Tips to Prevent Home Invasions

Recent news of a string of home invasions in an Edmonton apartment complex, housing mostly seniors and people with disabilities has left many older adults and loved ones fearful and wondering what safety measures could have protected them from theft and injury.

According to a recent Global News report, three residents at the Central Village apartments were recently victims of break-ins.   A 77-year old man, who lives in a ground-level apartment was robbed and hit repeatedly.  Another man in his late 60s was also attacked and a 79-year old woman, also a ground floor resident, had her apartment broken into and faced her intruder, screaming and calling the police.  The intruder entered through an opening sliced through a screen. 

Edmonton police are investigating the home invasions but vulnerable residents and their loved ones are upset that better security measures weren’t taken by property management to prevent these attacks.   According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, many seniors fail to take fundamental precautions to secure their homes, but there are steps older adults and people with disabilities can take to stay safe at home. 

Security Prevention Tips

  • Inspect home for any possible entry points and weaknesses
  • Keep all entrances and garages well-lit at night
  • Don’t leave home with obvious signs you are away – keeps lights on a timer and don’t mention on social media when you are away
  • Install deadbolt locks and always use them
  • Use a wide-angle peephole or doorbell camera to check on any visitors
  • Never open a door to strangers without credentials
  • Try to mix up your routine – thieves often scope out a neighborhood for patterns and opportunity
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the home 
  • Store valuables in a safety deposit box or locked in a hiding place at home
  • A few inexpensive, valuable-looking pieces of jewelry or watches can act as a decoy – preventing damage to the home in search of valuables

Source: RCMP Seniors Guidebook

If you arrive home and believe someone may be inside, do not enter but go to a neighbor or nearby business and call 911.  If an intruder enters while you are at home and you are unable to leave, call 911 and go to a room that can be locked or barricaded.  Stay silent, avoid confrontation and hide if necessary, staying on the phone with 911 until authorities arrive.  For more home security information, follow this link to a Home Security page provided by the Toronto Police.