The Easter bunny is almost here. And so are your in-laws. All six of them who plan to stay at your house for a three-day long weekend during the Easter holiday season. Three. Whole. Days. It’s highly likely that ‘safety tips for a full house’ may have slipped your mind.
While we realise you are busy meal-planning and working out exactly where these six extra bodies will be sleeping, it’s also important that you take time to consider the safety of your home and family during this busy holiday period.
In Australia, there’s a public holiday on Good Friday and Easter Monday. It’s a popular time for families to come together and celebrate. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also prime time for burglars who know how much easier their job is when a house is vacant or buzzing with activity.
Whether you’re expecting visitors or you’re travelling these holidays, here’s our Simple 5 Step Guide to help you keep your family and visitors safe this Easter.
Step 1 – Plan Ahead
It may sound simple, but even the process of thinking about potential security threats during the holiday season will develop your awareness. An increased awareness will help you to put the necessary steps in place to prevent or at least minimise the possibility of a home invasion.
If you’re travelling away from home this Easter, remember to let local police know about your absence by giving them a contact name and number. Additionally, if you’re a member of Neighbourhood Watch, you can inform your neighbours and a block coordinator of your travel dates. If you’re away for an extended period, you could even consider having someone housesit, as a lived-in house is less of target for intruders. Avoid ordering parcels that will be delivered in the holiday period or depending on the length of your absence, you can arrange for mail to be held at the Post Office or collected by a neighbour.
While it may be a little time-consuming, it’s worthwhile to make sure all of your easily removable possessions in your home are marked using the Property Identification System during the lead up to the holiday period.
Step 2 – Be Active
Intruders look for signs that your home is unoccupied (Going Away This Holiday Season?, 2015). Taking steps to actively secure your home will help to repel burglars. Many home burglaries could be prevented with a few simple precautionary steps.
Always secure your vehicle and try to keep your visitor’s vehicles inside on your property, where possible. Encourage your family and your guests take responsibility for checking that all doors and windows are securely locked. To deter opportunist thieves, secure your garbage bin and make sure ladders and tools are not accessible.
Step 3 – Communicate Your Expectations
Keeping your family and your guests informed about what you expect in terms of closing and locking windows and doors will share the responsibility of home security. A good rule to have is that if you walk through a door and it is locked, remember to relock it as you leave. When heading out, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Assume that you’re the last person to leave the house and secure the property appropriately.
While it may be convenient to leave a key concealed outside your house so that your visitors can come and go as they please, this is not recommended. Alternatively, if you’d like your visitors to be able to access your home without you being there, give a spare key to a trusted neighbour or friend.
Step 4 – Maintain Order
When friends or family come to stay, and your house is bustling with activity, your home can become prone to break-ins. It can often seem like there has ‘already’ been a home invasion with scattered belongings and family members camping out in common areas.
Maintaining your regular routines around locking your doors and windows, keeping your belongings safely indoors, and collecting your junk mail as per usual, will help to deter burglars. Keeping your home as decluttered and organised is a great way to help you notice if there has been any unusual activity throughout your home.
Step 5 – Report Unusual Activity
If you believe you have been burgled or you have information about unusual activity, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
If you’re heading away from home, don’t forget to remind your neighbours to contact police if they notice anything suspicious while you’re away.
Going Away This Holiday Season? (2015). Retrieved from Mypolice.qld.gov.au: https://mypolice.qld.gov.au/sunshinecoast/2015/12/03/going-away-holiday-season/