Each year, Australia records over 200,000 burglaries and in 2014 alone, $96 million worth of goods were stolen in home break-ins.
Whether you're gone for a few minutes or a few weeks, there are plenty of things you can do to lessen your risk of burglary while you're away. Familiarise yourself with these 10 tips for preventing a break-in before you lock up next.
- Check your rubbish bin before you go for any signs of expensive or valuable items such as computer boxes or luxury brand wrappers that could encourage a break-in.
- Trim your bushes and hedges to make it harder for burglars to hide. They should be no taller than 3 feet.
- Engrave your registration number into your valuables so they are harder for burglars to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
- If you're leaving a car at home, park it in a garage (either yours or a family member's) to avoid burglary.
- Review your home and contents insurance to ensure you have adequate coverage for everything you want to protect.
- Make an inventory of your valuable possessions and take it with you. Include item name, date purchased, value, serial numbers and a photo.
- Keep valuable possessions out of sight. Close all your curtains and blinds to ensure passer-bys have a limited view into your home. Store outdoor valuables such as barbeques and bicycles in your garage as they are prime targets for burglaries.
- Invest in motion-sensing lights outside to startle intruders and alert your neighbours to potential threat.
- Back-up all your devices in the event that they are stolen, and either bring your hard drive with you or store it in a safe place such as your laundry room.
- Hook up timers to some of your indoor lights and radios, and schedule them to go off in the evening to make it look like your house is occupied.