With many Territorians now finalising plans to hop off on an Easter break, Crime Stoppers NT has reminded people to take a few basic security precautions around the home to keep thieves at bay and ensure a property is best protected.
Crime Stoppers NT Chair, Catherine Phillips, said: “Assuming your home will be safe without taking a few basic precautions is never the best approach. No one wants to spend the long weekend on edge worrying whether their home will be a likely target or return to find that someone has broken in and taken treasured possessions.”
Crime Stoppers NT recommends the following home security tips to consider:
Lock up before you leave
Unlocked windows and doors continue to be the biggest security weakness for many burgled Australian homes. Take time to double-check that all windows and doors are locked, and make sure that sheds, garage doors, and side gates are all locked too.
Consider 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 a basic intruder alarm from a hardware store that covers entry points like windows and doors, through to a security alarm system with motion sensors that protect 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. And if you already have a security system, check to make sure it is working properly, and remember to turn it on!
Hide away spare keys
It’s not uncommon for people to leave spare house key tucked under a plant pot or doormat. Unfortunately, thieves know that these are the most likely hiding places – so give a spare key to someone you trust instead. If you have any cars that will be left at home while you’re away, don’t leave the keys in plain sight because it might tempt a thief to make off with your vehicle too.
Install outdoor sensor lights
Because outdoor sensor lights are activated by movement, they are a great way to spotlight any would-be intruder lurking in the shadows. Being illuminated for neighbours and passers-by to see is a sure way to deter burglars – but put sensor lights to the test before heading away. Also cut back any bushes that obscure a clear view of the house from the street.
Arrange mail and newspaper deliveries
Consider asking a trusted neighbour to collect the newspaper while you’re away or suspend it for the long weekend to avoid any pile-ups in your front yard.
Consider light timers
A dark house is a sure-fire giveaway that no one is home, so invest in some light timers to turn your lights on and off at intervals to that lived-in look.
Opt for a house- or pet-sitter
If your four-legged friend isn’t going away with you, consider having a friend or family member stay at your home while you’re away. Not only will they take care of any pets, it is the best way to secure your home against theft because it will still be occupied, and they can collect the mail, pick up newspapers, and put out bins if needed.
Put away outdoor equipment
While a thief might leave your house contents intact, outdoor belongings can still be stolen – so put away valuable outdoor equipment and furniture, barbecue, sports gear and toys, and bicycles. It is a good idea to lock away any tools or garden implements because an opportunistic thief can use them to smash their way inside.
Make a record
Make an inventory of all your property, with photographs, engravings, marks and any other relevant details. Not only will it make stolen property easier to trace, it can help with any home insurance claim that 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.