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Best Home Safety Tips: Inside and Out, And When You're Away

May 29, 2019
5 mins
A father hugs his daughter in the foreground and the mother is blurred out in the background

Safeguarding your home’s interior and exterior are important. You want to feel safe at home and also when you’re away. With a few smart changes and upgrades, you can deter criminal activity and keep your property safe.

Use these helpful tips to protect your home’s interior and exterior. And, included are a few ways to protect your space when you’re travelling.

Protecting Your Home’s Exterior

Most break-ins occur during the daytime when people are working. But, there are a few precautions you can take to make criminals think twice about approaching your property.

  • Secure all windows and doors: Make sure all windows are locked. If you open them on warmer days, add a piece of plywood in the adjoining frames so the window can’t be raised completely. Ensure all doors are securely locked and always stay locked - - including sliding glass doors. Add thick curtains that aren't see-through especially for basement windows at night.
  • Install deadbolt locks: Replace locks if it's a new home. Ensure you have deadbolt locks on all doors.
  • Add alarm system signage to your property: Can't afford an alarm? Alarm signage and stickers deter criminals. You can buy signage on eBay.
  • Have an alarm system installed: Look for deals on sites like Groupon or Living Social to lock in discounts. You may be able to get a deduction on home insurance with an alarm system in place.
  • Add security cameras: Overhead cameras and Nest cameras are deterrents for criminals as they don’t want to be seen on camera. Cameras also help protect package deliveries and pets.
  • Trim hedges near windows or doors: Criminals look for areas where they will go unnoticed. By trimming shrubs and trees near windows and doors, they can’t hide in these spaces.
  • Add motion detector lights: These alert you if someone or something (deer, bears) is on your property.
  • Ask local law enforcement to search your property: They can tell you where you may have areas vulnerable to crime.
  • Think like a criminal: Go outside during the day and at night and look into your windows. Can you clearly see valuables? Electronics? Expensive artwork? Remove these from view.
  • Keep grills, lawn equipment, tools and bikes in the garage: If thieves can't get in, they'll steal what's on the outside. Remove anything they can "walk away with".
  • Build a fence and check the view: A fence can be a deterrent because "perps" can't drive by to view your property. Trim trees that give access to second floors. Then view your property from a distance. Are there trees a thief can climb to view valuables on the second floor?
  • Get neighbourly: Let your neighbours know if you will be travelling so they can look out for you. And, do the same for them. Leave extra keys with a neighbour instead of on top of the door, in a fake rock or under the mat.

Tip: Installing exterior lights, a fence or new locks and doors? Open a line of credit for the home upgrades. Then let your home insurer know about the added security features and request a discount.

Protecting Your Home's Interior

Keeping your home safe from the inside can give you added peace of mind. And, it can keep criminals away.

  • Have a safe installed for valuables: Keep expensive jewelry, prized collections and cash in a safe.
  • Install a camera system and alarm: Viewing your property's exterior can help you stay safe inside. You'll know if that noise outside is a "perp" or a purr (the neighbour's cat).
  • Set lights to timers or use smart home apps: These can make a burglar think you're inside if you're out.
  • Shut your drapes: At night and during the day when you're away, keep the drapes and blinds closed. Don't let criminals see your valuables and belongings.
  • Set your alarm to "on and at home": This allows you to stay safe inside and the alarm will alert you if someone opens a door or window. Teach your kids how to set the alarm to avoid it accidentally going off.
  • If you have guns, keep them locked in a safe: Having guns can help you feel safer in your home. Ensure they are securely locked in a gun safe.

Tip: Need to install a safe, timer lights or a camera system? Take out a HELOC loan and then request a home insurance discount for the added security features.

Protecting Your Home When You're Away

Have an upcoming trip? Here are a few ways you can keep your home safe while you're travelling.

  • Never announce on social media you're going on vacation: Don't let criminals know when you're away. Even if your privacy settings are on, never trust that strangers can't view your messages. Instead, share pictures and stories after you return from your trip.
  • Make it look like your home: Leave a light on in the living room and leave a radio on. You can set these with a timer or use a smart home device. Ask your neighbours to stop by and check on your property periodically.
  • Use alarm system and camera apps to monitor your property: These can alert you if anyone is at your door.
  • Disconnect your garage door opener and lock all doors and windows: These can help safeguard your property when you're away.

Ready to Find the Best Home Insurance Rates?

Safeguarding your home's interior and exterior are important. By installing an alarm and securing your property, you can prevent criminal activity and know your home is safe even when you're away. If you need help with homeowners insurance, contact

With, you can compare quotes from the best insurance providers in Canada. And, make criminals think twice about approaching your property.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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