Break and Enter Prevention
Break-ins can be a traumatic experience, and prevention is always better than trying to deal with the aftermath. Break and enter prevention is essential to protect your home or business from unauthorized access and potential theft. Here are some break-and-enter prevention tips to help keep your home or business safe:
1. Lock all doors and windows: Ensure that all doors and windows are properly locked, including those on the second floor. Use high-quality locks and deadbolts, and consider installing a security system or smart lock.
2. Reinforce doors and windows: Consider reinforcing doors and windows with additional security measures, such as window bars or reinforced glass.
3. Install a security system: Consider installing a security system with cameras, alarms, and motion sensors to deter potential burglars. Motion-activated cameras can send you a notification when they are triggered. This may also help to reduce your insurance premiums.
4. Consider Installing motion sensor lights and keep your property well-lit: Motion-activated lights can deter burglars and alert you to their presence. Install them near entry points and vulnerable areas of your property.
5. Trim landscaping: Keep shrubs, trees, and other landscaping trimmed to eliminate hiding spots for burglars.
6. Don’t leave spare keys outside: Burglars know where to look for spare keys, so don’t leave them outside. Instead, consider giving a spare key to a trusted neighbour or family member.
7. Use timers: Use timers on indoor and outdoor lights to turn lights on and off when you are away to give the impression that someone is home.
8. Don’t advertise your absence: Avoid sharing your travel plans or posting on social media about being away from home, and ask a neighbour to collect your mail and packages while you’re away.
9. Secure valuables: Keep valuables out of sight, and consider storing them in a safe or safety deposit box.
10. Get to know your neighbours: Building relationships with your neighbours so they can keep an eye on your property when you are away. This can help to create a sense of community and discourage burglars from targeting your home.
11. Be cautious with strangers: Be cautious of strangers who come to your door, and never give out personal information or let them in without verifying their identity.
By following these break-and-enter prevention tips, you can help to keep your home or business safe from burglars.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED (“sep-ted”), is an approach to deterring criminal behaviour through designing and defining the intended use of a property, residence, or business as well as helping establish who it is for and what counts as appropriate or inappropriate behaviour in it.
Generally speaking, criminals look for opportunities to commit their crimes with the least possibility of detection or getting caught.
We should also consider risk versus reward. The greater the reward, the criminal might consider taking a greater risk.
Home or Business Property Self AuditCrime Prevention - Home Business Self Audit
Three things need to be present for a crime to occur.
- The offender
- A victim
We can decrease our chances of becoming a victim of a crime by reducing the opportunity. We can reduce the opportunity by employing the CPTED principles as highlighted below.
There are three basic overlapping principles at the core of CPTED:
- Natural Surveillance
- Natural Access Control
- Territorial Reinforcement
The ability to see and be seen, or hear or be heard, by others
Good sight lines and reasons to watch others as they go about their activities make legitimate users of a space feel like if they were threatened, someone might intervene on their behalf. “Built-in” eyes and ears also increase a criminal’s risk of being caught (or at least make them think they will be).
Surveillance can be natural (open sightlines, visually permeable fencing), mechanical (cameras), or organizational (parking lot attendant).
Examples of Surveillance
- Security lighting
- Window orientation
- Porch and walkway placement
- Reducing visual obstructions such as high fences or untrimmed landscaping
- Transparent fencing, barriers, and enclosures
- Security cameras
- Active monitoring
- Situating staff and greeters where they can monitor high-risk areas
A means of guiding pedestrians and vehicles along desired routes and pathways in order to increase natural surveillance and establish boundaries
The goal of access control is not to cut pedestrians and drivers off from areas of their own community. Rather, it is a way to establish expectations along various routes and help people differentiate between what is public versus private space. For instance, someone attempting to enter a building from the side when spatial cues clearly direct them to the front signals to on-lookers the visitor’s behavior might be suspicious.
Access control can be natural (berms, street trees, paving), mechanical (fencing and gates), or organizational (visitor sign-in policies).
Wayfinding is a powerful – and yet, often underestimated – agent of access control. Wayfinding measures can resemble something as basic as a directional sign or carry on a more creative appeal. Color-coded or numbered elements, light pole banners, and ground markings are just a few examples of the latter.
Examples of Access Control
- Fencing, walls, boulders
- Berms, ravines, motes
- Pavement markings
- Wayfinding signage, colors
- Defensive landscaping, street trees, shrub lines
- Grade changes, steps
- “Soft” traffic calming measures
- Incorporating security fencing and gates
- Adding locks and barriers to entry points
- Surveillance equipment at access points
- Reception personnel at entrances and exits
- Identification procedures for entry
The use of spatial elements such as fencing, surface treatments, art, architectural elements or style, signage, and landscaping to make one site distinguishable from the next and to express ownership by its intended users
Once boundaries are established and clearly communicated, a sense of ownership, pride, stewardship, and collective efficacy can thrive, making the intended users of a place more empowered to defend it and those within it.
In the spirit of building cohesion, it is important to note that design features alone cannot produce a sense of ownership among residents, but that it takes residents of a community working together to uphold shared values.
Examples of Territorial Reinforcement
- Property maintenance
- Seasonal decorations
- “Yard art”
- Public art
- Notices of pets, weapons
- Roadblocks or closures
- Property-defining or access-denying barriers, such as symbolic fencing
- Signage expressing ownership
- Watch groups
- Parking regulations
- Facilities for specific age groups and other target populations
- Porches and decks that are clearly used
Although not all of the following are budget-friendly, some of the easiest things that we can do to reduce our chances of becoming a victim of theft or break and enters are:
- Keep all doors and windows to your home, outbuildings, and vehicles closed and locked at all times.
- Install solid core exterior access doors with deadbolts and properly installed strike plates..
- Install a locking bar on sliding patio doors.
- Keep your valuables out of sight.
- Don’t leave your garage door open all day and don’t leave your garage door opener in your vehicle while parked outside your residence.
- Install motion-activated lighting around your home to eliminate dark areas.
- Install a video surveillance system and know how to use it.
- Install an alarm system.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed and away from windows that may obstruct anyone seeing if a criminal is at your home or business. Provide an unobstructed view of the area around your property.
- Consider planting thorny landscaping around lower windows.
- Keep all sheds and outbuildings locked and secure and try to situate them where they are visible from the home.
- Make sure backyards are fenced in and access points to your backyard have gates with locks on them.
Simple changes such as these can help make your home or business less of a target to criminals.
For more detailed information on how you can make your property more secure check out the following link:
Ontario CPTED Home Security Tips and Audit Printable PDF
LaSalle Police Service Home or Business Property Self Audit Printable PDF