How to keep your home secure this holiday season

Whether it’s school holidays, Christmas holidays or any sort of long weekend in-between, thieves will seize any opportunity to raid an empty home for anything of value. A study on home burglary in Australia found that in 2017 there were 225,900 recorded burglaries in Australia. That’s one every three minutes. In fact, 20.3 per cent of Australian homes have been burgled at some point, and it takes less than 5 minutes for 75 per cent of burglars to enter a property. With those scary statistics in mind, it pays to ensure your home is adequately prepared in case an opportunistic would-be thief comes upon your home when you’re aren’t there.

Read on for seven home security tips to keep your home secure over the long weekend or holiday season.

1. Make friends

Making friends with your neighbours or people who live nearby can be immensely useful if you’re going away for a long weekend or holiday. They can pick up the mail from the doorstep, water your plants and cast a quick eye over the house to check that all is well. Letters cascading out of your letterbox is a dead giveaway for would-be thieves that no one is home.

woman looking through window blinds

2. Clear the site

Thieves love privacy, so if you ensure that there is a clear line of sights from the street to your home, it reduces the likelihood of a thief being comfortable enough to break in when anyone could see them. Removes large, overgrown shrubs or bushes that could conceal someone trying to enter your home illegally.

house

3. Tidy up

Don’t tempt fate by leaving out bicycles, barbecues or other expensive outdoor items. Criminals that act when an opportunity presents itself will be less likely to hit a home that looks difficult to penetrate and doesn’t have any obvious things to easily steal. On that note, move any valuables indoors out of sight and away from windows. Hide jewellery boxes or stands, laptops and digital devices, or just ensure all the curtains and blinds are closed.

bike on lawn

4. Play pretend

Leave some old boots or sneakers by the front door to make it look as though someone is home. If you can, change your old light bulbs for smart globes that can be turned on and off remotely by an app on your phone. Turn the lights on at night to make it look as though the house has people in it. Set timers on radios or TV’s to come on sporadically, too.

boots at front door

5. Ensure your security is up to date

Take some time to do some reconnaissance on your own home and ensure there aren’t any faulty or loose locks on doors or windows, ensure windows can be jimmied open, and check that deadlocks, bolts and other security features are all in good condition, and you have the keys for everything. Replace any locks that look old, brittle or aren’t particularly effective.

padlock wood door

6. Install cameras

Thanks to the advancement of smart technology you can now purchase wireless cameras from your local electronics store and monitor the feed in real time from an app on your smart phone, remotely. Set them to motion sensor so you’re alerted to any unusual activity in your home right away.

wireless security camera

7. Remove climbing opportunities

Many people wrongly assume that if a window or door isn’t on ground level, criminals can’t get in. However, air conditioning units, window grills, green walls or latticework all act as toeholds for eager burglars, so double check access points on any level above the ground is just as heavily secured as those on street level. If you live in a high-rise apartment, just remember you’re only one level above the balcony below you, so lock windows and doors that can be accessed by experienced climbers.

Source: Better homes and garden, Laura Barry 4/10/18

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