According to the ABS, some 225,900 houses were broken into in 2017, or 1 every 3 minutes.
The majority of burglars – about 40% – entered through an unlocked door to gain access to the property. To help you prevent unlawful break-ins and safeguard your home, here are six helpful tips for you to start practising right away!
Join Neighbourhood Watch
A great way to protect your house is to work with neighbours and create a ‘watch group,’ which can improve surveillance. Many apartment complexes and communities have these groups in place to look after others’ properties while on holiday.
This set up means you don’t need to invest in expensive security equipment. Having a neighbour keep an eye on your house will lessen the chances of an attempted break-in.
Of course, your neighbours probably work a different schedule to you. This can be especially helpful at times when you’re at work or need to take the kids to school. Maintain a good relationship with your neighbours and discuss security measures as well as a plan should anything happen while they’re on watch.
Leave a light on
One of the best and simplest ways to avoid break-in is to turn on a light every time you leave your house. This can give a burglar the impression that someone is home, so there’s a chance that they’ll change their mind about robbing you.
Most thieves break into houses during the daytime when there’s less chance someone is home. Other tips to consider include leaving the TV on (at a medium-level volume) and playing music.
Of course, leaving your electronics and electrical devices powered on while you’re away from home will increase charges on your electricity bill, so plan accordingly.
Use security equipment to help prevent break-ins
While there are many suburbs across Australia that stay relatively crime-free, no area is completely free of the threat of home invasion.
Choosing to invest in a secure alarm system can be a great move. Any captured footage can be sent to authorities who can use it to track down the perpetrator. This method is safer and more than likely to result in apprehending the thief.
As an alternative, consider putting up signs that indicate the area is being monitored, that a guard dog is present, or something similar. However, not all intruders will be deterred – many need to see or feel the signs of an actual threat.
Close the curtains
Many thieves will scout out a potential target prior to the actual break-in. They may use this time to gather details on entry and exit points, how many people live in your house and what time you go to work. Think about closing the inside curtains or shades to stop them from peeking inside and getting a view of the interior layout.
Keep expensive items, such as flat-screen televisions, laptops and other objects out of sight to deter thieves looking for a big payload. There’s no better way to stop an intruder from entering your home than to remove the cause of their temptation.
Fortify your stronghold
Many burglaries take place as a result of neglect on the part of the renter. It makes sense that a house which has its doors and windows unlocked most of the time will be a prime target for a malicious thief.
Start taking your security seriously and make an effort to fortify your household from intruders who would gladly relieve you of your hard-earned possessions.
Keep safes and lock-boxes in the basement or other hidden areas of the house. If you have ladders, tools or other mechanical devices, keep them locked away in a tool shed or a similar location.
If you own your own property, invest in home improvement annually to ensure that your entry doors and windows are well-maintained and strong. Conduct any repairs as necessary. If you’re renting and notice your doors and windows don’t meet the basic security requirements, let your landlord/agent know.
Above all else, check that your windows and doors are locked every time you leave the house. It doesn’t matter if you’re only planning on a quick run to the grocery store. Statistics have shown that 75% of burglars in Australia take less than five minutes to enter a property.
Be discreet when in public
A common modus operandi that thieves employ is to gather personal information from their targets by hanging around them in public. A lot of data can be gathered by simply listening: holiday plans, social media details, info on daily activities, and a whole lot more.
To protect your security, watch what you say when you’re out with friends or family in a public area and keep your voice down! Be unpredictable. Switch up your routines and you’ll be targeted less often.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with these tips. None of these steps (excluding perhaps the security equipment) are too expensive or too time-consuming for you to implement today.