • Paper or Cardboard.

REMEMBER

  • Never leave a firepit unattended.
  • Never leave children alone with a lit fire.
  • Always make sure a fire is completely out when you are done.
  • Keep a water source or fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish the fire when necessary.
  • For more information on firepit construction or location please contact your local Fire Rescue Services.

In Your Community

  • Get to know your neighbours – residents should become familiar with the routine in their neighbourhoods.
  • Be aware of strangers and look out for each other.
  • Leave keys and emergency phone numbers with a trusted neighbour.
  • Keep up appearances – a well-tended neighbourhood is less attractive to criminals and vandals.
  • Get involved in crime prevention programs.