Don’t come home to heartbreak – if you’re planning a great Australian holiday this summer, make sure your home is protected against the threat of a burglary before you leave.
Blue skies, warm summer weather and lazy days outdoors, but unfortunately burglary rates tend to rise when Australians are in holiday mode.
If you are planning a holiday this summer, don’t be complacent about home security.
It’s much easier to relax and enjoy a well-deserved break if your home is protected from a devastating break-in.
Here are 10 tips to ensure that you can return home from your summer holiday without discovering that your home has been targeted by burglars.
#1: Lock your windows and doors
Locking up your house while you are away is the best place to start.
It sounds obvious, but many burglaries occur because the burglar has had easy access to the home through an unlocked entry.
Before you pack up the car for your getaway this year, take the time to go through your home, checking that every single entry point is securely locked.
If you find any locks needing repair or replacing, get this done before you leave to go on holiday.
#2: Install security screens
Any entryway into your home is going to be a weak point in your home security unless it is guarded by a security-grade screen.
This is because ordinary front and back doors can be jemmied from their frames with the right tools (which most burglars have), and any window can be smashed through.
To give your home the best protection possible while you are away on holiday, think about installing security screens for your windows and doors.
Any screen that can legally be called ‘security-grade’ will have passed the Australian Standards testing to ensure it is proof from tearing, blunt force damage and jemmying.
There is no better way to protect your home from forced entry than installing security screens.
#3: Keep your valuables out of sight
While you are on holiday, don’t give burglars an excuse to try and force their way into your home.
Keep your new Christmas presents, phones, laptops and jewellery out of sight.
Also, if you are leaving a car at home, don’t leave your keys hanging by the front door!
#4: Don’t advertise your vacation on social media
It’s best not to let the world know you’re away from home while you’re still on holiday – you don’t know who knows where you live.
If you start posting photos of yourself on the beach or exploring the outback while you’re still away, you are advertising to the world that your home is unattended.
Since empty homes provide a perfect opportunity for a break-in, it’s best to keep your security in mind before hitting the “post” button on a holiday status update.
Save these pictures for posting on social media when you get home.
#5: Make it look like you’re at home
There are a few ways to do this.
If you have a smart home security system, you can control your home protection from your device, wherever you are.
That way, you can turn on your lights or TV at night to make it look like you’re at home.
If you don’t have a smart home security system, this might be the year you consider calling a professional security installer to come out to your home.
You can choose from a range of:
- CCTV cameras;
- Security cameras;
- Security alarms; or
- Smart security devices.
Depending on what items you choose to install, you can link these devices to your phone or tablet so that you’re able to keep an eye on your home from your holiday location.
If you don’t want to install hi-tech security measures, a cheaper option is to install timed lights.
You can program timed lights to turn on and off during the evening, so it looks like someone’s in the home.
#6: Get to know your neighbours
If you don’t already know your neighbours, now is an excellent time to go over and introduce yourself.
Neighbours are extraordinary security measures because they can easily view your home from the outside and can keep an eye out for anything amiss while you’re away.
You might even enlist them to help you to keep up appearances while you’re away, taking in your mail, watering your plants or parking their car in your driveway to help make it appear as though someone is home.
#7: Don’t get complacent
People are generally more relaxed in warmer weather, but make sure that you don’t get complacent about your home security!
Even if you’re just heading out for a quick walk, make sure you lock up the house.
Lock your security screen doors, even when you are at home – a security screen door will allow you to answer your door securely.
Keep an eye out for suspicious individuals in your area who you think might be casing your home.
Just because you’re on a break from work, that doesn’t mean burglars are taking any time off.
#8: Keep your lawn maintained
If your lawn is usually clipped but becomes overgrown while you’re away, that’s a clear sign to burglars that the house is vacant.
Before you go on your summer holiday this year, get in touch with your local lawn care service to come and regularly maintain your lawn while you’re away.
Not only will you be happy to come home to a neat garden, but your overgrown lawn won’t signal to robbers that nobody is home to stop them from getting in.
#9: Install a motion sensor light
For burglars who work at night, dark spaces are the perfect place to hide and see whether you’re at home or not.
By installing a motion sensor light over your front and back doors before you go on holiday, you will be lighting up any dark corners that a thief might find helpful to hide in.
#10: Never, ever hide the keys outside!
No matter which brilliant place you choose to hide your key outside, a burglar has seen it all before.
Burglars will often search for a hidden key before they attempt to find another way into your home, as it is the least attention-catching way of gaining entry.
By hiding a key outside, you are literally giving a burglar the key to your home.
Instead, provide a spare key to any trusted family or friends who live nearby, or give one to the neighbour you’ve just made friends with.