Not being able to travel for a good chunk of 2020 has left many Australians eager for a holiday. However, leaving your home for an extended period of time can make your home susceptible to break ins and theft. If you're planning to getaway over the Christmas break or later this summer, follow our six tips to help protect your home from break-ins.
If you don't have it, get home and contents insurance
Homeowners are much more likely to have home and contents insurance over renters (53% of homeowners v 15.8% of renters, according to a report by Budget Direct), but criminals don't discriminate when it comes to the homes they break into. Whether you rent or buy, there's an equal chance of your house being broken into and your possessions being stolen. Having a home and contents insurance policy in place will help cover the cost of replacing your possessions if they're stolen. No home and contents insurance? You're paying for that out of your own pocket.
Secure your home
This one seems like a no brainer, but it bears repeating. Double check the locks on all doors, windows and gates, as well as the shed if you have one. Ensure any tools are either locked in the shed or house so burglars can't easily use them to break in. If you live in an apartment or a multi-storey home, be vigilant in locking all potential entrances, no matter how high up. The upper levels of your home aren't immune to a break in either.
Don't advertise your valuables
Are the windows of your home close to the footpath? Can people peek inside your home & see your expensive coffee machine, computer set up or gaming systems? If it's easy for people to see your possessions, consider putting them away into storage where they can't be seen. Small valuables like jewellery or watches, should be stored in a safe. Break down the packing of expensive purchases - like TVs and computers - so they fit in your bin without propping up the lid and showing the world what's in your home.
Automate your home
Automating your home is an excellent way to help deter thieves by giving the illusion that you're home. You can automate your home in a number of ways, including:
- Putting your your outdoor lights on a motion sensor
- Scheduling your blinds to go up and down at morning and night
- Setting your indoor lights on a timer to turn on for a few hours at night
- Using Google Home or Alexa to play music for a couple of hours
Monitor your home remotely
There are a variety of home security systems to suit all budgets, however some systems are much more advanced than others, like the ones that allow you to monitor your home remotely. These often come with security cameras that can stream the feed straight to your phone and apps that give instant notifications when a window or door is opened, so you can easily monitor your home while on holidays.
Clear up your property
Before you head off on holidays, grab those secateurs and that hedge trimmer, it's time to garden. Thieves want your garden to be overgrown and for plants and trees to cover the windows to your home - that way people can't see them in action from the street. Trim everything back so your windows are visible. Your neighbours will be able to see if there's something not quite right happening in your home while you're away.
You may think "oh that'll never happen to me," when it comes to having your home broken into while on holidays and if that ends up being true, you're very lucky. But the risk is there, and it happens to many Australians every year. If you can minimise the risk so you don't come back from your summer holiday to find your belongings gone, why wouldn't you?
To speak a member of our team about home and contents insurance to help protect your home, call us today on 1300 305 834 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.