We currently have several team members overseas vacationing & getting their holiday on. We thought it would be a good time to talk travel.
With well over 200,000 homes burglarised annually in Australia you may want to protect your home every day of the week. But what about when you are away? In 2015 over 8 million Australians left our borders or almost 40% of all Aussies nationwide. With most travelers going far away to New Zealand, the US or Indonesia on vacation, you aren’t close enough to stop any potential crime. However, we’ve put together a quick list of ways you can deter criminals no matter where you’ve gone away, whether it’s a quick weekend on the Gold Coast or a 6 week trip to Europe.
First, let’s look at the statistics. A WA Drug Usage Monitoring survey found that intruders were likely to be deterred by: a loud dog, working alarm system, lights on inside the house, security shutters or grilles, and functioning sensor lights. Conversely what makes your home most attractive to criminals is: no cars in the driveway, no lights on in the evening, no response to a door knock, rubbish bins left out, poorly hidden spare keys or mail piling up in your mailbox.
So how can you prevent burglaries while you aren’t home?
1. Create the illusion that someone is home
While many homes put their lights on a timer you would be even better protected if you put a TV on a timer to create the typical in-home flickering lights and noise variety that signals someone is home. Don’t want to run your big screen TV for hours while you aren’t home? Turn on a small radio set to a talk radio station. The talking is better than music as it can create the illusion of people being there better than a steady stream of pop music.
If you normally mow the lawn yourself, pay a local teen to do it for you during your away time. Nothing says “I haven’t been home for four weeks” like front grass that is normally well kept suddenly up to your knees.
2. Mum? Yes, she’s the word
Don’t announce your pending vacation. Get in the habit of using your social media channels to describe what did happen (past) not what is going to happen (future.) If you can avoid letting thousands of people know you’re going to be away, that’s clearly best. Want to post your airport departure photos anyway? Lock down the privacy settings to ensure only trusted family & friends can see. We often forget who can see each status and don’t go out of our way to prevent thieves from peeking in. You close your curtains at night for privacy so do the same online.
If you have people in your home doing work before you leave, try to avoid making conversation about your departure, as well. “Busy day?” “Yeah, we leave for a month in Germany tomorrow & still need to find a housesitter so my sister doesn’t have to come over on Saturdays” is probably a good conversation to avoid.
3. If you’re going public, advertise your security
Did Santa bring you a CCTV system for Christmas? Brag about that instead of your upcoming time away. “Just got our new CCTV installed. This thing is awesome! Automatically uploads footage to the cloud & has infrared with 91 point facial detection” is probably best.
If you have roller shutters, close them. If you have a gate and your check-in person has a gate key, lock the gate. Use the security you have paid for. Too often people “forget” to set their system and come back to unauthorised entry.
4. Be Security Smart
Stop your mail for your holiday. Have someone checking in. If you have a GPS in your car at the airport, set “home” for somewhere very close but not your exact address so any car thief can’t just hop in, drive to your home, pop open the garage and walk in.
Stash valuables, don’t leave bikes or toys in the front yard. Get a housesitter if you can. Think about security before you leave and hopefully you won’t have to think about it while you’re away.