Reduce your risk of home intrusion
No one likes to think their home might be subject to burglary or an intruder, but the possibility of it occurring is an unfortunate fact of life.
Research has shown that putting good home security measures in place, such as gate and window locks, warning signs and appropriate lighting, can greatly reduce the risk of a break in. Burglars tend to target ‘easy marks’. Don’t let your home be that easy mark – answer each question in our checklist and if you respond ‘no’ to any, address the actions listed below to improve your home’s security.
Actions to increase the security of your home
- Street numbers: Make your street numbers large enough that they can be seen from the road and ensure they are clearly lit at night. A street number which is not visible will make it difficult for emergency services to locate your home if there’s ever a need to do so.
- Warning signs:Display warning signs where applicable. For example, warning of video surveillance where this is present, and warning of dogs on the property.
- Gate locks: A gate or fence is a huge deterrent to intruders. Gate locks should be used where necessary to ensure access to your backyard is limited. Gates and locks need regular maintenance to keep them in good working condition.
- Lighting: If your home is well lit at night, thieves are more likely to be seen and less likely to want to visit! Put extra lighting around doors leading into the home.
- Letterbox and meter box locks: Restrict entry to letter and electricity boxes if they’re accessible from the street. Remember that gas and electricity meter locks need to comply with the provider’s requirements to ensure they remain accessible to meter readers.
- Garage and shed locks: Working locks should be fitted on garage and shed access doors to minimise the chance of burglary. Secondary locks, such as a padlock or hasp and staple, can be installed when there are items of particular value.
- Solid core doors: External access doors should be ‘solid core’ to provide an extra security barrier.
- Door locks: Door locks should be of good quality and – importantly – in working order. Locks on external doors are the primary access restrictors to the home.
- Entryways: Make sure your entryway has a working lock and a sturdy deadbolt installed to the door frame.
- Security screen doors: Installation of lockable security screen doors will boost your home’s security, making access harder.
- Sliding door lock bolts: Install lock bolts on sliding doors to give them an extra degree of difficulty in opening in the case of a break-in.
- Window locks: All windows should have keyed locks. And windows which are not in use should be permanently locked with the keys removed.
- Secure your keys: Leaving keys in door or window locks makes it easier for intruders to get out once they’ve come in. Keep your keys in a secure, hidden place away from the entry points of your home.
- Spare keys:These should be kept with a trusted neighbour. Don’t put them under a doormat, or in a plant pot, meter box or mailbox!
- Outdoor security:Trim overhanging trees and bushes – don’t give intruders a place to hide. Install good lighting so there are no dark areas for someone to lurk.
- When travelling:Activate your home alarm system if you have one. Ask a neighbour to collect the mail and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. If you’re going away for an extended period, organise for someone to mow the lawn and turn on different lights in the house from time to time.