Keeping our homes, families and belongings safe is a top property for property owners. As one of the most widespread crimes throughout Australia, household burglary had around 168,231 incidents recorded just in Western Australia alone in the last year. And despite more homeowners taking extra security measures to stay safe, these figures are concerning.
We all want to keep our homes as safe and secure as possible, but in the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way. Sure, you can leave all the lights and TV on each time you leave the house but your power bills are certainly not going to thank you for it. We look into some notable trends about everyday home robberies and a few practical security tricks that are green-friendly to protect yourself from being the next target.
1. Keep valuable items hidden.
Whilst you may be excited to show off your brand new stereo system, keeping valuable items in plain view of windows can be a recipe for disaster. Where possible, make sure nothing valuable can be seen through windows and doors and avoid leaving your wallet, car keys or money in plain view too as this will just be an invitation to thieves to target your home.
According to Lifehacker, burglars spend an average of 8-12 minutes robbing a home. If a break-in does occur, you want to prevent loss of your prized possessions by making them harder to find within this time frame. The dresser drawers and bedroom closets are some of the first places thieves will look, so avoid putting valuables in these spots and get creative with your thinking – unused electrical sockets can be a great place for hiding expensive jewellery you don’t wear all the time.
2. Install security doors.
Security doors are one of the best ways to deter thieves from trying to break into your home and protect your home, family and belongings. Sliding doors and windows can be easily broken into by popping them off the frame, even when locked. Standard locks can also be picked by thieves, which makes the value of security doors even better and more cost-effective than having to replace locks after an attempted (or successful) break in.
The front door and first floor windows are the most common point of entry for thieves, so fix these areas first and install security doors at your front and back door. By installing security doors and security screens to the front and back of your home, you’ll also have more freedom to keep your home secure during the warmer months without having to keep everything shut up whilst you’re inside.
3. Motion detector lighting.
Security lights are a great way to keep your home safe because it makes it look like the house is occupied, even if it’s not. Whilst most burglaries occur between 6am and 12pm, motion detector lighting can be ideal for homeowners who work late night shifts or for an added sense of security.
Leaving your lights on when you go out can be a good way to deter thieves, but it also consumes a lot of energy and money too. Motion detector lighting or timed lighting will turn off after a short period so won’t drain the wallet as much and you can opt for LED or solar panel charged battery lights for better energy-efficiency. Burglars are notorious for targeting homes that look unoccupied so motion detector lights can give the impression someone is at home and scare off potential thieves if the light turns on when they are approaching the property. For areas with higher burglary rates consider installing a home security system too for extra security and piece of mind.
4. Get to know your neighbours.
Don’t be afraid to know the people who live near you. Meet your neighbours and familiarise yourself with who they are so you can better identify any suspicious behaviour or ‘new’ people lurking around the area and watching your home for a potential break in.
It’s one of the most important security steps you can take for your home and family, and it doesn’t cost a thing! Most suburbs have a neighbourhood crime watch program that are very effective for reducing crime in neighbourhoods. By getting to know people on your street and being a part of a watch program, you can help reduce break-ins for your neighbours and be assured they’re looking out for you and your home too.
5. Secure your yard.
Use landscaping to your advantage by keeping tall trees and hedges trimmed near your windows. This helps prevent giving robbers easy opportunities to be able to hide around your home. If you have large trees that can serve as a way for thieves to climb up and enter the second story of your home, consider replanting them elsewhere or cutting them back.
Keep pathways to your home visible from large shrubs to prevent people being able to sneak up and use thorny shrubs by windows and around your home to help hinder access. Clever use of landscaping can also provide a ‘fence’ around your property to make it harder for people to just walk onto your property from the street too, and can be a good idea if installing security fence and gates is too pricey.
Remember, most break-ins result from poor security or windows and doors being left unlocked. Your best security measures should be at all your entry points, including your garage. According to the Australian Government Criminology statistics, 36 per cent of Australians believe their house is likely to be targeted in a robbery in the next year – so take steps to securing your home, family and valuables today!