​An empty home is a prime target for intruders because they have less chance of being disturbed and the offence can go undetected for days or even weeks.  Intruders always look for signs that a home is unoccupied.  The longer the home is unoccupied, the more vulnerable it becomes. If you are away for an extended period of time, police advise that you have someone house sit.

Follow these tips for keeping your house secure while you're away:

  • Inform local police of your absence and leave a contact name and number.
  • Check all doors and windows are securely locked.
  • Ask your neighbours to watch for visitors but not to tell visitors you are away.
  • Arrange a friend or neighbour to mow the lawn and water the plants.
  • Arrange for mail to be held at the Post Office or collected by a neighbour.
  • Cancel all deliveries, especially newspapers.
  • Ask your neighbours to collect junk mail.
  • Secure your garbage bin.
  • Install electrical timers that automatically switch on lights and tune your radio to a talk-back program during the day so that your house looks and sounds “normal”.
  • Disconnect the electrical pad on radio controlled or electronic garage doors and use a strong auxiliary key lock instead.
  • Turn down the volume of your telephone ringer and don’t leave a message on your answering machine that tells callers you’re away.
  • Install external sensor lights.
  • Check the yard to ensure no ladders or tools are accessible.
  • Don’t leave keys concealed outside the house. Give them to a trusted friend or neighbour.
  • Ask neighbours to contact police if they notice anything suspicious.
  • Secure your vehicle if leaving it at home.
  • Ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway at different times.
  • Ensure all easily removable articles are marked using the ​ Property Identification System.
If you’re a member of Neighbourhood Watch​, inform your neighbours and block coordinator that you will be away.