Our homes are places we create to feel relaxed, safe and secure, and we often invest a lot of time and money into achieving our desired outcome. We fill houses with our loved ones and our most valuable possessions. However burglaries and break-ins are unfortunately all too common, and as well as violating our sense of safety and security, they can result in the loss of thousands of dollars worth of possessions.
These events are generally opportunistic, and tend to happen during the day when residents are out. So what can we do to help protect our homes, keeping them safe and secure?
These easy-to-follow tips show you some simple ways.
- Install good locks on all external doors and windows, including garage doors and windows (though do consider a safety release to prevent locking yourself inside and make sure you can escape easily in case of fire).
- Security doors and burglar alarms are also good deterrents against burglars.
If your place looks occupied, it is less of a target for burglars, so to make your house looks lived-in:
- Empty the letter box regularly & put the bins out.
- Consider installing timers for your internal lights.
- Turn down the volume on your phone and answering machine if you will be away for a longer period of time, so others can’t hear the phone ring out.
- If you are going away on holidays, use our holiday checklist here!
- Install automatic sensor lights near external doors to alert you to any unusual activity on your property.
- Make sure your fuse box is secured.
- Cutting back plants around the windows and doors can help to minimise hiding places, plus it also reduces the risk of damage to your house from falling trees and branches during storms.
If valuables are visible on your property, they present a temptation to opportunistic thieves, so remember to:
- Secure your valuables - don’t leave them on the seat of your car in your driveway or on the street, or placed obviously around the house.
- Don’t leave car keys or garage openers in highly visible locations.
- Put away garden tools and equipment and lock up garages and sheds when you go out.
- If you have items of high value, consider installing a safe, or place them in a safety deposit box with a bank.
- Put together an inventory of your belongings noting the make, model and serial numbers. This can be helpful if you need to claim insurance. Also consider taking photos of belongings, especially if they are unique, like jewellery or artworks. This may assist in tracing stolen property.
- Back up your computer hard-drive and photo collection, and keep the back-up in a separate place from your computer. Even if you lose items of monetary value you can protect those of sentimental value!
- When you purchase valuable items, cut up the packaging and place it well inside your recycle bin to avoid alerting others to what’s available inside your home.
Minimise Fire Risk
- Turn off electrical appliances before you leave to reduce the risk of fire
- Install and maintain smoke alarms. Remember to replace the batteries regularly!
- Keep a well maintained fire extinguisher or fire blanket on-hand in the kitchen.