From the Newsroom

Home safe home

Emma Pritchard

As the summer holidays approach and you start organising what you need to pack for your getaway, it’s also important to make sure your home is safe and secure before you leave.

Here are some top tips to help reduce the risks of your home being targeted by thieves during the school holidays:

  • Don’t share your travel plans on social media. This is prime information for burglars and hackers.
  • If you have a trustworthy neighbour, friends or family who live nearby, ask them to keep an eye on your house while you’re away.
  • If you need to put your bins out, ask someone you trust to do it for you and to bring them back in once they’ve been emptied. Leaving them in the street while you’re away can indicate your house is unoccupied. Also ask someone to collect your mail or pick up any parcels which are left on the doormat as these can also be signs that no one is home.
  • If you have a house sitter, notify your neighbours so they don’t become alarmed at the sight of someone unfamiliar at your property.
  • Set timers on indoor lights. It’s also a good idea to switch them on a day or two prior to leaving. This way, you won’t forget to set them, you’ll know they’re working properly and anyone potentially watching your house will assume this is your regular activity.
  • Install security cameras which you can access remotely via your smart phone. This allows you to keep an eye on your home and check that all your safety features are working.
  • Allow your neighbour to park in your driveway. This will give others the impression that the house is occupied.
  • Keep your valuables in a secure location.
  • Don’t leave any outdoor lights on during your absence, even if you’re only going away for one or two nights. Instead, consider installing motion sensor lights as they can be triggered at any time, even by a possum, and will only stay on for a short length of time.
  • Make sure your insurance is up to date and covers you and your belongings adequately.
  • Ensure your doors and windows are securely locked and firmly sealed.
  • Remove any outdoor furniture that a burglar may use to help them gain access to a window or upper floor and ensure all ladders are locked away.
  • Pack your car inside the garage and try to limit the number of people who may see you preparing to leave.