Safety at Home
People tend to feel more secure in their own home. It is important to take a few simple steps to make sure this is the case for you.
Windows & Doors
- Look for entry points or areas where an intruder could hide from view of your neighbours. Be sure doors, windows, garages and sheds are properly locked, even when you are at home. Upgrade windows and doors (deadbolts) as needed. Remember, chain locks are not security devices, do not depend on them.
- Install a wide-angle peephole, at a suitable height for the homeowner, to see callers before you open the door. Never open the door to strangers without first seeing identification and verifying that identification.
- Keep your window blinds or drapes closed after dark.
- Make sure your house number is very visible from the front and the rear of your home.
- Install motion-sensitive security lights to cover any areas such as entrances and garages that provide hiding spots. They are automatic and will come on any time after dark when their sensors are triggered by movement.
- Don’t leave tell-tale signs that you are away. Have your mail and newspapers picked up by a friend or neighbour each day. Continue to keep your property maintained year-round (grass cut and snow removed).
- Use timers to turn on lights, radios or televisions. These are especially important when you are away or on vacation to give the appearance that someone is in the home.
- Keep valuables in a safety deposit box. Keep large amounts of money at the bank.
- Identify, inventory and video your valuables. Criminals are less likely to steal identified goods, because it is harder to dispose of these items. Through the Operation Identification program, engravers are available at no charge from the Hamilton Police Service.
If you live in an apartment … what else can YOU do?
- Treat any entrance to your apartment building as if it were your own front door.
- Before “buzzing” someone in, verify by voice or monitor that he / she is the person that you are expecting. If you’re not sure, call the superintendent.
- When entering or leaving the building, stop being the “nice guy” by allowing unknown persons to enter through the open door.
- Do not advertise on the intercom that you are female or live alone. Just use your initials and last name or the word “occupied”.
- Secure your doors and windows properly and never assume that your balcony is completely secure and out of reach of burglars.
- Don’t get on an elevator if you are suspicious or feel uncomfortable of the other occupants. Wait for the next elevator. If you are already on the elevator and feel uncomfortable about the person getting on, then get off. Always stand near the control panel. If something goes wrong you can push the emergency alarm button and all the floor buttons.
- Try to make a point of attending the laundry room with a friend or other tenant and only during daylight hours.
- Do not keep any valuable property in your locker room.
- When entering the underground parking of your building, be alert to persons or vehicles following you inside. After entering the underground try to wait for the overhead door to close to deter unwanted persons from entering.
Take extra Care …
- If a stranger arrives at your door and asks to use the phone, don’t let them inside. Instead, offer to make the call for them while they wait outside. Never let anyone know that you are home alone.
- Get to know your neighbours and keep their phone numbers handy for emergencies. If you arrive home and it appears that someone has entered your home, do not go inside, do not touch anything. Call the police from a neighbour’s and wait for them to arrive.
- Regular contact between family and friends is important to all of us. Work out a “buddy system” with someone so that you can check on each other’s well-being regularly.
- Remember to tell others when and where you are going and when you are expected to return.
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