Looking Forward to the Holidays? So Are Burglars....
Looking Forward to the Holidays? So Are Burglars…
If you’re heading off soon for a summer holiday, give some thought to some simple and cost-effective security measures that will assure your home is safe while you’re away.
Over 250,000 households fall victim to at least one break-in a year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and even more are the target of an attempted break-in.
Many people leave their homes and cars unattended when they head off on summer holidays and that can be a green light for burglars. It’s important to take as many precautions as you can to ensure you don’t return from your holiday to find you’re a victim of crime.
Tips to boost your home’s security include:
Security alarm: If you have the time and the budget, install a burglar alarm. This is still one of the best deterrents. For most burglars, an alarm simply makes your home too difficult to try and enter. Be sure to display notices about the alarm system prominently at doors and windows.
Lock all doors and windows: It sounds obvious, but people in a rush to head off can easily forget to close a window or secure a door. If possible, fit deadlocks to main doors and windows, as these are major hurdles for would-be burglars.
Create a lived-in look: While away, make sure your home still looks “lived in”. Leave a pair of shoes at the back door, water in the dog’s bowl and hang some towels on the washing line. Make sure a neighbour or family member collects mail and regularly adjusts curtains and blinds. If possible, ask a friend or neighbour to randomly park in your driveway or outside your home, to suggest activity.
Set timers: Timers are available from hardware stores and allow you to switch your TV or radio on at various times during the day and some lights on at night. Tune your radio to a talkback station so there’s the sound of many different voices. If someone is snooping around, it will make it harder to know if someone is inside the house.
Sensor lights: These are an inexpensive deterrent that remain useful throughout the year. Install them at all external doorways.
Secure the shed and garage: Put away and secure items like ladders, tools and gardening implements as these can assist in forced entry; and make sure the garage is locked. Store away any valuable outdoor items, such as bicycles and the barbecue.
•Turn down the phone. An endlessly ringing phone can be a give-away that there’s no one home. Turn down the volume, and make sure the voice message gives no clue that you’ve gone on holidays.
•Spare keys. These should be left only with a trusted family member, friend or neighbour. Don’t keep them under a flower pot or a door mat. A burglar will easily find them.