Whether it’s school holidays, Easter or any sort of long weekend in between, thieves will take any opportunity to raid a home for items of value. Use these 6 tips to keep your home secure over the coming Easter long weekend.

1. Make friends with your neighbours

Have good people near you? Making friends with your neighbours can be useful if you plan to go away for a long weekend or holiday. Letters falling out of your letterbox is a clear giveaway for opportunistic thieves that no one’s home. Ask your neighbours to pick up your mail, bring in your bins, water your plants and cast an eye over your rental property to check all’s well.

2. Put your valuables away

Leaving bicycles and barbecues out might be tempting fate. If your home doesn’t have obvious items to steal, criminals are less likely to hit up your home. Outdoors should be your first check, but also move any indoor valuables away from windows. Remove items like jewellery boxes, laptops and digital devices, and ensure your curtains are kept closed if you’re not home.

3. Keep the area clear

How’s your garden faring? If you have large, overgrown trees or shrubs in your front yard, be aware that these could conceal someone trying to enter your home. Thieves love privacy, so make sure there’s a clear line of sight from the street to your home to deter them from being comfortable enough to break in.

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4. Check your locks

Do your own recon mission at home before someone else does. Ensure there aren’t any faulty or loose locks on your doors and windows. Check that any security features are in good condition and that you have the keys for everything. If you have locks that aren’t particularly effective, speak to your property manager or landlord.

5. Pretend someone is home

Can you set a timer on your radio or television for daytime hours? Consider leaving shoes at the front door to make it look like someone’s home. If you have access to smart globes, you can turn your lights on at night to make it look like your home has people in it.

6. Remove opportunities to climb

Just because your apartment window isn’t on ground level doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the attention of thieves. Air conditioning units, window grills and communal bins can all act as a toehold for eager burglars. Double check that any access points above ground are well secured. Even if you live in a high-rise, lock windows and doors that could be accessed by an experienced climber from the floor below.

Extra tenancy tips

  • RENT PAYMENTS: Over the Easter period, rent payments continue to be payable as specified on your tenancy agreement. While your agent’s office might not be open over the period, your obligation to pay the rent continues. If you need to arrange an alternative rent payment, make sure you contact them before they close.
  • GARDENS AND LAWN: If you have lawn and garden maintenance in your lease obligations, ensure you make appropriate arrangements if you plan to go away for the holidays.
  • PARTIES: Long weekends are a time for gathering with friends and family. Be mindful of your tenant obligations per your tenancy agreement – and where relevant – any strata/body corporate bylaws.
  • INSURANCE: Do you have contents insurance? Before you go on holiday, check that your policy cover is adequate for your needs. Long weekends are a common time for burglary. Remember that your personal belongings are not covered under the property owner’s insurance.