Photo: Unsplash/Alvin Engler.

Home invasion is something no one wants to think about, but it happens on a regular basis around Australia. It can result in the loss of or damage to your belongings. Burglars have a keen eye for valuable possessions. Here’s how to avoid becoming an accidental accomplice.

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DON’T hide spare keys around the property

Many renters will know the feeling of absentmindedly leaving the house and locking their keys inside. If you’ve done it once, you’ll want to hide a spare key somewhere nearby you can get to when you need it. A savvy criminal is going to know the usual places people hide their keys and will check under doormats, rocks and the places you think are sneaky, but probably aren’t.

DON’T leave your valuables lying around

It goes without saying that thieves will target the things that are portable and in plain sight before looking further into the house. Think about your jewellery and other small (and expensive) items that shouldn’t be left out on display. If possible, invest in a small safe that you can bolt to something fixed.

DON’T leave your doors unlocked

The days of being able to leave your sliding doors and front entry unlocked are almost a thing of the past. Sliding glass doors are a structural vulnerability and many burglars have learned to exploit this.

DON’T tempt thieves with your latest purchases

Whether it’s your new TV or something equally pricey, do your best to minimise how much exposure it has to the outside world. If you live in a detached house and have a front yard, don’t leave your empty box outside on the kerb for everyone to see.

DO consider a security audit

From time-to-time, it’s worth doing a security audit on your property. What vulnerabilities have you discovered? Is it secure? You could take a walk around your home with a friend or neighbour and ask yourself, ‘How easy would it be to break into this property?’ Consult your landlord with any vulnerabilities or security issues you discover.

DO make sure your home is well lit

Are the external areas around your property well-lit with quality lighting? Where possible, the lights should be activated by movement. Areas around your doors and windows should be well lit.

Remember: Your actions are significant too. If you have security measures available, use them effectively. In many instances, break-ins occur because tenants leave their doors insecure, their spare key in a prominent location or a window unlocked. Failure to secure your property could affect your ability to make an insurance claim for your loss.

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