Keeping your home secure this Wet Season
Some simple home security measures can make it harder and riskier for thieves to get in and out of your home.
The end of the year and into the New Year is often a time when plenty of Territorians pack up and head off to more cooler parts of the nation to beat the wet season’s heat and humidity. It means there are plenty of homes across the Northern Territory left vacant for days and weeks, so it is important that you do all you can to keep your home as protected as possible from opportunistic thieves through some basic security precautions.
In reality, our home and what we have inside are probably our most valuable assets. Even though you might feel it may never happen to you, house break-ins are a reality – which is why it’s important to do all things possible to prevent your property becoming an easy target for thieves.
When it comes to your home security measures there are three layers: Perimeter, Exterior and Interior. For each layer there are some simple ways to make it harder and riskier for thieves to get in and out of your home.
Consider the following…
This is the area around your house which includes your border and garden.
- Remove items that someone could use to help them break in, such as bricks, ladders and garden tools.
- Trim trees and bushes to ensure good surveillance from the road and eliminate possible hiding areas. Overgrown bushes can make it easier for a burglar to get into your home without being noticed.
- Consider gravel driveways and paths as they can create noise.
- Leave a vehicle in your drive to make it look like someone is home – making sure you remove any valuables and lock it too! You might also consider inviting a trusted neighbour to use your drive when you’re away for a period.
- When leaving your vehicle outside your home, ensure it’s locked with valuables removed.
- Lock any sheds, garages and outbuildings at all times.
This is the ‘shell’ of your house and includes the main building, doors and windows.
- Keep all doors and windows locked, with the keys removed. This is incredibly important to remember because it is common for thieves to break into homes through unlocked doors and windows!
- Typically thieves are put off by the prospect of being bitten by a dog. If you don’t have a dog, even the perception that you do can help. Think about putting a dog bowl by the door or a chewy bone in the garden.
- There are plenty of thieves that will knock on your front door before breaking into your home to check if anyone is home. They will likely have a question planned if you happen to answer, such as “Does John Smith live here?” or they might have a clipboard and ask you to take part in a survey. If this happens, use your spy hole to see who it is and if you don’t know them, ask to see their ID through a window.
- Don’t leave spare keys in easily accessible places, such as under plant pots, doormats or stones. Thieves know where to look.
- If you have an alarm, then make sure you use it.
- Consider the use of exterior security lighting.
- Mail or newspapers piling up is a clear sign that you’re away, so ask a neighbour to clear your post for you if you’re away for a period. Otherwise put a mail diversion in place and cancel any deliveries such as newspapers.
This is the internal part of your house, where most of your valuables are kept.
- Think about leaving a radio on to make thieves might think someone is in your property as a deterrent.
- Use lights with timer switches to give that lived in look.
- If you’re going away, don’t publicise it on social media or put it on a wall calendar that’s easily viewable through your windows. You could be advertising an empty house to a thief.
- Keep valuable items such as cash, car keys, laptops, jewellery and phones out of view and in a safe location.
- Avoid leaving high value items, including jewellery in obvious places. The master bedroom is usually the first place a thief will check, especially in a set of drawers or bedside cabinet.
- Create a written and photographic record of items of value.
- Mark valuable items with your driver’s licence number using an engraver or ultraviolet pen. If stolen property is recovered it is sometimes challenging for the police to locate its rightful owners, doing this helps.
Remember, thieves don’t want to be seen. They will look for homes with overgrown trees or bushes, or homes that are empty for long periods while you’re away on holiday.