At PROTECTION PLUS, we often share important home security tips in our blog and across our website. These tips are designed to help homeowners protect themselves, their families and their homes from threats like burglary, intrusion and fire.

But don’t just take our word for it.

In this post, we share what the authorities say. Below, you’ll find some of the most important tips provided by police services across the Greater Toronto Area. We encourage all families to review these recommendations regardless of whether they currently use a home security system or not.  

1) Strengthen your door security.

– Toronto Police Service

In its guide to home security, Toronto Police provide several recommendations for improving door security to make it more difficult for criminals to break in. “Locks with key cylinders in the doorknob are not

reliable and can be easily forced,” police say. They recommend installing “a good quality deadbolt lock on the door and a security strike plate on the door frame.” Additionally, police say doors should be mounted so that the hinges and bolts are facing the inside of the house. Replace old-fashioned chain locks with a wide-angle viewer. If you misplace keys, you should change your locks.

2) Trim shrubs and hedges.

– Peel Regional Police

Peel Regional Police emphasize this important point, which is recommended by every other police department on this list: “Ensure that shrubs and hedges around your property are maintained to have clear lines of sight to all accessible windows and doors.” This prevents criminals from hiding behind bushes and breaking inside without being spotted by neighbors.

3) Use timers on lights.

– Durham Regional Police Service

To deter home invasion, Durham Regional Police strongly recommend using “timers on lights inside the residence.” This is especially important if you’re going away, as it creates the appearance that someone is at home.

4) Don’t let mail gather.

– York Regional Police 

York Regional Police say that uncollected mail, newspapers and packages are a magnet for thieves. “Make sure your mail is collected and not gathering on your porch,” says Detective Sergeant Carl Mattinen of the Integrated Property Crime Task Force. If you’re going away, have a neighbor or relative collect these items for you, so that your home doesn’t look vacant. Similarly, arrange to have your lawn cut or snow shoveled.

5) Use security systems with alarm verification.

– Hamilton Police Service

Many Ontario police services require homeowners or their alarm companies to verify an alarm signal before police can be dispatched. Hamilton Police Service states: “In order to dispatch police, alarm companies or an alarm user must verify that a criminal offence has/is occurring or there is an imminent threat to personal safety.” Alarms must be verified by video/audio, such as with our ALARM-i video alarm verification system, or by “multiple alarm activation points,” such as separate door/window sensors.

6) Keep outdoor valuables secure and out of sight.

– Halton Regional Police Service

“High-value items such as lawnmowers, snowblowers and gas barbecues should be stored out of sight when not in use,” says the Halton Regional Police Service. These items should be stored inside garages, sheds or other structures, so that they do not attract thieves. Additionally, be sure that those structures remain closed and locked in addition to your home’s doors and windows. 

Get more tips with a home security audit

Let our security experts provide you with valuable security tips that are specific to your home and needs. Request a free, no-obligation audit of your home security from PROTECTION PLUS.

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Mike Wedmann
A 50-something Dad, husband, and 20+ year veteran of the Security Industry. Passionate about providing homeowners and business owners with the best possible security solutions. An avid cyclist in my spare time. Part-time blogger about Security Tips, parenting, or whatever compels me to write!