It’s that time of the year to plan long vacations and spend more time with friends and family.
The holiday season is upon us, and with the preparations for Christmas and New Year, there is quite a lot going on in your home.
Organising plans, decorating your homes, doing a seasonal cleanup and whatnot?
With the holiday excitement kicking in, don’t forget that you must be aware of how you leave your home unattended.
Without a safety checklist burglars may break into homes
According to research and stats, Australia is known to have the 7th highest rank for burglaries in the world. At least 4.3% of households have experienced break-ins in a year. This indicates that safety and security of your home from intruders is essential more than ever.
The thought of home invasions and keeping our home safe from intruders is always on our minds. However, without a safety checklist, we act less on that, thinking nobody is targeting our homes. Unfortunately, many by-passers can be burglars looking for the right opportunity to slip inside your home.
Contrary to how seasonal movies showcase burglaries and how courageous kids save their homes, safety and security of your home is not a child’s play. You ain’t in a ‘’Home Alone’’ movie series to get excited to invite the burglars.
The Front Door
The main entry point to any home is the front door. When burglars surveillance the house and the neighbourhood, they first attempt to try breaking in through the front door. This avoids raising suspicions.
About 34% of burglars walk inside your home by twisting the doorknobs and a leading reason is old, faulty locks.
Besides faulty locks, this can also be due to illegal lock picking or simply because you left your door unlocked by mistake. Making the main entrance of your home secure should be on top of your safety checklist.
Break-in through windows is another entry point for burglars to enter without being noticed. Unfortunately, many of us hurry to leave homes without checking if the windows are properly locked. As a result, around 23% of homeowners leave their first-floor windows open, sending an open invitation to intruders.
The Back Door
Several Tv shows with mystery and suspense always hint at how anyone can slip inside your home through the back door. Having many entry points without high security is another opportunity for burglars, especially the rear doors through your kitchen.
Garger is the next best place to hide and sneak in when no one is home, so ensure to make securing it in your home safety checklist.
Burglars are not masterminds, but they are sneaky and quiet. About 9% of thefts occur by entry through the garage doors.
Your home basement is another target entry point that many burglars can use to enter your home. Many homeowners do not lock their basement doors from outside or inside. It is an opportunity for burglars in your area to keep notes and break in. 4% of burglars choose to enter through basements.
Any opening point is an entry for burglars to come and invade your home. Sheds, storage spaces and other areas are potential entry points.
Homes without pets are most targeted because of the lack of threat. Dogs bark when any outsider enters their master’s property, creating attention!
Ensuring home safety from intruders at entry points with high security will help reduce the chances of your home being the next target. Burglars strike during the day and at night. Without proper safety and security features, your home is vulnerable. Additionally, homes with poor lighting and no surveillance cameras are mostly targeted during the holiday season.
What kind of homes do burglars target?
When creating your home safety checklist, it’s important to know the kind of homes that attract burglars the most.
Some homes are listed as an easy score opportunity in a burglar’s checklist. Knowing where your home falls on the list, you can avoid a break this season. In addition, being cautious and having a piece of safety guidelines can help you protect your property better.
Let us look at what burglars target when they choose their next home. There are some common signs that they look for when they choose their next target:
1.) Leaving trash cans while you are away
It is a simple sign that they observe. Leaving your trash cans outside while you travel can put a target on your home. Make sure you ask a neighbour to clear the trash or hire professional services, while you are away.
2.) Piling mail
This is another sign burglars look out for before robbing a property. In addition, mails and packages left on doorsteps indicate that the owners are away. This can attract burglars to steal your packages and break in while you are away.
Avoid ordering items to your home when you are away, and notify a neighbour to collect your mail, so your home is out of the burglar’s radar.
3.)Overgrown bushes and messy lawns
Overgrown grass in your lawn is another sign for burglars to notice that the owners are not home. The bushes can be the perfect hiding spot for them to wait and enter your home.
