While crime rates may have declined in the past decade, there’s no room for complacency, especially during the traditional summer holiday period when more homes left unoccupied for longer periods of time.
Darryn Bull from ADT Security suggests homeowners evaluate their home security, which should include reviewing your family’s daily movements and if you haven’t already, putting appropriate security plans in place.
Walk around the property, inside and out, looking for things like broken window locks or gaps in the fence and fix them as a matter of urgency.
Consider installing additional deterrents such as motion sensor lighting, which can startle would-be burglars, or security cameras, which can provide visual verification of an incident.
Interactive security systems such as ADT Automated Security can also be a valuable investment to help you keep an eye on your home in real-time while you’re not there.
While most of us are guilty of leaving a window or door unlocked on the odd occasion, doing so on a regular basis is a serious home security risk. Remember, leaving doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation for burglars.
Likewise, don’t hide spare keys in obvious places outside the home. Thieves know to look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys so it’s not worth putting your home at risk – it’s much safer to leave a key with a trusted neighbour or friend.
During the summer months, it’s easy to become complacent about security so be aware of crime reports in your local area. Join a neighbourhood Facebook group and read the local newspaper to help keep you informed of what’s happening around your area and alert you to emerging crime risks.
Speaking of social media, don’t inadvertently reveal holiday plans to strangers when communicating with friends on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram.
If you have a monitored home security system installed, don’t forget to use it. Darryn says it’s surprising how many homeowners fail to turn it on when running out the door, giving an optimistic burglar a perfect window of opportunity.
Put away valuable items such as watches and jewellery, and electronic devices in secure places. Keep car keys away from the front door to minimise the chance of a quick getaway.
Make sure that doors and windows are locked at all times, including sheds and gates, even when you’re home. Don’t advertise new purchases by leaving packaging on the street.
The appearance of your home from the street can be a sign that no one is home; a build-up of mail in the letterbox, or no cars in the driveway. Notify neighbours when you are leaving and returning from holidays so they can keep an eye on your home.