How to keep your things safe07/06/2018
Did you know that a home burglary takes place every 21 minutes in WA? That adds up to more than 25,000 [i] a year! Most of these burglaries are opportunistic and tend to occur during the day.
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)[ii], money leads the way as the most commonly stolen item (19%) closely followed by jewellery (18%). Electronic items such as laptops, cameras and phones are also particularly attractive to thieving eyes.
Is your home high or low risk?
The AIC conducted a survey of police detainees in Western Australia, highlighting factors that make a house an attractive target for thieves or conversely, a discouraging prospect.
The top 5 deterrents[iii] quoted by the detainees were:
- A dog; it doesn’t need to be big – just noisy
- A functioning alarm system
- Functioning sensor lights
- Lights on inside the house
- Security grilles on windows and/or doors
If you own a dog great – Suresy will give you a lower premium. If you don’t own a dog and have no plans on getting one, some other ways you can help reduce the chance of theft include:
Try not to place valuable items like jewellery and tablets in front of windows, or in the window’s direct line of sight. Go outside and take a walk around your home seeing how visible your prized possessions are with the blinds open. You may want to move them, as if a criminal can’t easily see what kind of valuable items you have, they’re less likely to break in.
Also, make sure to cut up the delivery boxes of expensive items. Place these in the rubbish bin instead of leaving on the curb for everyone to see. This will prevent a lurking thief from seeing what kind of valuable items you own.
Secure sliding doors and windows
You can easily break into some older sliding doors by simply popping them off of their frame, even when locked. It’s harder to do that with newer ones, but you should still take extra precaution to secure them since they can be an inviting entry for burglars.
Don’t leave a spare key out
It may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key hidden under a flower pot or doormat in case you get locked out of your house. But that’s an open invitation for a burglar to walk inside without any difficulty. Criminals are well aware of hiding spots for spare keys.[iv] Instead, have your rental agent or a trusted neighbour, friend, or family member hold your spare key for you.
Trim your trees and shrubs
Tall shrubs and overgrown trees are welcome hiding places for criminals to wait until the coast is clear to get into your home. That doesn’t mean you need to cut down every plant in your yard. Just keep things manicured.
Prepare before going on holiday
Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark.
Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post and they could park their car on your driveway
This might be hard, but try not to discuss your holiday plans on public social networking sites – burglars can use any information you post on there to their advantage.[v]
Lock it up
More than 40%[vi] of break-ins happen without the use of force, which means a lot of people are leaving their houses without locking the doors and windows. When you leave your home, don’t forget to lock up the door leading from the garage to inside. Even if your garage door is down, someone can easily open it.
You can rest assured that your things are covered against theft when you take out a policy with Suresy. However, you can minimise the risk of becoming a victim of burglary. This includes improving home security measures (particularly keeping doors and windows locked) and keeping valuables out of direct view.