Unifor Local 27 Retirees Chapter

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Seniors Guidebook to Safety and Security

Posted on October 15, 2022

Who is this guide intended for?

This guide is for seniors, their family members, care-givers, friends, and anyone else who may find it useful. It is not meant to include everything but tries to answer some common concerns when it comes to seniors' safety and security. The goal is to raise awareness of seniors' safety issues to improve their quality of life.

The information in this guide can also be used to help people and their loved ones discuss this topic to help recognize a potential crime situation and show how to reduce or remove the risk.


Security in Your Home

Most people feel safe in their home. Yet, many Canadians fail to take even fundamental precautions to secure their homes against robbery.

There are some precautions you can take that will reduce the opportunities that a burglar is looking for.

Prevention Tips

  • Conduct a security check of your home to determine possible entry points and any weaknesses they may have.

  • Keep all entrances and garages well-lit at night.

  • don't leave tell-tale signs that you are away, such as leaving your curtains undrawn at night, an absence of a car in the driveway, dark house (lights off) and telling your friends and family on social media about an upcoming holiday.

  • Install good locks and always use them.

  • Install a wide-angle viewer in your front door which allows you to see visitors before you open the door.

  • Never open a door to strangers without credentials.

  • Change your routine often. Burglars often watch activities in a neighbourhood.

  • Don't keep large amounts of money in your home.

  • Mark valuable items for identification. The operation identification program has been developed by police to assist people in marking their property.

  • Keep valuables in a safety deposit box at your bank. If this isn't possible, keep them locked up in a reasonable hiding place in your home.

Tip: A few inexpensive but rich-looking pieces kept in the jewelry box as a decoy may deter criminals from further damaging your home in search of valuables.


Away From Home

It is important to take extra care in securing your home when you are going to be away for any extended time. Not only should your home be secure but it should also appear lived in.

Prevention Tips

  • Lock all windows, doors and garages before you leave.

  • Leave a radio playing to show that someone is home.

  • Leave one or two lights on, if possible operated by timers that turn on according to how dark it is.

  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries.

  • Arrange to have someone pick up any newspapers, mail or flyers left on your doorstep.

  • Leave a key with someone you trust.

  • Let a trusted neighbour know you're going to be away, for how long and where they can contact you if necessary.

  • Arrange to have someone cut the grass or shovel the snow if you plan to be away for several days.


Safety on the Streets

If street crimes (purse snatching, robberies, assaults, etc.) are a problem in your neighbourhood and you have a fear of being a victim, there are ways in which you can reduce the risk of abuse and increase your sense of security.

Prevention Tips

  • Walk only in well-lit areas.

  • don't burden yourself with packages and a bulky purse.

  • Never display large sums of money in public.

  • Go shopping in pairs or in a group.

  • Walk in the centre of the sidewalk, away from alleys and doorways.

  • If you suspect you are being followed, cross the street, go to the nearest home, service station or business and call the police.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas that increase your chances of being assaulted.

  • Report problem areas to police. The police welcome the information and can also advise you of prevention methods.


Safety in Your Vehicle

Prevention Tips

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times, whether moving or parked.

  • If you are driving at night, use well-lit streets and parking lots that are open for easy observation.

  • Be cautious of any stranger approaching your vehicle. If you feel you are in danger, press the horn repeatedly in short blasts; this will attract attention.

  • If you think you are being followed, pull in to the nearest gas station or safe place. Don't drive home.

  • Plan and know your route before you leave, whether it is for a short drive in the city or a long trip in the country. Consider using a Global Positioning System (GPS) if you travel frequently to help avoid getting lost.

  • Don't pick up hitchhikers.

  • View the interior of your car before getting in to make sure no one is hiding inside, even if the doors are locked.

  • Have keys in hand so you don't have to linger before entering your car.

What if . . . Your vehicle breaks down?

  • Pull your vehicle off the road so you will be out of the traffic;

  • Turn on the emergency (four-way) flasher;

  • When it is safe to step out of your vehicle, raise the hood;

  • Stay in your vehicle with all doors locked and windows rolled up;

  • If possible, call family or emergency road assistance and wait for help to come to you;

  • Should a passing motorist stop, stay in your car and ask him/her to send help back to you.


  • Extracts from the Seniors Guidebook to Safety and Security from the RCMP webpage


Useful Web Links



  • Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs Industry Canada

    235 Queen Street, 2nd Floor

    Ottawa ON K1A 0H5 Canada

    Fax: 613-952-6927

    Website: Office of Consumer Affairs

    Email: consumer.information@ic.gc.ca

    Information for consumers, businesses and researchers regarding communications, consumer products, consumer services, environment, food, fraud/deceptive practices, government services, health, housing, internet, money, safety, transportation, travel/tourism, etc.

  • Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus

    2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 800

    Toronto ON M4T 2T5 Canada

    Tel: 416-644-4936

    Fax: 416-644- 4945

    Email: ccbbb@ccbbb.ca

  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

    Toll free: 1-888-495-8501

    Website:: www.antifraudcentre.ca

    The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is Canada's central repository for data, intelligence and resource material as it relates to fraud. The CAFC commits to providing timely, accurate and useful information to assist citizens, businesses, law enforcement and governments in Canada and around the world. The CAFC's primary goals are prevention through education and awareness, disruption of criminal activities, dissemination of intelligence, support to law enforcement and strengthening partnerships between the private and public sectors with the aim of maintaining Canada's strong economic integrity. The CAFC is jointly managed by the RCMP, Competition Bureau, and the OPP.

  • Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

    Tel: 1-866-461-3222

    (TTY 613-947-7771, or 1-866-914-6097)

    Website: fcac.gc.ca

    With educational materials and interactive tools, FCAC provides objective information about financial products and services and informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies.

  • Mastercard Canada - Lost or stolen cards

    Canada: 1-800-307-7309

  • Visa Canada - Lost or stolen cards Canada: