Your burglary prevention checklist

Updated September 11, 2023 | Published December 8, 2011

Theft is one of those things that seems like it only happens to other people… until it happens to you.

Burglary and theft can happen anywhere, but thieves tend to focus on low-hanging fruit. Your home will be much safer if you take some basic steps to protect your home. Here is a quick checklist you can use to ensure that you’re protecting what’s yours.

Most burglary and theft prevention is common sense, but there are a few things you might not think of. By ticking off the items on this list, you’ll reduce the chances of thieves targeting your home:

  • If you’re away for more than a day, have a neighbour check up on your place. Nothing like piled up mail or newspapers to signal an empty house.

  • Purchase a timer to turn your lights on and off. Or, have a neighbour turn lights on or off when checking on your home.

  • When going away on vacation, don’t broadcast it on social media.

  • Again, if you’re away, ask your neighbour to park a vehicle in your driveway, and arrange for someone to shovel your walks if it snows.

  • Install motion detector lights to make it difficult for a burglar to break in without being seen.

  • Have a professional install a monitored intrusion alarm. And be sure to put a sign on your door indicating you have a monitored alarm. This may deter a burglar looking for an easy score.

  • Close your curtains, but leave a small gap so some light shows through. Even if you’re just going out for the evening, leave some lights on, as well as the radio or tv to make it seem like someone’s home.

  • Don’t leave a spare key hidden outside. Burglars know all the usual hiding places.

  • Make sure all your doors and windows are locked while you’re out of the house.

  • Don’t have your name displayed on your house or mailbox. Once a burglar knows your name, they can get your phone number, and call to see if you’re home.

  • Cut or break up any boxes before you put them out in the garbage. Empty electronics boxes advertise enticing new goodies laying around your home.

  • Check your home insurance to ensure that your contents coverage is sufficient in case you are the victim of burglary or theft.

It doesn’t take much to protect your home from thieves. But, even when you take the right precautions, misfortune can still strike. Luckily, home insurance covers theft and burglary, so policyholders have somewhere to turn if the worst should happen.

Want to learn more? Visit our Home Insurance Basics resource centre for dozens of helpful articles to guide you through the ins and outs of home insurance. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.

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