Safe as houses: securing your home for holiday enjoyment
Prevention is always better than cure, especially in the case of potential home burglaries.
Are you planning an Easter getaway or a future holiday? If you’d prefer not to use a housesitter while you’re away, you should follow our home-security checklist.
For example, is your home-security system being used for the purpose it was designed? Do your locks operate correctly? And rather than hiding a key under a mat, leave it instead with a trusted friend or neighbour.
Unlocked side and rear doors, and windows, are the most common entry points for burglars, so it makes sense to reduce the temptation.
Lock, stock and barrel
Install locks with safety releases that meet the relevant Australian or New Zealand Security Standards. These include windows locks, security doors and an alarm as some of the most reliable methods for protecting your premises.
Out of sight, out of mind
As for keeping your valuables out of sight — your dresser or bedside drawers, under the mattress, medicine cabinets and the main bedroom, living room and dining room are among the worst places to hide or store your valuables.
Better options are in the attic or basement, children’s bedrooms, broom closet and the kitchen.
Home security needn’t cost a fortune. Simple common-sense measures can make all the difference. This might mean programming lights and TVs so they switch on at a desired time, or leaving laundry on your washing line.
Installing sensor lighting, checking that all doors and windows are locked, cancelling deliveries, storing any tools, and turning down the volume on your phone so that it can’t be heard from the street, can all help minimise the risk of burglary. Disconnecting power to your remote-controlled garage doors will also help.
After doing all you can to keep up appearances, make use of your neighbours because they can be your most valuable asset for collecting mail and light upkeep.
Technology means we can keep an eye on our place from the other side of the world, so it also pays to invest in the latest electronic security equipment.
If you choose to go the extra step and install security cameras, experts suggest setting up motion-detection cameras 2.1 metres from the ground and pointing slightly downwards, moving the position of cameras on a regular basis.
You should also name each camera for easier monitoring. It also recommended that you use timers and software for “Away” and “Home and Awake” modes to save power, and viewing your cameras from the internet or via apps.
Insuring your valuables
The Insurance Council of Australia and ICNZ recommends that house and content policies be checked and updated in line with inflation so you are adequately insured if the unthinkable does happen.
Consider buying a safe for unique items of jewellery and other collectables and have it bolted into a concealed place.
Compile an inventory of your belongings. Each entry should include a make, model, serial number and photograph of the object. Engraving them for easier detection and retrieval is also advised.
Finally, sit back, relax and enjoy your Easter holiday.