How to Prevent a Break-in When You're Away

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Trim your bushes and hedges to make it harder for burglars to hide. They should be no taller than 3 feet.
  3. Engrave your registration number into your valuables so they are harder for burglars to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
  4. If you're leaving a car at home, park it in a garage (either yours or a family member's) to avoid burglary.
  5. Review your home and contents insurance to ensure you have adequate coverage for everything you want to protect.
  6. Make an inventory of your valuable possessions and take it with you. Include item name, date purchased, value, serial numbers and a photo.
  7. 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.
  8. Invest in motion-sensing lights outside to startle intruders and alert your neighbours to potential threat.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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