Don’t sweat your home security this summer: 13 easy tips you can follow
Summer is an exciting time for burglars. More daylight hours, the nights are warm and they know that many people are out and about or travelling for summer holidays, making it easy to target and break into homes while occupants are out or away. You might be having a well-deserved break with family and friends, but burglars are still hard at work.
The festive season also provides opportunity for burglars as people are out for Christmas functions, BBQ’s and catch ups with family and friends, and this along with the prospect of gifts under the tree as an easy target can make us all a little vulnerable at this time of the year.
While it’s tough to know if your home will be targeted by burglars this summer, there are many things you can do to keep your home safe during this season, even if you’re not planning to travel. Follow these tips to stay on top of home security all summer and keep your home and family safe.
By avoiding some common home security mistakes you can reduce your chances that a burglar will choose your home in favour of an easier target.
- Lock your doors and windows – Seems obvious but many home break-ins occur because the homeowner has simply made it too easy for the burglar by forgetting to lock doors or windows. Often burglars are opportunistic and will go from house to house looking for quick and easy access. So investing in tried and tested home security measures like deadbolt locks is always a good decision.
- Keep your spare key well-hidden or preferably not outside at all – Hiding a spare key outside is not ideal but for some of us it is unavoidable. Any would be thief knows there’s a good chance a key may be hidden close to the front door, easy access for the home owner but also for burglars. So if you do need to leave a key outside make sure it is well concealed and not hidden in obvious places like under the mat, plant pots, rocks, window sills or ornaments. Better still give a spare key to a trusted neighbour.
- Turn lights on and off – Sometimes thieves will watch homes on a street for a few days to work out the easy targets! If your house is in darkness for a number of days and nights, this is a neon sign to burglars saying “pick me”. Use a light switch timer or home automation to have lights turn on and off automatically on a schedule. Burglars watching your home will notice that lights are flipped on and off and likely assume that someone is home.
- Don’t tell Social Media – Avoid announcing your upcoming holiday on “The Socials”, and don’t share travel photos while you are still away. It’s tempting but it broadcasts that you aren’t at home, and there is no way to be sure who has seen the posts. However, if you do have the desire to share your happy snaps while on holiday, keep your social accounts on private so only trusted family and friends can view. This ensures only your close network can see what you’re up to and keeps a close lock on who knows you are away (no pun intended).
- Arm your Security system – If you have a working alarm, use it! Don’t get into the bad habit of forgetting (or not bothering) to arm it before you leave the house. Security systems are a major deterrent for home burglars, especially with an audible alarm to scare off intruders.
- Don’t change anything for a major trip – If you normally keep your curtains and blinds open, don’t shut them just before you leave as it is a clear message to burglars that you’re not home. It is a good idea however to hide away any valuables that might be spotted from peeking through a window. It’s also a good idea to let some close friends or neighbours know you’re away and to keep an eye on your home while you are gone. A second pair of eyes on your home is always a good idea.
- Use outdoor lighting – Good exterior lighting especially at your doors and windows can illuminate burglars and encourage them to move on. Or, good lighting will help neighbours spot them at your door. Consider motion sensors, timer lights or a lighting system that allows you to schedule your lights to turn on and off.
- Keep your valuables hidden – Keep your valuables away from windows as this provides a quick and easy target for burglars. If they are able to gain access to your home, they will look for easy to pocket valuables. Hide jewellery, money and other valuables in inconspicuous spots. Keep in mind that burglars are likely to hit your master bedroom and living area first rather than secondary bedrooms, bathrooms or even the garage.
- Think about hiding spots in your garden – Large plants and bushes, although they may look nice, offer a home burglar a place to hide on your property, buying them time and possibly giving them the privacy to break into a door or window. Don’t keep your garden unruly as this is the perfect opportunity for burglars to sneak up and hide. Maintaining your garden ensures clear lines of sight.
- Invest in good quality locks and security features – As much as a fake alarm box or cameras might be effective at a first glance an experienced thief after closer inspection will very likely be able to tell the difference. Low quality locks and security screens on doors and windows can often be easily broken or forced open, providing little resistance to an experienced burglar.
- Stop your mail and newspaper deliveries (or have someone collect them) while you are away – A sure sign that your home is unoccupied is a build-up of mail in the letter box, or newspapers on the front lawn (also a waste of money) Don’t forget to stop the deliveries that you can, and organise a family member, friend or neighbour to clear the letterbox.
- Don’t open the door for strangers – summer is also a busy time for door to door burglaries and home invasions. If you don’t know the person on the other side of the door, don’t open it! Simply tell them you are not interested through the door and ask them to leave. This tells them that someone is home, avoid ignoring them as they could be knocking purely to see if anyone is there.
- Invest in Smart Home features – Even if you don’t have a home security system a Smart Home can keep your house safer. You can control lights, TV’s, radios and more to make it look like you are home. You may even be able to view live videos (CCTV), get alerts and answer your doorbell with a video chat.
Introducing MyPlace by Advantage Air
The team at Advantage Air aim to develop products that are easy to use, reliable and affordable and just make sense for the Australian lifestyle.
MyPlace by Advantage Air not only provides convenience but can also allow you to take control of lighting and some security features in your home.
MyLights enables you to schedule your lights to turn on and off at different times, with the ability to have up to 6 programmes saved at any time. MyLights also gives the extra peace of mind of remote access, you can control your lights from anywhere in the world! Being able to turn your lights on and off at random truly makes the home look occupied.
Imagine you are in bed, or watching a movie and you hear a noise from outside, MyLights allows you to turn on all of your lights without having to move, hopefully frightening off any would be intruders.
The MyPlace by Advantage Air touchscreen also doubles as an Android tablet, providing a home hub for you to have all of your Android Apps (Video doorbell, CCTV, automatic door locks, ect….) just a few more tools that can keep your home safe so you can enjoy the amazing Australian summer with fewer worries about your home.
If you would like some more information about how MyPlace by Advantage Air can help to keep your family and home safe and secure contact our passionate team, they are here to help.