Before you head off on your summer holiday you’ll want to ensure that your home is safe and secured from intruders.

January has been the worst month for home break-ins in three of the past five years, according to a Fairfax Media analysis of recent crime statistics. And while the outer suburbs have the highest burglary rates, inner city suburbs including Collingwood, Brunswick and Richmond still have more break-ins than average.

While most burglaries are carried out by opportunistic thieves, there are also professional thieves on the prowl.

There are some basic ways to keep your home safe that you should have in place all the time. But if you’re heading away for some time then we recommend you take some further steps to protect your home so you can return from your holidays refreshed.

Install Top Quality Locks

Consider that the only things standing between a would-be thieve and your valuables are your locks. If you’ve got flimsy, worn-out locks or ones that are easily forced then it doesn’t take much effort for someone to get in.

A good quality lock will not only slow down a thief but will in most cases prevent them from getting inside entirely.

Amalgamated Locksmiths can fit a range of locks and deadbolts on your doors, windows and screen doors to protect your home while you’re away.

Hide the Spare Keys

We certainly don’t recommend that you keep a spare key hidden in your garden for those times you are accidentally locked out. It’s far better to leave it with a trusted neighbour or friend.

But if you have hidden a key then make sure you remove it from its hiding spot before you go on holidays. No matter how well you think you’ve hidden it, a thief with a bit of time on his hands will find it.

If you’re constantly forgetting your keys or think there’s no one you could leave a spare key with for those times you are accidentally locked out, then one option is to have a keypad lock installed on your front door. No longer just for office buildings, more homeowners are installing these locks on their front doors. They can be a lot more convenient (especially if you’re someone who loses keys constantly or doesn’t like to carry them) and allow you to control who has entry to your home.

Don’t Broadcast Your Plans

While you might not think much of an innocent “Woohoo, we’re off on holidays for two weeks” post on Facebook, in some cases professional thieves have used these posts to research places to break in to.

While we all love sharing a snap of the family at the beach, before you do ask yourself what other information you’re broadcasting.

A few things you can do to keep your information safe is to check your security settings on Facebook and other social media sites, only Friend people you actually know in real life and consider posting your holiday snaps when you’re back from your break.

Be Alarmed

A basic alarm system can be a good deterrent for thieves trying to break into your home. In fact, according to a 2011 report by UK security firm Friedman Home Security, the ex-burglars surveyed said that a simple home security system is enough to deter them from breaking in.

If you do have an alarm system, make it obvious by adding stickers to your windows. And – it goes without saying – but make sure you activate it before you go away.

When it comes to keeping your home safe, a locksmith expert from Amalgamated Locksmiths can provide you with tips and advice to help protect your home from intruders. For an assessment of your home before you go on holiday, give us a call today.