A Focus on Security

SAFE AS HOUSES

Protecting your family members, as well as your belongings, is one of the most important things to consider as a homeowner. But with one in four Australian households having been burgled, and over 10,000 house fires that result in death or injury occurring every year, the statistics are far from reassuring. Monitored home security systems can be an effective way to safeguard your home against theft and fire damage.

Here are some of the simple home security tips that you can carry out today to help further protect your family, property and possessions. Following these simple home security tips can help you to prevent intrusions and avoid becoming a victim of theft:

  • Install a home alarm system to protect your family and valuable possessions around the clock.
  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times, even when at home, including sheds and garages. Check your windows and doors are locked every time you leave home.
  • Keep valuable items such as laptops and mobile phones out of sight.
  • Make a list of valuable family assets and possessions that can’t be replaced, such as antiques and jewellery. Keeping your receipts in a safe place can help with any future insurance claims you may need to make.
  • Don’t leave your spare door keys outside. Even if they are hidden, professional burglars will easily be able to locate hiding spots.
  • Ensure your garden gates, side gates, shed and garage are all locked and always secure the doors that connect your garage to your house.
  • Invest in movement-activated sensor lights to deter intruders who may approach your property at night.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to reduce the opportunity for burglars to hide and increase visibility from the street.
  • Destroy boxes from newly bought appliances such as TVs and DVD players so they are not on display for burglars to see.
  • When you go away on holiday make sure that you try to keep your home looking as lived in as possible – don’t advertise the fact that the house is empty.

Everybody needs good neighbours

If you are going away these school holidays or planning a weekend away, nothing will ruin your break more than returning to find your home has been broken into and your property stolen.

Making your home and property safe and secure while you’re away with these tips:

  • Do not leave spare keys hidden outside, leave it with family, a friend or neighbour
  • Arrange for mail to be held by Australia Post or collected daily by someone while you are away
  • Tell your neighbours you will be away and ask them to collect your mail and put your bin out with theirs
  • Be careful of stating your whereabouts on social media

Likewise, if your neighbour is going away:

  • Offer to collect their mail and put out their bins
  • Be watchful of stran-gers in or around your neighbour’s house
  • Make a note of callers including their description, vehicle number plate and times/dates
  • Report any suspicious persons or vehicles immediately to Police on 131 444

Protecting your vehicle

By taking a few simple steps, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of car theft.
Installing an immobiliser will not only make your vehicle much harder to steal, but it will be much less attractive to thieves.
Some other simple steps to protect your vehicle:

  • Park your car off the street, preferably in your yard or in a locked garage. If you need to park in the street at night, ensure you park in a well lit area
  • Don’t leave your keys in the ignition. Apart from being an invitation to potential offenders, this constitutes an offence if your vehicle is parked on a road
  • Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle
  • Spare keys should never be hidden on or in a vehicle
  • Remove cheque books, credit cards, driver’s licence and registration papers from your glovebox
  • Keep all doors locked while driving
  • Check the rear seat of your car before getting in
  • Always close all windows and lock all doors before leaving your car

Be smart about business security

With the current spate of business break and enters it is timely for owners to remember to:

  • Display the street/shop number and business name at the front of the business to assist emergency services locate the property;
  • Post warning signs around the business to warn intruders about the security features you have in place;
  • Remove obstacles and rubbish from property boundaries, footpaths, driveways, car parks and buildings;
  • Install security lighting around the perimeter of the business, particularly over entry/exit points;
  • The doors, walls, floor and ceilings of the building should be of solid construction. Limit the number of entry/exit points to restrict unauthorised access;
  • Doors should be fitted with quality single cylinder dead lock sets to comply with the Australian Building Code, fire regulations;
  • Glass within doors and windows should be reinforced with either a shatter resistant film or laminated glass;
  • Record descriptions, models/serial numbers of property owned by your business;
  • If your business deals in cash then you should consider the installation of a safe to provide additional security. The safe should be manufactured and installed to the Australian and New Zealand Standards and should be anchored to restrict removal;
  • Limit the amount of money you hold in the cash drawer. Don’t count money in public view;
  • Have a monitored intruder alarm system installed to enhance the physical security of your business;
  • All ATMS should be placed away from entry points of your shop. They should be anchored to the ground and covered by way of CCTV.

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