House break and enters are one of the most common crimes. Yet most of us think it will never happen to us. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in the 12 months prior to interview in 2016-17, 72000 Australians experienced at least one robbery and 457,800 Australians were victims of malicious property damage.
Being aware of burglary schemes is the best way to prevent a break-in. Unlike the Spiderman tactics and intricate manoeuvres shown in the movies, home invasions are often surprisingly simple.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes home owners make and the most common tactics burglars use to get inside your home, sometimes while you are AT home. Now there’s a shudder-worthy thought.
1. BURGLARY SCHEME #1 – Burglar Enters Through An Unlocked Door
It may sound silly, but the most common break and enter incidents reported to police are by residents who have left their doors unlocked – usually their front door. Either they have left it open while they have stepped out for just a short time or even while they are at home, inviting opportunist criminals to help themselves.
Mackay Senior Constable Steve Smith said, “It’s the old favourite and most common, crooks look for car keys or goods while people are at home and the house is unlocked or unsecured”.
THE FIX: Avoid this situation by keeping your doors locked night and day. If you have a Crimsafe screen fitted on your door, you can still enjoy the breeze on summer days, plus you have the added bonus of keeping those smaller pests out too – mosquitos!
2. BURGLARY SCHEME #2 – Burglar Enters Through A Window
A large number of break-ins occur through windows, even if they appear secure. Robbers will often simply force themselves in by breaking the glass or manipulating the fittings.
THE FIX: Make sure your windows are secured with Crimsafe window screens. Crimsafe screens are robust and prevent burglars from gaining access to your home by breaking glass or tampering with the frame.
3. Burglary Scheme #3 –TREES, HEDGES & SHRUBS
When gaining access to your home, some crooks will gain access to higher levels by climbing nearby trees or hedges. Overgrown lawns and gardens is also a sign to criminals that your home is vacant or not frequently occupied. Unkept shrubbery also provides added coverage and protection for criminals from neighbours or people passing by.
THE FIX: Keep your hedges, trees and shrubs trimmed to ensure your place appears ‘lived-in’. If you keep your garden maintained with your plants trimmed back your house will be less of a target for burglars.
4. Burglary Scheme #4 – BALCONIES & VERANDAHS
Many people assume that their property is safe as it is above ground level. Multi-level properties are just as susceptible to break-ins as ground level entry points. Most commonly, people lock their front door but forget to secure their balcony or veranda, thinking no one will be able to climb up there.
According to Snr Constable Smith, such access points are still high on the list for burglars and won’t discourage them in the slightest. “It might be a little bit unusual but it’s always 100% successful for them,” he said.
THE FIX: Lock the doors and windows on your balconies and verandas. Be sure to secure wheelie bins and garden ladders to discourage opportunist thieves from using these things to leverage themselves into your home.
5. Burglary Scheme #5 – GARAGE
If you’re like most Australians, your garage may house your car but it is probably also the storage space for bikes, ladders and an assortment of tools. Burglars will check there for tools and objects to help them break into your house.
Police often discover that burglars have used the home owner’s ladder to gain access to second story windows. Imagine how you would you feel if you knew that you had helped criminals to gain entry into your home!
THE FIX: Even if your garage doesn’t connect to your house, you should keep your garage locked. This will prevent burglars from gaining access to your home using ladders and tools that they may have at their disposal if your garage is unlocked.
Protecting Your Property and Your People
We understand you can’t protect your home all the time. It’s okay to work with a reliable partner to keep your home and your family safe. Crimsafe has been trusted by Queensland families for over 20 years.
One of the best ways to truly protect your belongings when you’re not at home and your family, even when you’re at home, is to install quality Crimsafe security screens.
Contact us today to see how we can help protect you and your home.