8 Smart Ways To Deter BurglarsBeing burgled is not only traumatising and can make you feel like your home has been violated, but it can also be expensive and a hurdle to get over financially. Home break-ins within Australia are all too common, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reporting that in 2014-13, 228,900 homes (that’s 2.6% of all households) had at least one break-in.
Whilst the Australian Institute of Criminology has estimated that burglary in Australia is more common than the international average of burglaries. Not to mention that 36% of Australians believe that their homes are likely to be robbed in the next year.
So let us give you some strategies to ease your mind against home burglaries. Many burglaries happen as the thief sees an opportunity and takes advantage. So protect your home with these 8 steps to safety and beat them at their own game.
Step 1 – Secure the exterior and fixtures
Any gates and side fences are easy opportunities for burglars to scale easily. Make it harder for them by locking gates and building them extra high for added difficulty. A thief can otherwise easily open your side gate out of sight and help themselves to anything you have lying around in your backyard, or worse.
Step 2 – Secure the home
Quite obviously, whenever you leave the house, go to bed, or even if you’re at home, ensure to lock windows and doors. For further protection don’t forget that it can take just a few seconds for a thief to run in and grab something of value whilst you’re in another section of your house. Lock exterior doors and windows as you leave each room as a habit. Fit keyed locks to your windows, and double-key deadlocks to doors. This means thieves have to enter and leave the same way, making it extra hard to take big items such as TVs or desktop computers. Sliding doors should have bolts and tough screens to prevent slashing.
Step 3 – Don’t hide your keys
We all know about the spare key under the fake rock trick, under the mat, in the meter box, or the key buried in the pot plant right next to the door. Burglars know about these types of hiding places so simply just don’t do it. It’s not worth the risk – not even once. If you must leave a spare key for emergencies, leave it with a friend or your trusted neighbour instead. It’s also common sense never to label your keys with your address. Likewise think twice before giving out keys to workmen and trades people. Although you may think them to be trustworthy, keys can and are easily copied.
Step 4 – Get an alarm
By installing an alarm you can easily deter thieves. Make sure it’s seen from the street and that you use a reputable security company. Experienced burglars will know the difference between a fake alarm and a real one.
Step 5 – Pretend you’re home
We all need a holiday every now and then. However when you go away, your home is a prime unoccupied target for thieves. Therefore, try and make it look like you’re home even if you’re not. Use timers on your lighting, get a neighbour to collect your mail and take out your bins, and don’t spread the news you’re on holiday on social media – resist the urge to post photos until you’re back at home. Also, if you are selling any expensive items on the likes of Gumtree, be careful of giving out your address.
Step 6 – Don’t forget the shed and garage
Don’t leave things laying around which burglars could use to get into your home. Items such as crowbars, tools, or bricks should be kept locked up safely in your shed. Likewise, don’t leave valuable items such as kayaks, bicycles, or tools around, these can easily be picked up and taken without you realising until it’s too late.
Step 7 – Lighting
Sensor lights are a great preventative measure and also affordable for just about anyone. Put them around corners and at the front and back of your home where thieves might think they can slip through. Likewise, trim away large trees and hedges, especially near windows or entry points.
Step 8 – Be prepared
Preventing burglaries is the key to securing your home. However, it’s also just as important to account for the worst happening just in case. Engrave electrical items, keep valuables in a hidden safe, and keep your cash in a bank. Also ensure you have a comprehensive insurance policy in case you can’t stop the thieves, and keep it updated with any new items you might need replaced if stolen.
For more information on home and contents insurance, contact CGU today.