Garages and sheds are easy structures for thieves to break into, especially during the spring and summer months. From April to June 2022, EPS received 466 reports of garage break and enters across the city. Some of the most common items targeted are tools, bikes, outdoor equipment, vehicles, and garage door openers. It is important to lock up your items to keep them secure.
Protect your belongings and keep your garage, shed and backyard safe by doing the following:
- Get to know your neighbours and report any suspicious activity
- If your garage has windows, make sure they're 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.
- Consider installing adequate lighting and surveillance around garages and sheds.
- LED lighting with a timer is very cost effective
- Create an inventory list and take photos of all your items. If applicable, record make, model and serial number.
- Ladders: If you keep ladders out, chain or padlock them.
- Tools: Keep tools locked in the garage or shed when they are not in use.
- 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 and if you don’t have either, lock them to something that can’t be moved. Make sure to register your bikes on Bike Index.
- Lock your vehicles, even when inside the garage
- Secure sheds and other garage doors with deadbolt locks
- 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
- 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
General backyard security
- 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.
- 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.
If your garage or shed has been broken into, report it by either calling the EPS non-emergency line at 780-423-4567, or reporting online here.