Five things you can do to protect your home from break-ins and theft
If you are planning a trip away, there are things you can do to protect your home and possessions in your absence and also if you are staying home. The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), investigated the methods and motivations of convicted burglars to reveal the common things that make homeowners more vulnerable to burglary.
Burglars reveal 5 things you can do to protect your home from break-ins and theft
1. Lock windows and doors
Of those surveyed, over 65% of burglars enter the property through an unlocked door or window. Because open doors and windows are commonplace over the summer, as a result, burglary peaks during the warmer months. Installing deadlocks on doors and locks on windows, gates and security screens is an effective deterrent (but make sure you use them).
Be aware burglars also frequently target your home when you’re at home and visibly occupied with outdoor jobs, like washing your car or gardening, and enter via back and laundry doors. With doors left open or unlocked and your home unattended, handbags, keys and wallets left on tables are easy targets. When outside or entertaining, lock your front and back doors and install a door bell so you know when your “invited” guests have arrived.
2. Place valuables out of view
On average a burglar spends between five and 15 minutes inside your home. So the harder things are to locate the less likely they’ll be taken. Place valuable items out of view, especially ‘hot items’ like laptops, mobile phones, jewellery, wallets and car keys. It’s also a good idea to keep curtains and blinds closed so valuables aren’t visible from the outside, which can encourage an opportunistic break in.
3. Don’t hide keys under mats or near doorways
This one needs no explanation. Keys left in easy to find locations make entering your home a breeze for burglars.
4. Enlist the help of neighbours
Rubbish bins left out for days, letterboxes overflowing, outside lights on and no cars in the driveway are tell-tale signs the owners are away and the house unoccupied—an attractive target for burglars. Ask your neighbours if they could help by bringing bins in and collecting your mail. Installing sensor lights around your home is also an effective deterrent. But although a lack of lights indicates your house is empty, burglars said leaving lights and radios on, especially for hours and late at night, is the “oldest trick in the book” and a sure sign no one is home.
5. Install an alarm and “other security measures”
What other protection measures can you take to prevent home break-ins? Having a working back to base alarm system is certainly a great deterrent, and installing one can help you reduce your contents insurance premiums.
If you ever needed a reason to get a dog, the burglars surveyed in the AIC report ranked a dog their number deterrent. Just hearing a bark is enough to stop burglars in their tracks because of the fear of drawing attention to themselves – good news for dog lovers.
And finally, don’t forget it’s always a good idea to make a list of your property items and take photos of expensive items, such as jewellery, to assist if you ever do need to make a claim.
If you’d like to discuss any aspect of your home and contents insurance needs, please call us on 13 25 85 or drop into your nearest branch.
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