It’s almost Christmas! ‘Tis the season to relax, enjoy heading out to parties with your family and friends, and maybe even take a trip away from the ‘everyday’. Unfortunately, the silly season is also prime time for home burglaries.
In fact, Police say January is the worst month for break-ins with burglars pocketing almost $100 million dollars’ worth of stolen items from residential robberies during the 2013-2014 holiday season.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an estimated 239,700 Australian households (that’s 2.7% of all households) experienced at least one break-in the year preceding a 2012–13 interview.
So, are you unknowingly making your home a target for Christmas burglars?
Some of the things thieves may look for to show you’re not home:
- No cars in the driveway
- Lights are off in the evening
- No response to a knock on the door
- Rubbish bins are left out
- Mail is accumulating in and around the mailbox
Before you set off on that much-anticipated trip away, there a few things you can do to help keep your home safe.
Here are our Top 10 Tips for How To Be Crimsafe This Christmas:
1. Secure Your Property
It may sound like a no-brainer but making sure your doors and windows are in fact closed and locked is a must. According to ABC News, 46 per cent of home break-ins in Victoria have no signs of forced entry. Draw the blinds to prevent opportunist thieves from peeping in. Secure sheds too – they contain the tools a burglar needs to get into your house. BBC maintains that garden forks, along with makeshift ladders like wheelie bins and trampolines are used for break ins, so keep them chained up!
2. Keep Your Spare Key Safe
Make sure the blinds are closed. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that the most common type of property stolen from home break-ins is money, closely followed by jewellery. Keeping these items out of view is a good way to avoid temptation for opportunist thieves. But all small items with a high resale value that can be offloaded quickly are also at risk.
Avoid hiding your presents in obvious places like under the bed or in the wardrobe. It can be tempting to display your tree adorned with lights for by passers to admire. But if you decide to pile your presents under the tree, make sure it is not in an entrance and the blinds are kept closed.
4. Mark Your Property
Marking your property helps to deter theft and provides proof of ownership of your valuables. Qld Police recommends marking your property with an engraver, using Identification warning stickers or using microdots (a modern way of marking property using a home kit).
Suggested items include computers, cameras, multi-media devices, satellite navigation devices, mobile phones, power tools and bicycles. Follow these steps to mark your property. Marking your valuables will make it harder (if not, impossible) for thieves to sell your goods and will increase the likelihood of the items being safely returned to you.
For gifts, snap a picture of big-ticket items before you wrap them or record the serial and model numbers. Never wrap a receipt with a present, as this gives a thief the chance to exchange the goods or return them for cash!
5. Keep Your Neighbours In The Know
It’s a good idea to let a trusted neighbour, (not your entire neighbourhood!), know the dates that you will be away. That way any unusual activity can be reported to police. If you give them a cup of sugar, they might even water your plants, collect your mail or move your car a few metres forward or back along the driveway to indicate, ‘life within’.
Be careful not to post happy snaps of you and your family in dreamy destinations, at the expense of letting lurkers know that you’re not in your place of residence, therefore enticing them to enter with confidence.
6. Clear The Clutter
If you’re going away for an extended period, contact Australia Post and ask for your mail to be temporarily suspended. If it’s just a short trip, ask a trusted neighbour to collect mail, newspapers and flyers. Destroy empty present boxes of valuable items as if they are left in bins, they are an indication that your house has new and valuable assets.
7. Let There Be Light
An effective way to deter potential burglars is to make sure your home appears to be ‘lived in’. Try using motion-activated or timer lighting to help make a house look occupied. You could even use timers to turn on televisions, and stereos for maximum authenticity. Remember, a house that is dark is more appealing than a house that is well-lit and appears to be lived-in.
8. Maintain Your Gardens and Lawn
A sure sign that nobody is home is a poorly maintained garden and lawn. Home security expert – Natasha Morgan – encourages you to organise to have a maintenance professional look after your lawn while you are away.
9. Install Security Cameras
Installing security cameras in and around your home should be a high priority. Founder of ‘My Home Watch’ – Natasha Morgan – maintains that smart devices such as door bells with cameras inside of them to wire-free smart home security systems that you can self-monitor through your mobile phones are all an affordable option these days.
10. Outsmart Criminals With Crimsafe Security Screens
The number one way to outsmart intruders is by installing Crimsafe screens on your windows and doors.
Did you know that our Crimsafe Ultimate range is 40% Stronger than regular Crimsafe and 7 times stronger than the singular impact level required by the Australian Standard!
Installing Crimsafe allows you to enjoy festivities in outdoor spaces with family and friends, while the interior of your home remains safe. Kick back and enjoy summer breezes of the season, knowing that your property and family are protected. Davcon, the security Crimsafe experts in Brisbane and the Gold Coast provide a free quote and measure. For absolute peace of mind this festive season, click here.