As you make plans to go on holidays or just generally spend more time out and about this summer, you’ve probably also considered the risk of leaving your house unoccupied for long periods of time.
While Hollywood movies would have you believe that burglars are well-organised and clever, the reality is most break-ins are crimes of opportunities. Burglars are most likely to target empty homes with easy access because it makes the process simpler for them. And what’s more tempting than a house left empty while the owners are away on holidays?
To help keep your home safe this summer we’ve pulled together some of our best tips whether you’re heading away or staying in.
Lock Your Doors
This may sound obvious but most burglars gain access to a residential property through an unlocked or poorly secured front or back door.
To prevent leaving your house unlocked, we recommend having a system you go through each time you leave the house to secure all your entry points.
Also, resist the temptation to leave the doors open when you just pop down to the shops or head to the neighbours. It only takes a few minutes for a burglar to break in and grab a handful of valuables.
Keep in mind that your home is also vulnerable when you are there. If you’ve left the front door open to allow a breeze to come through it would take someone less than 30 seconds to walk past your front door and grab a handful of items from the hallway– like your handbag or wallet.
Install Security Locks On Your Screen Doors
There’s nothing nicer than letting a cool breeze flow through your house as evening falls in the summer. But most screen doors offer very little deterrence against a break-in or opportunistic thief.
If your screen doors are strong then you can put locks on them to keep people out while you let the air in.
For extra security, install security doors made of toughened mesh designed to withstand the force of someone kicking through or cutting.
Make Your Home Look Lived In While You’re Out Of Town
While you may not have to worry about cancelling the newspaper or milk before you head out of town anymore, there can still be signs that you may have gone away for a while that will clue a would-be thief to your absence.
You can ask Australia Post to hold your mail while you’re gone, or get a neighbour to collect it for you. You should also add a “No Junk Mail” sign to your mailbox to prevent the telltale build up of newsletters in your mailbox.
If you’ll be gone for more than a fortnight, arrange for someone to come past and mow your lawn and generally tidy up the front of your house. You can also get automatic systems that will light your house up in the early evening and give it that lived-in look.
Don’t Forget The Outside Too
With 24% of residential burglaries in Victoria occurring via a back door it’s important to ensure that access to your rear yard is difficult. Install locks on your garden gate to make it harder for thieves to get in.
Also consider all the stuff you keep outside – like bikes, garden tools and expensive kids toys. You might think a thief would leave these, but in fact 10% of items stolen in residential break-ins from April 2014 to March 2015 were tools, including power tools.
Add a lock to your shed and chain up your bikes and kids play equipment if you’re going out of town for a while.
Get Your House Security Checked Before You Go Away
If you’re not sure where the gaps are in your home security then the best thing to do is get it assessed by a locksmith expert in Melbourne. Amalgamated Locksmiths can come out and check your existing security and give you personal recommendations to keep your house safe and secure this summer.