Over the holidays season, being slack with your home security can make would-be thieves think all their Christmases have come at once.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015-16 national Crime Victimisation Survey, more than 2 per cent of Australian households experienced at least one break-in during the year. More than three-quarters of these had property stolen, of which one quarter were personal items.
Plus, more than 2 per cent of households experienced at least one incident of attempted break-in with the most commonly identified evidence being damage to or tampering with doors or windows (45 per cent), followed by seeing or hearing someone trying to break-in (23 per cent).
Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) said Christmas is a peak time for break and enters, and theft with opportunistic burglars tempted by homes filled with gifts and electronic equipment or properties that are vacant while people are away on holidays.
ASIAL CEO Bryan de Caires said break and enter rates have been trending downwards, and provided these tips to improve security:
- Be careful on social media: don’t list your street address on your profile; don’t advertise that you’re going away; consider sharing your holidays when you return; disable location services.
- If you are going away ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your premises and report suspicious behaviour to the police; contact your alarm monitoring centre.
- Don’t look like you’re away: put your mail on hold or have it collected; ask a neighbour to park in your driveway.
- Make access as difficult as possible: Remove items that may be used as makeshift ladders; ensure all windows, doors and other access points are secure; keep valuables out of sight; install motion-sensor lights.
- Don’t leave spare keys outside: leave keys with a trusted person or invest in a keyless entry locking system.