Staying Safe at Home
Tanglewood-Hillsdale Community Association’s Neighbourhood Watch reminds current and new residents that we live is a cohesive neighbourhood of townhouses, semi-detached, single homes, an apartment building and almost forty businesses. In the last study 2006, the property crime rate of 46 per thousand was higher than the city average of 42.5 per thousand. Personal crimes rates were 3.5 per thousand was lower than the city average of 6.5 per thousand.
Help keep our neighbourhood safe by being vigilant and apply common sense. Trust your instincts. The best way to stay safe at home is to keep criminals out of it. Many people have a locked outer door.
- Keep doors including the garage locked and windows, particularly basement and first story windows secure. This is as applicable when you are doing yard work as going to work.
- Ensure your door locks and fit met security standards.
- Ensure your garage door is always secure.
- Don’t Open Your Door to a Stranger. Use your wide angle door view or intercom, or ask “Whose there?” Don’t rely on a door chain on a partially opening the door to protect you.
- Strangers presenting themselves might request any of the following:
ü Emergency phone calls. Without opening the door, offer to call 911, so they can return to the scene and wait for help to arrive. Trust your instincts.
ü If not interested in fund being raised or products being solicited. simply say so. If you are interested, either ask them to show identification first, before you open the door, or request that they leave literature for you to read. If they don’t leave, call 911.
ü Repairs, deliveries and collections. Pre-arrange that on arrival, the agent call you to let you know that they will soon arrive. Unless you are expecting them, ask people who claim to have business with you to hold up their identification cards for you to see through a door viewer or door window. If you have the slightest doubt of their authenticity, telephone their business office to verify whether the house call is legitimate. You could get the number from the phone book, information or the Internet. If you are not expecting a floral arrangement, you can call the florist to clear up any doubts about the person making the delivery.
- House number should be visible from the street.
- Do not leave repair people alone in your home unless you know them well.
- When on vacation, stop deliveries, arrange for someone to pick up flyers, hand bills. Set light timers. Snow removal or lawn cutting should be pre-arranged.
- Display alarm system decos. Arm your system when not at home.
- Keep shrubs cut below window levels.
In any of the above situations, if you ask a person to leave your home and they refuse, or if something about the person arouses your suspicions, call Ottawa Police Break and Enter team at 613-236-1222, extension 2636. And if the person appears to be going door-to-door on your street, alert your neighbours.
  Material for this factsheet was adapted from Neighbourhood Watch website, Ottawa Police website and the Federation of Calgary Federation of Community Associations’ Building Safer Communities Website.