Did you know that home burglary is one of the most widespread crimes in Australia? Over 200,000 are reported every year. What’s worse, 20% of homes will be broken into more than once. Robberies are expensive and a complete pain, with most thieves targeting expensive items such as cash, computer equipment, jewellery, cameras and other electronics. The theft of ID documents, including credit cards, also happens regularly, opening you to the risk of larger financial loss and even identify theft.
So what can you do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim? When you move into a new home there are several steps you should take to ensure your family and belongings are safe and protected.
- Secure all the doors. The popular image of a burglar breaking in through a window or around the back of your home is often wrong. About 33% of all burglars enter through your home’s front door. Take the time to inspect all external doors, making sure the frames are strong and the hinges are protected. Ideally, the door should be solid, and if it has a mail slot make sure it’s positioned far enough away that someone can’t reach through to unlock the door. It’s also a good idea to install a peephole and deadbolt on your front door.Surprisingly, many burglaries don’t even result from a break-in. Think about the people that have lived in your home before you. How many still have keys, and did they also give a key out to any neighbours or friends? Locksmiths can provide a re-keying service to ensure old keys no longer work. This is often cheaper than buying brand new locks.
- Put locks on windows. If they don’t enter through a door, your next bet is a window. Up to 23% of all burglars enter through a first storey window. Window latches provided by manufacturers often don’t lock at all, and might not even stand up to a hard yank. Have locks placed on all first floor windows, and if your home is double storey you may like to consider securing those upstairs as well.
- Get to know your neighbours. Especially if they’re home times that you’re not, a friendly neighbour can be a great first line of defence against a burglary. But, they can’t do that if they don’t know who should and shouldn’t be in your home. Make an effort to get to know your neighbours and you can help make your whole neighbourhood more secure.
- Use external lights. As well as making the area around your home safer for yourselves and your guests, lights that turn on automatically with motion sensors can be a great deterrent to any night-time burglaries.
- Keep your garden tidy. Large shrubs and hedges can look great in your garden, but they also give burglars a place to hide. Keep bushes close to your home trimmed or enjoy some floral blooms in their place.
Once you’ve put these tips in place, have a plan to keep your new home secure. Does every member of your family know how to lock up properly before leaving the house? Do they all have keys and know how to keep them safe? By having a simple plan in place you can ensure your security measures are followed and will help protect your home when you’re not there.
If the security of your new home is an issue for you, have a chat to us at 5 Star Locksmiths and we’ll make sure your home is safe.