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Keep Your Home Safe This October Long Weekend With These Top Tips From Crime Stoppers SA

26 September 2017

After shivering through a cold and wet winter, South Australians are expected to make the most of the upcoming October long weekend, no matter what the weather throws at us! Whether you’re one of the lucky ones travelling to Melbourne for the Grand Final, you’ve booked a little getaway or you are taking the kids somewhere as the school holidays kick in, you should make sure that you keep one thing in mind…

With more than 8,600 homes in South Australia having already fallen victim to thieves in the past year, we have partnered with Crime Stoppers SA to bring you some basic security precautions that you can take to protect your home.

As Crime Stoppers SA Chair, Ms Sharon Hanlon said, a review of serious criminal trespass incidents found that most break-ins happen on Fridays, with thieves most commonly smashing through a back door to gain entry, with jewellery, car keys and tools the most likely to be stolen.

“A few basic security precautions around the home as part of your holiday getaway preparations can go a long way towards keeping thieves at bay and your property protected,” Ms Hanlon said.

“Unlocked windows and doors continue to be the biggest security weakness for many burgled Australian homes, so people should take time to double-check that all are locked, and make sure that sheds, garage doors, and side gates are also locked too,” she said.

Check out the tips below to ensure you protect your home as best you can:

Invest in a home security system

When it comes to choosing a home security system, it can be as simple or as complex as you want. Options range from an intruder alarm that covers entry points like windows and doors, through to a security alarm system with motion sensors that covers a home and garage. The tech-savvy might even want to opt for a closed-circuit camera to film any unwelcome guests that can be accessed via a smartphone app that sends an alert when an intruder is detected.

If you already have a security system, check to make sure it is working properly before you leave. And, of course, remember to turn it on!!

Hide spare keys

It’s not uncommon for people to leave spare house keys under a pot plant or door mat, despite being the most likely hiding places. Play it safe and give a spare set of keys to someone you trust instead. If you plan to leave any vehicles at home while you’re away, it is always a good idea to hide the keys to prevent thieves making off with your car or motorcycle too.

Install an outdoor sensor light

Movement activated outdoor sensor lights are a great way to illuminate a would-be burglar lurking in the shadows. Make sure to test it before you head off.

Roller shutters or security screens

Roller shutters and security screens are a great way to prevent access and keep the contents of your home hidden from potential thieves.

Suspend the newspaper

Consider asking a trusted neighbour to collect any mail while you’re away, and suspend the delivery of newspapers to avoid the pileup in your front yard! There’s not much more that is a sure giveaway that you aren’t home.

Have light timers

A dark house is a sure-fire giveaway that you’re not at home, so install some light timers to turn your lights on and off to give your place that lived-in look.

Opt for a house- or pet-sitter

If your four-legged friend is going to be left behind, have a friend or family member house-sit while you’re away to secure your home against theft, feed your pet, collect the mail, pick up newspapers, and put out the bins.

Put away any outdoor equipment

Outdoor items are also an attractive prize for a thief, so put away valuable outdoor equipment and furniture, solar panel lights, sports gear and toys, and bicycles. Lock away ladders or bins so they cannot be used to enter your home from a higher position, and don’t leave tools or garden implements laying around because they can provide an opportunistic thief with a way to enter your home.

Make a record

It is a good idea to prepare for the worst, so make an inventory of your property, and take photographs of any engravings, marks and any other relevant details. It will make your stolen property harder to sell and easier to trace, and will help with any insurance claim you might have to make. Consider marking items with your name and/or your driver’s licence number, and remember to record details of a manufacturer, model name or number, and any serial number of your most prized possessions.

Don’t forget that the MyWheels app – powered by Crime Stoppers – is free to download and the perfect solution to capturing all your vehicles’ data, accessories, insurance details, and even photos!

We hope these handy tips keep your home safe over the long weekend and beyond!

Find out more about Crime Stoppers SA here.