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20 Steps to Help Secure Your Home

Your home and its contents are probably your most valuable assets, and although you might feel it may never happen to you, house break-ins are a reality.

SA Police is committed to preventing these types of offences and catching those who commit them, but you can prevent your property becoming an easy target.

Consider your home security measures in three layers:

  • Perimeter
  • Exterior
  • Interior

At each layer you can take some simple measures to make it harder and riskier for thieves to get in and out of your home. Consider the following…

Perimeter

This is the area around your house which includes your border and garden.

  1. Remove items from your perimeter that someone could use to help them break in such as bricks, ladders and garden tools.
  2. Trim your trees and bushes to ensure good surveillance from the road and eliminate possible hiding areas. Overgrown bushes can make it easier for a burglar to get into your home unnoticed.
  3. Consider gravel driveways and paths as they can create noise.
  4. Leave a vehicle in your drive as it’s a sign that someone is home. Consider asking your neighbour to use your drive if you’re away for a period.
  5. When leaving your vehicle outside your home, ensure it’s locked with valuables removed.
  6. Lock any sheds, garages and outbuildings at all times.

Exterior

This is the shell of your house and includes the main building, doors and windows.

  1. Keep all your doors and windows locked, with the keys removed. This one is incredibly important to remember as we find that most thieves break into homes through unlocked doors and windows! Do this even when you are outside gardening or working on your car.
  2. Typically thieves will be put off by the sound of a large dog barking. If you don’t have a dog, even the perception that a dog is there can help. Think about putting a dog bowl by the door or a chewy bone in the garden. You could even get a motion activated alarm system that emits the sound of a dog barking.
  3. Most thieves will knock on your front door before breaking into your home; they are checking no one is home. They will likely have a script planned if someone does answer such as “Does John Smith live here?” or they might have a clipboard and ask you to take part in a survey. If this happens, use your spy hole to see who it is and if you don’t know them, ask to see their ID through a window.
  4. Try not to leave spare keys in accessible places such as under plant pots, doormats or stones. Thieves could predict this.
  5. If you have an alarm fitted make sure you use it.
  6. Consider the use of exterior security lighting.
  7. Post piling up is a clear sign that you’re away, ask a neighbour to clear your post for you if you’re away for a period.

Interior

This is the internal part of your house, where most of your valuables are kept.

  1. Consider leaving your radio or TV on as thieves might think someone is in your property which could deter them.
  2. Use lights with timer switches.
  3. If you are going away, don’t publicise it on social media or put it on a wall calendar that’s easily viewable through your windows. You could be advertising an empty house to a thief.
  4. Keep valuable items such as cash, car keys, laptops, jewellery and phones out of view and in a safe location.
  5. Avoid leaving high value items, including jewellery in obvious places. The master bedroom is usually the first place a thief will check.
  6. Create a written and photographic record of items of value.
  7. Mark valuable items with your driver’s licence number prefixed with the letter ‘S’ for South Australia using an engraver or ultra violet pen. If stolen property is recovered it is sometimes challenging for the police to locate its rightful owners, doing this helps.

Remember, thieves don’t want to be seen. They will look for homes with overgrown trees or bushes, or homes that are empty for long periods such as holiday homes.

If you only do two things after reading this article make sure it’s removing any potential hiding spaces and making your home seem occupied by leaving the TV or radio on, or leaving a vehicle in your driveway.

For more security hints and tips click here: https://www.police.sa.gov.au/nhw/home/safe-living.