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Burglaries warm up in summer months

After months of cold winter nights and soggy spring days, Canadians thrive on the warm summer months. While many employees take their vacation time and some workplaces institute shorter working hours, for thieves, it’s the busy season.

According to insurance claim data from Aviva Canada, June, July and August are prime months for residential burglaries, with an increase of reported theft claims.

Compared to April, which shows the lowers occurrence of residential theft claims, Aviva says burglaries spike by 13 percent in June, 20 percent in July and 31 percent in August.

“The key factor is more opportunity,” said Wayne Ross, Vice President of National Property Claims at Aviva Canada, in a statement. “As residents are out of their homes more frequently and for longer periods of time in the summer months, there is more opportunity for burglaries to occur.”

Fridays are the most productive day for burglars, with a break-in rate 26 percent highest than Sunday, the day with the lowest incidence of break ins.

Thieves are breaking in less often – there’s been a 42 percent decline in burglary claims between 2003 and 2010, Aviva Canada said, but the value of property being stolen is on the rise.

The insurer said that since 2003, the average dollar value of stolen goods per incident has increased 36 percent from $4,555 to $6,190.

Based on 2005 to 2010 Aviva Canada data, Quebec homeowners have the highest frequency of break-ins at two times that of the national average. At just over one third of the national average, the Atlantic Provinces have the lowest frequency of burglary claims.


Frequency of Burglaries (vs. National Average)


Quebec 99% above the national average
Manitoba 43% above the national average
British Columbia 20% above the national average
SK, NT, NU, YK* 4% above the national average
Alberta 2% above the national average
Ontario 20% below the national average
Atlantic Provinces* 64% below the national average

*Burglary claim counts in NB, NF, NS, PE, SK, NT, NU and YT were combined due to low frequency.

“Intruders usually enter your home through one of three ways – through the basement, forcing entry through a window or door, or simply opening an unlocked door or window,” said Ross. “Homeowners can take simple precautions to prevent an intruder from entering their property.”

Aviva Canada suggests these precautions:

  • If your windows are old, consider upgrading to newer models with improved locking systems. Ensure all windows are locked when out of the home or overnight;
  • Make a home look occupied when you’re away. Try parking a car in the driveway, leaving some household lights on, or asking a neighbour to collect mail and newspapers;
  • Install a security device with a loud alarm or flashing lights.  Some alarms contact authorities directly when they have been activated;
  • Use deadbolt locks on all doors, and when moving into a new property have the locks changed.

You might also be interested in: Top ten content claims of 2010


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