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According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around a quarter of a million Australian households are victims of at least one break-in a year – with even more the target of an attempted break-in.Before you head off for a well-deserved holiday break, give some thought to some simple and cost-effective measures to assure your home and property are safe while you are away.
Homes and cars that are unattended over the holiday season are a green light for burglars so it is important to take as many precautions as possible to ensure you don’t return from your holiday to find you’re a victim of crime.
First National Real Estate’s CEO Ray Ellis recommends these simple yet effective ways to boost your home’s security –
Simple Yet Effective Ways to Boost Your Home’s Security
Create a Lived In Look
While away, make sure your home still looks ‘lived in – leave a pair of shoes at the back door, water in the dog’s bowl and hang some towels on the washing line. Make sure a trusted neighbour or family member collects the mail and regularly adjusts curtains and blinds. Ask a neighbour or friend to regularly park in your driveway or outside your home to suggest activity.
Install them at all external doorways – an inexpensive deterrent that remain useful throughout the year.
Turn Down the Phone
An endlessly ringing phone can be a give-away that there’s no one home. Turn down the volume and make sure the voice message gives no clue that you have gone on holidays.
Available from hardware stores, timers allow you to switch your TV or radio on at various times throughout the day, as well as lights in the evening. Tune your radio to a talkback station so there’s the sound of many different voices – if someone is scoping out your property, it will make it harder for them to know if someone is inside the house.
Secure the Shed and Garage
Put away and secure items like ladders, tools and gardening implements which can easily assist in forced entry and make sure your shed and garage are locked. Store away valuables such as bicycles and the barbecue.
Only leave your spare keys with a trusted family member, friend or neighbour – DO NOT keep them under a flower pot or a door mat where they can be easily found by a burglar.
If budget and time allow, install a security alarm as it is one of the best deterrents. For the majority of burglars, an alarm makes your home too difficult to try and enter. Be sure to display notices about the alarm system prominently at doors and windows.
Last but not least,
Lock All Doors and Windows
Sounds obvious but as people head off in a rush, locking doors and windows can be easily forgotten. If possible fit deadlocks to main doors and windows as these make for a major hurdle for burglars.