Apartment and Condo Security

June 2024

Is your apartment or condo secure?

Apartment and condo security can be as effective as you make it.  Do not leave the responsibility for your safety and security solely in the hands of others.

Reduce your risk by following personal safety and crime prevention strategies.


  • Keep a record of your valuables, storing only what you need or regularly use in your residence.
  • Identify your property by using a Trace Identified pen (
  • If you notice burnt out lights on the property, report them to the building superintendent or management immediately.
  • Be a good neighbour – report suspicious activity to the police and advise the building superintendent or management. If you see a stranger carrying items out of a neighbour’s unit CALL 9 -1-1.


  • Call Emergency Services (9-1-1) if there is a crime in progress or an immediate threat to the safety of people or property.
  • Do NOT enter your unit if the door is opened – the criminal may still be inside. Use your cell or neighbour’s phone to call the police.
  • Do NOT touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Note the licence plate number of any suspicious vehicle.
  • Note the description of any suspicious person(s).


  • Watch for strangers hanging around entry vestibules.
  • Do NOT buzz in or let anyone you do not know follow you into the building. Refer them to security or the building superintendent.
  • Ensure that the main outer doors remain locked at all times.
  • Make sure that only your first initial and last name appear on the lobby directory, doorbell, mailbox and phone directory.


  • Look who is in the elevator before you enter. If someone on the elevator makes you nervous – do NOT get on – take the next one.
  • Get off the elevator if someone makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Whenever possible, stand near the control panel with your back against the side wall. In the event that someone touches or bothers you, run your hand over the control panel for the purpose of depressing as many floors as possible.  This will cause the elevator to stop and the doors open, which should interrupt any attack.


  • Always make sure that your unit or apartment has been re-keyed (if not a new lock installed) before you move in.
  • Make sure that a good quality one-inch deadbolt lock on the door and a security strike plate on the door frame has been installed, as locks with key cylinders in the doorknob can be easily forced.
  • Keep your door locked, even when taking out the garbage or doing laundry.
  • NEVER ignore a door knock or open your door to strangers. Burglars will sometimes target units by knocking on doors first.
  • When responding to the door knock, ask “Who is it?” and look through the peep hole with the door still locked. Only open the door if you know the person or are satisfied they are someone you were expecting.  Otherwise say “Go away! I’m calling the police”.
  • NEVER rely on chain locks – they provide poor security. Inquire about installing a wide-angle viewer instead of a regular peep-hole.
  • If you lose your keys, have the locks re-keyed immediately.
  • NEVER leave notes on your door or on the lobby directory telling people that you are away.


  • Keep balcony doors locked at all times when not in use.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broom handle in the door track.
  • Consider inserting screws through the centre of the upper track of the door frame in the gap between the top of the door and the frame where the door sits in the locked position to prevent it from being lifted up and out.


  • Place a stick in the track of sliding windows and inside the “maintenance gap” at the top of the window to prevent it from being lifted up and out.
  • For extra security consider “pinning” the windows where the frames overlap after checking with building Management. Drill a hole through both frames (stopping short of the outside) and insert a security pin or double-headed nail.
  • Consider taking further precautions by drilling a series of holes, which allows the window to be fixed in a number of open positions. Be careful not to make the opening so large that a criminal could squeeze through or reach in and remove the nail or screw.


  • Look around before entering the garage – be AWARE if someone follows you into the underground garage.
  • If you encounter a suspicious situation or person, while in the garage, get out as soon as possible.
  • If you are inside of your vehicle and unable to leave, ensure that your doors are locked and “HONK” your horn to attract attention.
  • Lock your vehicle and remember to remove/hide any valuables.
  • Have your keys ready when walking to your vehicle and always check inside prior to entering, including the back seat.


  • Inform a trusted neighbour of your departure and return dates.
  • Where possible, cancel or redirect your mail and deliveries or have a neighbour collect any items.
  • Set your lights to come on and off at various intervals.

For more information on crime prevention, visit the Toronto Police website.

Thank you to Toronto Police Services for providing this information which is available on their website.

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