Garages are a favourite target for criminals. Be sure windows are curtained so thieves can't look for items to steal or check to see if your car is there. The door between your house and attached garage should swing inward, be solid core and have a deadbolt lock. Here are some other tips to help you keep your garage safe.
- Keep your garage locked, even when you are at home
- If the overhead garage door is roller and track operated, install a lock in the track to block the roller and disconnect your automatic garage door opener before you go on vacation
- Secure your other garage doors with deadbolts
- Install lights near your garage to keep the area lit
- Leave your headlights on until you park in the garage
- Have a remote control garage door opener installed. This will allow you to stay in your locked car until you're inside your locked garage. Be sure the overhead door closes completely after you drive into or out of your garage
- Never leave your automatic garage door opener in a vehicle that is parked outside your home
When spring arrives, it’s time to give some thought to crime proofing your backyard. Be aware: backyard living spaces, and the barbeques, patio furniture and bikes they house, are prime targets for thieves.
Review these tips to burglar-proof your yard.
Install motion sensor lighting
Light areas that are in darkness near the home, such as around windows and doors and exterior buildings such as unattached garages and sheds.
Motion sensor lighting is a cost effective way to accomplish this as it is activated when movement occurs in a given area and turns off after a set period of time. See our Home Alarms page for more information.
Position sensor lights to cover sidewalks leading to any door, deck, patio area, or stairways.
For additional security, put sensor lights at any entry way to the house or backyard.
Place your motion sensor lights approximately 10 feet above the ground so the lights cannot be
easily tampered with.
Protect outdoor belongings
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.
Record and identify outdoor property
Recording serial numbers or distinctive features of your valuable outdoor property in an inventory description list is recommended. Taking pictures of these items is also useful and can assist the police in recovering any property that is stolen.
Lay claim to your property
Engrave your name, address or other unique identifier on your belongings and place them in discrete locations so they won’t be noticed. Recording where you place these identifying marks in the inventory description list is recommended.
Strong fencing is important for a number of reasons, including the reinforcement it provides for property owners. A strong, high fence not only keeps out most burglars, it keeps animals out as well.
If you have a fence:
Check for holes and damage that may need repair.
Ensure locking mechanisms are working properly. A lock or latch that self closes and can be padlocked when you are away is recommended. Don’t make access to the latch too obvious.
Landscaping and yard maintenance
Landscaping and yard maintenance is an important part of deterring theft on or around your property.
Eliminate hiding spots by trimming trees and shrubs. A pruned and maintained yard robs intruders of hiding places. Ensure trees limbs are trimmed high enough and shrubs are trimmed low enough to not hide a trespasser.
If you do decide to leave shrubs and trees larger, consider plants that can hinder thieves. Rose bushes, berry bushes, Firethorn, and Hawthorne are good examples.
Mow your lawn and keep your yard clean. An untended lawn is a potential sign that you don’t care about your home and may have left a way in.
Know your neighbours
Neighbours are one of the best theft and burglary deterrents. Get to know who lives around you. Simply being aware of one another and keeping an eye out for suspicious activities can prevent criminal activity.