With homes riddled with gifts and goodies, people out visiting friends and family and travelling near and far – the holidays are peak season for pesky burglars.
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) says household burglary is one of the most common in the country, with money (19%) and jewellery (18%) the most common items stolen.
So whether you’re planning a trip away or having a ‘staycation’ at home, securing your property is a must to help avoid any nasty surprises.
Whether you’ll be home or away these holidays, here are some tips for securing your home and valuables.
Securing your home when away
Lock up when you leave
It may sound obvious but ensure you check all doors, windows, garages, balconies, side gates and even garden sheds so there’s no access into or around your property. It’s also worth locking up or hiding valuables inside your home so they aren’t visible from the outside or in an obvious place that will be easily found.
Make it look like someone’s home
Sensors and timers that switch lights on and off can make a home appear occupied. Turning down the ring volume on your phone, putting some old clothes on the washing line or leaving a pair of shoes outside the front door are all subtle clues that indicate someone could be home.
Don’t advertise your absence
As tempting as it might be to boast to your buddies, don’t post your travel plans on social media, or change your answering machine to say you’re away. These are green lights for crimes looking for empty homes to raid.
Have someone watch over your home
Have a close neighbour or good friend keep an eye on your home for you, collect any mail, put garbage bins out and in, park their car in your driveway and even mow the lawn if you’re away for an extended period of time. A trustworthy house-sitter can also be a great option!
Don’t help thieves get in
Make sure you put away any objects that could be used to gain access into your property, such as ladders or other tools.
Secure your home when hosting a party
Minimise and secure exits and entrances
Make sure you keep doors locked so you know who’s coming and going. Better to have to answer a few door bells than discover missing valuables. You can also lock off rooms that you don’t want guests entering and confine the party to certain areas so it’s easier to keep an eye on.
Keep events invitation only
Let people know that it’s an exclusive or ‘closed’ party. This will help to minimise any unexpected or unwanted guests. Having clear start and finish times can also help keep things under control.
Put away precious items
Protect your valuables so they’re not damaged, broken, moved by inquisitive little ones or worst yet, stolen! Also put away, lock up or deposit in the bank any excess cash.
Protect your pets
Make sure any furry friends will be secure and in a safe space, especially if there will be fireworks!
It’s important to secure your home with these simple tips however nothing protects your assets more than having adequate home and contents insurance.
Before you break for the holidays check your insurance is up to date, know what your policy covers and have sufficient records such as photos and receipts of any valuables in case you need to make a claim. Some contents insurance can even protect your valuables, such as jewellery or small electronics, when they are away with you!
Are you heading away for the holidays? Share your tips for securing your home with us.
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