Home and personal safety in summer

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Did you know that more thefts happen in spring and summer? Thieves look for unlocked front doors, garages, and parked cars. They want to take things easily. The nice weather makes it easy for them to move around, especially at night. Here’s how to keep your things (and yourself) safe:

  1. Don’t give thieves a chance

    Crimes like stealing often happen when there is an opportunity. Patrol Sergeant Phil Penner of the Winnipeg Police says that if you leave your wallet in your car, a thief might steal it even if they didn’t plan to. So, always lock your car doors and don’t leave valuable things in your car. Do the same for your home. Don’t leave things like bikes and gardening tools outside.

    Packages left on doorsteps can be stolen easily. To stop this, you can:

    • Ask for a signature when your package is delivered.
    • Have your package sent to your work or a friend’s house.
    • Pick up your package from the post office.
    • Check if the store has safe delivery options, like lockers.
  2. Lock your doors

    Lock your doors when you are busy in your backyard. Thieves might try to get inside your home if they see you are not paying attention. Make sure your windows and garage doors are also locked. If you live in an apartment, don’t let strangers in.

    Other tips:

    • Use strong doors, locks, and deadbolts.
    • Have a way to see who is at the door without opening it, like a peephole or video system.
    • Make window locks near the door stronger.
    • Change the locks when you move to a new house.

    Would You Do This? Break and Enter Prevention, Winnipeg Police Service

  3. Keep the lights on

    Thieves don’t want to be seen, so they avoid well-lit areas. Use good lighting and motion sensor lights outside your home. A home alarm system can also help protect you and your family.

  4. Plan for vacations

    If you will be away for a while, you should:

    • Make sure your home is secure before you leave. Use the Get Prepared checklist to help you.
    • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your home and collect your mail.
    • Leave your travel plans and contact number with a friend.
    • Don’t tell people on your answering machine or social media that you are on vacation.
    • If you’re away for more than two weeks, hire someone to take care of your lawn.
  5. Make a safety plan

    Know who to call in case of an emergency. Teach your kids what to do if a stranger comes to the door. Talk to your family about home safety and make an emergency plan. Use the Winnipeg Police Service’s home audit checklist to make your home safer. Also, read Get Prepared (Make an Emergency Plan) to create your plan in just 20 minutes.

Article updated May 26, 2023.
Sources: Winnipeg Police Service; Interview with Patrol Sergeant Phil Penner, How to prevent ‘porch pirates’ from stealing packages from your door, according to police, Todd Haselton, CNBC; Is your home safe when you go on vacation? Canada.ca. Accessed June 5, 2020.

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