Planning your summer escape, or heading off soon for a well-deserved break? Read up on these simple and cost-effective security measures to ensure your home and property remain safe while you’re away.

Did you know? In Australia, around a quarter of a million households are victims of at least one break-in a year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and even more are the target of an attempted break-in

Many people leave their homes and cars unattended when they head off on their summer holidays and that can be a green light for burglars. It’s important to take as many precautions as you can to ensure you don’t return from your holiday to find you’re a victim of crime.

Tips to help boost your home’s security

1. Get a security alarm: If you have the time – and the budget – before you go away, consider installing a burglar alarm. This is still one of the best deterrents to break-ins. For most burglars, an alarm simply makes your home too difficult to try and enter. Be sure to display notices about the alarm system prominently at doors and windows.

2. Lock all doors and windows: It sounds obvious, but people in a rush to head off can easily forget to close a window or secure a door. A lot us have done it! If possible, fit deadlocks to main doors and windows, as these are a major hurdle for a would-be burglar.

3. Create a ‘lived in’ look: While away, make sure your home still looks ‘lived in’. Leave a pair of old shoes at the back door, some water in the dog’s bowl or an old towel on the washing line. Make sure a trusted neighbour or family member collects mail and regularly adjusts curtains and blinds. If possible, ask a friend or neighbour to regularly park in your driveway or outside your home, to suggest activity.

4. Set timers: Timers are available from hardware stores and allow you to switch your TV or radio on at various times during the day and some lights on at night. Tune your radio to a talkback station so there’s the sound of many different voices. If someone is snooping around, it will make it harder for them to know if someone is inside the house.

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Investing in outdoor sensor lights are a great way to secure your home

5. Sensor lights: These are anther inexpensive deterrent that remain useful throughout the year. Install them at all external doorways.

6. Secure the shed and garage: Put away and secure items such as ladders, tools and gardening implements as these can assist in forced entry and make sure the garage is locked. Store away any valuable outdoor items, such as bicycles and the barbecue.

7. Turn down the phone volume: An endlessly ringing phone can be a give-away that there’s no one home. Turn down the volume, and make sure the voice message gives no clue that you’ve gone on holidays.

8. Spare keys: These should be left only with a trusted family member, friend or neighbour. Don’t ever keep them under a flower pot or a door mat. A burglar will easily find them. 

What are some of the clever steps you take to make your home look occupied while you’re away?

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