Don’t be a show off: You certainly don’t want to lure thieves to your home. You can avoid doing this by not leaving items out in an easy to grab location on your lawn, driveway or open garage (think bikes, scooters etc.). Also, after buying pricey items like electronics or a fancy new appliance don’t leave the box out at the side of the road for pickup. You don’t want anyone knowing which brand new, expensive items are available inside your home.

Get to know your neighbours: Getting to know the people who live around you is a great way to stay safe. Neighbourhoods that are friendly with each other typically have fewer break ins. Why is that? More sets of eyes looking out for one another often leads to an intervention of a suspicious person before a crime is committed.

Locks, locks, locks! 40% of break ins happen without the use of force. From those numbers we can certainly tell people aren’t always locking their doors and windows. Remind your children over and over again the importance of keeping doors and windows locked when they are home alone (and even when others are home too!). You might feel like a broken record, but if it means keeping your family safe it’s worth it.

Enroll your child in the Home Alone Safety Course: Having your child take this course will not only put your mind at ease, but it will teach them the skills they need to stay safe, and make responsible decisions when home alone. For more information click here.

Do not open the door: Reminding children to not open the door to anyone when they are home alone. Its much easier for the attacker to force their way into the home once the door has been opened.

Don’t leave a spare key out: We know our kids often easily “misplace” things, so of course leaving a spare key out seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, this can make it very easy for burglars to enter your home. Also, you never know who is watching when someone goes to retrieve the key. A better option is to leave the spare key with a trusted neighbour in case your child’s key ends up disappearing just like all those lost mittens do.

Anybody home? Most break ins happen between 10am –3pm when many homes are empty. Always make your home look occupied . This is especially important if your children are coming home from school alone. Different methods of doing this include leaving the radio going, leaving a light on, keeping a pair of old shoes out at the front door etc.

Get a new furry friend: Dogs are an absolute deterrent for burglars. It also doesn’t matter the size or breed of the dog, just the fact you have a pooch that will alert of an intruder is enough to have perpetrator move along.

Keep your yard in tip-top shape:  Keeping trees and bushes trimmed eliminates hiding spaces for intruders.

It’s all about the lighting: Installing motion sensor lights on the outside of your home is a great way to scare off any potential intruders or vandals. Also make sure entryways to your home, driveways and your yard have adequate lighting. Burglars don’t want to be seen.

Security systems: From alarm systems to motion sensor video that goes straight to your phone (example: Ring Doorbell) there are a lot of different options when it comes to home security. Do some research or look into a local company to see what best suits the needs of your family. These are also handy for you to know when children get home from school.

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