4.) Broken fences
As part of your home safety checklist make sure to inspect and fix any broken fences and locks. Homes that are neglected during seasons are the best target for burglars to enter. With many repairs, they can quickly enter and exit without any trouble. Damaged locks, unsecured doors, broken fences and windows are easy-to-access points for burglars.
5.) No security systems
One of the main and common reasons many homes in Australia and other places around the world are facing high burglary rates is the lack of security systems installed on properties.
Apart from these, there are other red flags that you must know to tighten your home security and reduce the risks of burglary.
6.) Properties built near high crime rate streets.
Another target for burglars are homes that are in the middle of a high crime area. When you are living with thieves who are your neighbours, it can be hard to ensure safety and security of your home.
7.) Properties are located in low visibility areas covered with trees
Homes that are located in areas that are not easily visible from afar due to trees, attract burglars more. This is because the surrounding area offers plenty of space for them to hide and observe the time people come in and go out. This provides them with the perfect opportunity to break in when they are absolutely sure that no one is inside and the property will remain empty for several hours.
8.) Properties with detached garages
If your property has a detached garage, an important item in your safety checklist should be ensuring that its gate is properly secured. You might need to have a separate security system installed in your garage as it can be a good break-in point for burglars.
How effective are home security systems?
Relying on basic, low-maintenance ways to keep your home safe is no longer an option for many homeowners. For example, only 32% of residential owners have security cameras installed in Australia, while 27% of homes have only alarm systems.
Whether home or away on vacation, your home is safe when you have a fully set-up security system. In many reports, burglars have avoided homes that have security systems which include:
- Motion sensors
- Smart lighting
- Outdoor and indoor security cameras
- Smart doorbells with video recordings
- Alarm systems
Take straightforward measures and upgrade your locks with smart locks and doorbell cameras. In addition, you can invest in monitors and sensors to secure your entry points.
Statistically speaking, homes with upgraded and latest security systems are less likely to be robbed. This is because security systems keep an eye on your property and record any bypasser, stalker, visitor and other guests entering and exiting your home.
There are many benefits of installing a proper security system in your home. Some of these include:
- An intelligent security system will include automatic exterior lights which turn on and off when there is motion.
- You can check the indoor and outdoor cameras through your phone, iPad, or other devices. Enjoy 24/7 monitoring features.
- Depending on your security system, you can also benefit from daylight saving.
Safety Checklist to Prevent Home Burglary
- Install cameras in visible locations so that burglars know you are watching. In addition to that, have some hidden cameras set up outdoors so that you can watch all the streets near your property closely.
- Hire a tradie or a professional company to clean your lawn while you are away. Don’t let your grass grow too high so that it attracts animals and burglars. Maintaining your house well during the seasons will help prevent any theft and damage to the property.
- Walk around your home and explore the area. Find any hiding spots that can be a potential entry point for the burglars. Secure any outdoor equipment such as BBQ grills, bicycles, inflatable pools and other valuable things.
- Keep your windows closed and covered before you leave. While many people believe that leaving the curtains open will let others know you are home, it is not always safe. Exposing your home interior can allow burglars to explore your items from outside. They can observe and rob all your valuables.
- Repair door locks and windows before you leave your home unattended. Homeowners leave their homes alone during the summer holidays. This can put a target on the house if you do not maintain your home exterior. Make a seasonal checklist and ensure all your windows, doors and basement locks are repaired and upgraded.
- Invest in buying a safe or a lockbox for your home. In the worst case, if your home is being robbed, you can protect your most valuable items in the safe. Storing jewellery, cash, and other important documents in a safe will prevent major losses.
- Install motion sensors inside rooms so you can detect movements while you are away.
Apart from these tips mentioned in the safety checklist above, you can double-check your doors before leaving, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property and avoid telling many people about your vacation plans. Remember, seasonal burglars target empty homes.
i4Tradies can help you hire reliable, experienced and certified trades people to install a home security system and ensure your home is safe from burglaries this festive season.