It turns out man’s best friend is the perfect burglar deterrent.
You love your home, right? The trouble is, so do crooks.
Figures from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) show household burglary is one of the most widespread crimes in Australia, and one in three Australians worry their house could be burgled this year.
However, a few simple and low cost steps can go a long way towards protecting your home from thieves, often with the added benefit of providing savings on home and contents cover.
Make your home less attractive to burglars
An AIC survey of convicted burglars confirmed that crooks don’t usually plan their break-ins. They tend to be opportunistic, taking advantage of easy targets offering a quick in-and-out.
But surprisingly, you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive alarm systems.
The AIC found the single most effective burglar deterrent is a dog. Yes, the family pooch trumps expensive alarm systems when it comes to repelling burglars. Or, for just a few dollars, installing sensor lights can be more effective than adding security grills to doors and windows.
Here are the factors that force burglars to think twice about breaking into your place:
- a dog (cited by 61.4 per cent of convicted burglars)
- working alarm systems (49.1 per cent)
- sensor lights (22.8 per cent),
- lights inside house (19.3 per cent)
- grilled windows/doors (19 per cent)
- visibility of property from road (14 per cent), and
- gates (12.3 per cent).
Don’t tempt crooks
Don’t like dogs and can’t afford an alarm system? No problem. There is still plenty you can do to keep your home safe and secure.
First and foremost, keep shrubs and trees trimmed – overgrown greenery lets burglars carry out their work in private. Tuck cash, jewellery and other valuables out of sight. Three quarters of break-ins last just five minutes, so burglars gravitate to homes where the loot is in clear view.
Importantly, avoid announcing you’re heading away on holidays on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It’s like issuing an open invitation to thieves.
Update your cover
Even with the best security measures in place, homes can still be broken into. That’s why it pays to have up to date home and contents insurance.
There are ways to save here too. Many insurers offer discounts when you combine home and contents cover and / or apply online.
Take a few simple steps to protect your home today, and enjoy peace of mind that your property and belongings are safe from crooks for the year ahead.
Do you have other tips for protecting your home? Tell us what they are in the comments below.