Serving Newcastle & The Hunter Valley

Do you pass the burglary checklist?

25 February 2014

Here’s 10 simple tips to help you prevent a break in while you’re on holiday (Hint – #10 is your safest bet!).

Lock Everything – Twice – Then a third time

dog looking through doggy door

Flickr Image Courtesy Aidras

Yeah we know, we sound like a nagging elderly parent. Crazy as it sounds, countless burglaries occur as a result of opportunism. If you forget to lock a back window or the garage door, your home suddenly becomes the easy target. Make it part of your pre-holiday routine. When you do a double check to make sure you packed your tickets, your passport and old Uncle Greg’s present, do a last minute lap of the doors and windows. (we’ve even know burglars to squeeze in through a doggy door – get yourself a latch!)

Get Motion Detecting Lights

single light on in the dark

Flickr Image courtesy Rachel Hoefling

We’ve all heard the classic ‘leave the living room light on’ trick, and it sure is a good one. Sadly, your electricity company won’t offer you a special burglary prevention discount. Installing sensor lights is a simple way to stop most burglars straight in their tracks. Better yet, set your lights on a timer to brighten up the front porch each night without wasting juice 24/7.

Put a Hold on Your Mail Subscriptions

newspapers

Flickr Image courtesy Phil Roeder

A build up of mail screams ‘I’m on holidays’ to any burglar scoping your street for an easy target. If you have a newspaper subscription or you’re expecting a package to be delivered, get a neighbour or friend to pop by and maintain your mailbox.

Set Your Home Phone Volume to Low

phone on table next to lamp

Flickr Image courtesy Jam Armstrong

Surely some of us still have a landline. You know those old things that don’t have a HD camera and the latest version of Candy Crush? If you’re heading on holidays for a few weeks, turn your phone volume to low and set an answering machine. A loud, dead ring is a juicy trigger for any would-be thieves nearby.

Be Careful With Contractors and Tradespeople

cyber robber

Flickr Image courtesy Elhom Bredenegro

If you think about it, home repair contractors are the only strangers you let into every room of your house. A savvy watchman can detail every possible entry and exit point and plan their attack from under your nose. Be sure to always use licensed contractors only, never day labourers (often people take this work when they are not in regular employment). Even less reputable IT and computer technicians may be on the lookout. Always pay extra to hire a professional, and escort contractors into your home. Also – never leave a note outside for service people while you are on holidays!

Get Rid of the Evidence

filled rubbish bin

Flickr Image courtesy Net Efekt

If you’ve recently made a big purchase (in size and cash), make sure you don’t broadcast it. A plasma TV box, your new laptop packaging or an old set of golf clubs will have a crafty burglar salivating. Think carefully before you leave boxes or old items out for pick-up. You might be sending a different message to thieves in your area. The moment you leave for your holiday is the perfect time to pounce on your brand new purchase.

Don’t Take a Holiday From Your Chores

man on lawn mower

Flickr Images courtesy Norman Ack

While you’re off sunning yourself on a secluded tropical beach, the lawn and the garbage won’t take care of themselves. Give a trusted neighbor a bottle of red and ask them to whiz around for fifteen minutes each week. If your lawn looks more like a jungle and the bins become street ornaments, a simple drive-by will have a potential robber rubbing their hands together.

Don’t Tell the World You’re on Holiday

person on holiday posting photo on social media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – our new way of broadcasting our holidays so all of our friends can watch on with jealousy. Beware, if you’re not on top of your privacy settings, the new age savvy cyber crim will scour your profiles to check up on their suspicions. Think about posting your photos when you return home, or make sure you can trust every one of your followers.

Get a Big Outdoor Dog… Or a Loud Inside Dog

big dog peering over fence

Flickr Image courtesy J Chatoff

Your pooch is the best house sitter you could hope for. Burglars continually site loud or intimidating dogs as the biggest roadblock to a clean break in. Chances are, if you have a dog on patrol, you’ll end up in the too-hard-to-rob basket. If you’re on a short trip, leave your canine buddy on the lookout and get a friend or relative to stop by for a walk and a feed.

Get Yourself a Home Alarm System

old school burglar alarm

Flickr Image courtesy Striatic

Sure, these simple tips will go a long way towards protecting your home from burglary while you’re on holiday. If you really want peace of mind, a home alarm system will deter even the most brazen of thieves. If you’re thinking about installing a home alarm system, make sure you are able to customise the solution to suit your needs. Find out who you’re relying on in the event of a break in. Alarms are not connected directly to the police, so you need to be able to trust your security provider’s processes.

Oh, and remember to turn it on before you leave!

Like a quote for an alarm system in Newcastle or the Hunter? Talk to us today on 1300 766 324.

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