With the festive season fast approaching, Santa Clause isn’t the only person you want sneaking around your house. As families prep for holidays and homes are filled with gadgets and gifts, burglars are also getting excited to prey on properties that are left unattended or vulnerable.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning a vacation away or you’re just kicking back at home for the break, tightening your security around this time is absolutely essential. According to RAC insurance, home burglary remains one of the most common crimes in Australia – with a clear rise over the Christmas period and warmer months when people tend to leave windows and doors open to stay cool. Make your home look occupied and secure this summer break with these practical safety tips.
1. Use Neighbour Support
Neighbour support can be a great way to look out for one another when it comes to unwanted visitors. If you’re going away over Christmas and New Years’, give your neighbours a heads up. If there’s any unusual activity they’ll be able to make a call to the local police to report and be sure to do the same for them.
If you close with your neighbour give them a spare key to your property instead of leaving it under the door mat or flower pot – thieves know to check these obvious spots. Suggest to your neighbour to park in your driveway if they have multiple cars to make it look like the house is occupied.
2. Triple Check Window and Door Locks
Security over Christmas starts with making sure everything is locked. It seems like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised about how many people miss a window side door. Encourage the whole household to check that windows are firmly shut and locked and all entry points, including the garage are properly secured.
Don’t leave keys spare keys out and only ensure a trusted friend, relative or neighbour has a copy. Consider getting the locks changed with a new set of keys if multiple people have had access to your property. If your residential locks look like they have seen better days, now would be a good time to make any repairs.
3. Don’t Leave Valuables in View
Regardless of whether you are heading away for the break or not, thieves will still be prying on Christmas gifts and valuables. Whilst you want to show your new things off to family and friends, it’s best to keep them as hidden as possible for anyone else.
Keep all shades pulled shut if you are heading away and avoid putting the Christmas tree up near an open window or door – especially at the front of the home. Instead, move the tree and gifts to the back of the lounge room and avoid leaving evident of gifts in plain view to burglars. If you know you are going to be away, hide your valuables in secure locations or invest in a safe if necessary.
4. Use Obvious Security Measures
Home alarm systems and security cameras aren’t just good for keeping your home safe, but they will also reduce your insurance premiums. Make sure the alarm system is visible to ward off any potential threats. Wi-Fi security cameras are great for getting a live stream of your home whilst you are away to keep a check on things from your mobile device or use a home automation system to help keep thieves at bay.
For homes that will be left unattended over the festive season, sensor or scheduled lighting can make it look lived in. Keeping the front of the home well-lit is also an important safety measure for late night workers or coming home after a night with friends and family.
By taking a few key precautions and being smart about your home and personal safety, you can keep your property and valuables secure over the holidays. Don’t let the stress of being a target for burglars haunt you – get effective in strengthening your home’s mechanism today.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Lock, Stock & Farrell in Perth, Western Australia. Lock Stock have been providing reputable locksmith services and home security tips since 1997 and promote efficient security over Christmas and all year round.