10 steps to burglar proof your home
Once the frenzy of Christmas passes, there’s nothing better than escaping for a well-deserved break. And it’s only natural to want to pack up and head off as quickly as possible, but we need to remember one vital thing at this time of year. We leave behind us vacant homes filled with brand new gifts… and experienced burglars know it. PlayStations, iPads, jewellery and expensive toys that, if you’re making a rushed getaway, may still remain wrapped in their original packing—an invite too alluring for even the most virtuous burglar.
But do not fear! With some organisation and planning, there are some simple deterrents you can put in place to send burglars running and keep your home protected while you’re away:
Here are ten simple tips to burglar proof your home:
- Unplug garage door opener or change the code
- Organise timers for lights
- Lock gates and windows
- Install a security system (or pretend you have one)
- Mow your lawns and trim your bushes
- Use exterior lighting with motion detectors
- Organise a neighbour to collect your mail
- Leave boxes for new items in garage or cupboard
- Put away ladders, garden tools and hard objects
- Keep quiet
Burglar proof your home with these tips:
1. Unplug garage door opener or change the code
Experienced burglars know that the garage door is usually the weakest point of entry. For extra security, unplug the garage door opener or change the access codes of your remote control. Many controls come with standard factory settings, which means your roller door is accessible to any remote with the same setting.
2. Organise timers for lights
Set timers to turn on both internal and external lights at varying times so that your home looks occupied. Bunnings have some great options.
3. Lock gates and windows
Install top quality deadbolt locks on exterior doors. Deadbolt locks should have anti-drill features, a horizontal bolt at least 1 inch long and a steel, beveled casing to inhibit the use of a pipe wrench. Hire a locksmith or, if you know what to look for and you’re handy around the house, have a browse through The Lock Shop or Locks Galore to source.
4. Install a security system (or pretend you have one)
Security alarms increase the fear and risk factors for intruders making them an effective deterrent. Clearly advertise your alarm outside your property. Unwanted intruders will likely move on to find an easier target. Make sure you choose suppliers and systems that meet both State and Federal standards.
5. Mow your lawns and trim your bushes
Overgrown lawns can give the appearance your property is vacant. Tall shrubs and trees provide cover from the street. Leave your garden neat, trim back bushes and remove lower branches near windows that allow easy access.
6. Use exterior lighting with motion detectors
Put the spotlight on intruders to make them visible and vulnerable. Lighting triggered by motion detectors is also an effective way of alerting your neighbours of a possible intruder.
7. Organise a neighbour to collect your mail
Overflowing mailboxes are one of the biggest giveaways that you’re away. Either redirect or organise a neighbour to collect your mail on a daily basis.
8. Leave boxes for new items in garage or cupboard
You may think you’re being super efficient by leaving packaging and boxes out on the nature strip for collection while you’re away, but do you really want to advertise the brand new Xbox you were given for Christmas? Keep packaging for expensive electronics and toys hidden until you return.
9. Put away ladders, garden tools and hard objects
Burglars can use ladders and hard objects lying around your garden to break in via windows. Don’t make it easy for them.
10. Keep quiet
It’s tempting to announce to the world via social media that you’re at the airport waiting to fly out to Honolulu for an exotic 2-week holiday, but burglars can now access this information to identify vacant houses. Tell your friends in person, or send them a direct message.
The most important thing to remember is that you want your home to seem occupied. If you don’t have the time or funds to install expensive alarm systems, stick to the more basic points listed above. Every measure you take will give you peace of mind and reduce the risk of your home being broken into while you’re away.
After that, there’s nothing left to do but… have a great holiday!