18 Dec 2020
Are you going away for the holidays this year? Don’t let your well-deserved break get spoiled by a break-in.
The Christmas and New Year holiday period is, unfortunately, a peak time for burglaries. People are away on holidays, and their houses are full of expensive new presents. Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) has shown that property offences in the state are 30% higher between 24 December and 2 January. Most of those crimes were committed between 9am and 6pm.
The majority of break-ins are opportunistic, with burglars choosing homes that look like easy targets. When you go away for the holidays, make sure your home doesn’t look so tempting with these 11 simple holiday security tips.
Make your home look occupied
- Don’t have a letterbox overflowing with mail. Ask a neighbour or family member to collect your mail, or put your mail on hold with Australia Post or New Zealand Post while you’re away. Don’t forget to suspend any regular deliveries, like a food box or newspaper.
- An overgrown lawn is a good indicator a house is unattended. Cut your grass/tidy up the garden just before you leave, and if you’re going away for several weeks think about sweet-talking a friend or family member into mowing the lawn while you’re away, or book a lawnmowing service.
- Set up some lights on timers. Modern smart timers can set the lights to go off on a variable timetable, rather than on a fixed schedule that watchful thieves might notice. Make sure they are only set to turn on at a time when they would normally be in use – a house full of lights at 3 am is a giveaway.
- Be careful about announcing you’re going away on social media.
Secure your yard
- Pack away any bikes, garden equipment or ladders from outside the house somewhere secure. You don’t want these things to go missing, but you also don’t want them to be used by opportunistic thieves to gain entry to your house.
- Make sure you’ve locked any sheds, garages or side gates.
- That spare key under a rock by the back door? Leave it with someone you trust instead.
- Consider installing external motion sensor lights if you don’t already have them. They’re one of the best deterrents for burglars after dark.
Double check your locks
- You’ll probably check the doors before you leave, but did you remember the windows? Make sure all your windows are tightly closed and locked whenever possible. Put a bar in sliding window tracks to stop them from being jimmied open. Keep a note of any windows you don’t think are very secure; if you don’t have time now, remember to get them upgraded with locks or latches when you get home.
- If you’ve recently lent your keys to someone that you’re not sure you can trust, now’s the time to get your locks re-keyed. It’s quick and easy for a qualified locksmith to do – and now’s the chance to get one master key for all your door locks!
- Consider installing a security system before you go, particularly one you can monitor remotely. There are many different options, but you can get advice from any Master Locksmith offering the ‘Alarms & CCTV’ service on our Find a Master Locksmith tool.
If you need a boost to your home’s security before you go away for the holidays, a Master Locksmith can help. All of our members are qualified tradespeople, insured, police-checked and hold all relevant security licences and registrations, as well as adhering to our strict Code of Conduct. They can give you peace of mind that when you get back, your home will be just as you left it.