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15 Tips to Keep Your House and Valuables Safe


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WHILE the number of home break ins has been reducing somewhat in recent years, due to better security measures being more common across households, Australia still has one of the highest break-and-enter rates in the world.

Over 200,000 homes were reported as burgled last year and 1 in 40 will be burgled next year. And if you live in Western Australia or the Northern Territory, the chances of getting burgled are even higher. Additionally, 20% of burgled houses will be burgled again.

With regards to what thieves like to take these days, the trend seems to be anything valuable that is small in size. The most common items to be stolen include cash, laptops, jewellery, cameras, mobile phones, wallets/bags, and id/documentation.

So, what can you do to significantly reduce the risk of burglary or minimise your losses? Below are a few tips.


1 Do not keep large amounts of cash at home. If you absolutely need to make sure you have a secure safe.

2 Get a floor or wall mounted safe installed for your small valuables and identity documents such as passports, birth certificates and so on.

3 Mark your electronic devices with UV pens or by engraving. Goods intercepted by police are often sold at auctions as owners cannot be found. Most mobile devices now can be tracked if you turn-on or subscribe to a tracking option.

4 Get a dog. This is what deters burglars the most. And it does not have to be big, as long as it can be noisy.

5Do not leave any windows or back doors open. A large percentage of break-ins occur through these.

6 Do not leave gardening or workshop tools such as spades or hammers lying around. These can be used to break open windows or doors.

7 Redirect your mail when you are away and ask a neighbour to clear your junk mail and put the rubbish bins out. Newspapers on the driveway and mailboxes full of
junk mail are like written invitations to break into the house. Rubbish bins left out for too long are also major signposts.

8 Keep your house well lit. Sensor lights outside at night are useful. If you go away try timing switches to turn lights on and off in a couple of rooms visible from the street. Using a timer to turn the radio on and off is useful as well.

9 Install an alarm system. This is the second highest deterrent for a thief.

10 Do not leave ladders outside the garage. One can be used to get on the roof (yes, if they can’t get in through a window or door, some will try the roof) or a second level window.

11 Install quality locks on doors and windows to make it harder to get in. If given a choice, a thief will take an easy option over a hard one.

12 Put a “beware of dog” sign on your gate/fence and maybe even a dog bowl just inside the gate. Even if you don’t have a dog, this may throw some thieves off the track.

13 Cut your lawn before you go on holidays. This shows thieves that someone has done so recently.

14 Don’t let people know about your holiday plans, especially on social media, and especially if you have shared the suburb you live in and pictures of your house.

15 Consider installing security cameras. These are more affordable than you think, they act as a deterrent and can help in identifying intruders and/or help speed up insurance settlements. Many insurance companies provide lower premiums for added security measures in your home. So you may get your investment
back in a few to several years.

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