22 March 2016
Deter unwanted visitors this Easter holiday
Easter is approaching and RACV is advising those heading away for the break to secure their homes to avoid the risk of burglary.
As thousands of Victorians plan Easter getaways to spend time with family and friends, RACV Home Services General Manager Aaron Flavell said it was important to make sure homes were secure before setting off.
Mr Flavell said thieves were typically active over the Easter break, targeting vacant properties while residents were away.
“Thieves look forward to the holiday periods as a chance to strike and they see your holiday as their opportunity,” Mr Flavell said.
“Experience shows that people occasionally do forget to do some basic tasks before they leave, presenting thieves with easy entry. It is important to ensure external doors and windows are locked and we recommend residents ask trusted neighbours to keep an eye on their house while they are away.”
RACV suggests that residents also try other simple techniques to deter thieves while on holiday, such as setting lights on a timer, leaving clothing hanging on the line and not posting information on social media that could alert people that you are away.
“You should not reveal too much about your Easter holiday plans on social media – criminals have well and truly moved into the internet age and are using sites such as Facebook and Twitter to work out when a house will be unoccupied,” Mr Flavell said.
“Installing a monitored alarm, backed up by CCTV, is known to be an effective deterrent to predatory thieves and can provide homeowners with peace of mind,” Mr Flavell said.
“Research shows that 60 per cent of burglars would seek an alternative target if they noticed an alarm and that most burglars will try to determine if an alarm is present before attempting a burglary.
“It’s also important to double-check your home insurance policy to make sure you have adequate contents cover to replace stolen goods, should the worst happen.”
Mr Flavell said residents should also take care at their holiday destination, with several regional and coastal holiday spots also experiencing high burglary rates during peak periods.
RACV’s website has information on high-risk burglary suburbs and useful security tips for home owners. Visit racv.com.au/security or call 13 27 56 to find out more about RACV Home Security.
Top 10 Tips to avoid burglaries this Easter
Source: RACV Home Services
EVERYDAY HOME SECURITY
- Install a security alarm system, monitored by a back to base monitoring centre certified in accordance with Australian Standards. Consider installing a CCTV surveillance system in addition to a professionally monitored security system.
- Ensure you always contact a licensed security professional to install or service an alarm system.
- Ensure that all doors and windows are well secured with locks made to Australian standards and that you lock up when you go out – even for short periods.
- Lock the front door when you are in the back yard.
- Use a secondary blocking device on all sliding doors.
WHEN YOU GO AWAY
- Be careful with your personal information online – you wouldn’t put a billboard outside your house advertising when you’re away, but this information is often posted on open social media sites.
- Make sure your house looks lived-in. Put your mail on hold or have it collected and, if you’re taking the car, ask a neighbour to park in your driveway.
- Don’t leave keys hidden outside the house. Leave a set with a trusted friend or family member.
- Always lock your tools in the shed or garage. These can often be used to break into a property.
- Consider installing motion sensor lighting to help deter criminals and alert neighbours or passers-by to their presence.