The Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) is reminding Australians to be vigilant over the fast-approaching Christmas holiday period and has some helpful tips for securing your home.
As borders open and Australians finally get excited about travelling again, it’s easy to overlook some of the simple ways you can protect your homes while you are away.
We may live in the lucky country, yet in 2020 more than 133,000 Australians were victims of a burglary according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The good news is that this was the lowest number recorded for this offence across the 28-year time series and coincided with restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Christmas holiday period is not a time to let your guard down, as burglars target homes where there is no visible sign that someone is home. To assist homeowners ASIAL has provided 12 practical security tips for Christmas.
12 Security Tips for Christmas Period:
- Be careful on social media – change your security settings to private; don’t list your street address on your profile; don’t advertise that you’re going away; consider sharing your holiday photos when you return home; if you post, be mindful of the images you share; disable location services;
- If you are going away or closing your business for a few days – ask a trusted neighbour or business owner 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; for homeowners ask a neighbour to park in your driveway; for business operators advise suppliers not to deliver during your shut down period;
- Make access as difficult as possible – remove items from outside and around the premises that may be used as makeshift ladders; ensure all building windows, doors and other access points are secure; keep valuables out of sight; install motion-sensor lights;
- Maintain your alarm system – if you’ve got an alarm, make sure it is maintained in good working order by a licenced security professional, if you don’t have one, think about getting one;
- Review your security measures – walk around your home thinking as a would-be thief, looking for points of easy access and signs that there are items lying around the home that are worth stealing or get a licensed security professional to review your security measures and provide you with some;
- Don’t leave spare keys outside – leave keys with a trusted person or invest in a keyless entry locking system;
- Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach;
- Dispose of Packaging carefully – whether you’ve bought a TV or computer think about how you dispose of the packaging as it can signal to would be thieves that there are goods worth stealing;
- Re-direct your mail so that your mailbox is not overflowing or get a neighbour to check for junk mail;
- Lock your doors and windows – it may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to lock their doors and windows before going out;
- Christmas lights – don’t run external lights through a window – if you’re running power to external Christmas lights of your home, make sure you don’t run the power cables through a window or door for power. A small opening in a window or door is all a burglar needs to enter your home.
ASIAL CEO Bryan de Caires says “With a few simple steps, you can make your home less attractive to burglars and ensure you can have peace of mind when you go away on holiday. And following the challenges of the past year, Australians deserve a break.”