Is your home easy to burgle?

woman setting security alarm

Alice Piper

Posted February 22, 2022


Having your home burgled is scary - here are some key ways to improve your home security and help burglar-proof your home.
 
 
Now is not the time to be complacent when it comes to keeping your home and contents, safe and secure. 
 
Despite data from the Victorian Crime Statistic Agency revealing that burglaries and break and enter offences fell again in 2021, theft prevention has never been more important, with the value of home and contents increasing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and burglars becoming more strategic with the households they target. 
 
“Burglars don’t want to be in your house for any longer than they have to,” says Neighbourhood Watch Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Bambi Gordon. 
 
"The average time spent on a burglary is eight minutes, so the items the most likely to be stolen are those that are clearly in sight, just inside an open door or window.”  
 
Hot items for burglars include mobile phones, tablets, computers, cash, power tools, jewellery and passports – while valuable documents and sensitive information are also in vogue as identify theft becomes a more lucrative crime. 
 
Minimise your chance of becoming a victim of burglary by implementing the following home security tips.


How to improve your home security

Don’t keep valuable items in plain sight

Keeping items like jewellery, car keys, wallets, or a mobile phone on windowsills where they can be seen from the outside is like inviting a burglar in through your front door.

Keep jewellery and other valuables locked in a safe or in hidden draws.

Maintain your garden

Allowing your garden to become unruly can be a sign that you’re away from the home a lot.  

An unruly garden also allows burglars to assess the best hiding places around the home in case the heist is interrupted.  

Give your garden or front porch a tidy up and consider installing sensor lights in areas like the front and back entrance, as well as smaller windows that are out of your view. 

 

sprinkler watering the lawn

Maintaining your garden is key to minimising the threat of burglary. Image: Getty


Keep security cameras in check

Did you get a security camera installed when you moved in or built your home? Well, there’s a chance it’s in need of a service.

Security camera maintenance is key to a protected home, so make sure you’re getting them serviced and tested regularly by a security camera technician.  

Don't leave doors, windows and garages unlocked

It seems obvious, but how often do you dash out of the house and just 'forget' to lock up? 

“Burglars are lazy, fearful of being caught, and opportunistic,” says Gordon. “If they see a quick and easy way to steal property, they will.”

Try making things as difficult as possible for burglars by locking all doors, windows and other access points every time you leave home.  

Secure valuable documents in a locked cabinet

Often, things like bank statements, passwords, tax returns, passports and other sensitive documents and information are left lying around in full view and accessible to anyone that enters the home.    

This information can be used to access your identity and money, so always keep these contents in a locked draw or cabinet and keep the keys in a secure location. 

 

person holding house keys

Never hide house keys under a doormat. Image: Getty


Don’t hide your house keys under the doormat

Hiding keys under the doormat is the oldest trick in the book, so be a little more creative with your storage spot for keys outside of the home.

Better still, give everyone in your household a key and have them attach it to their own personal key chain – that way you won’t need to run the risk of hiding keys outside your home.

Don’t post holidays on social media 

While it can be very tempting to put a happy snap on Facebook or Instagram, it’s the easiest way for burglars to know you’re away from the home, as well as how long you’re away for. 

Try to refrain from posting about your holiday until you’re back in your home.

Educate your household

If your home is to be kept safe (as well as the people in it), everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to home security.  

Educate your children about the importance of home security, such as locking doors, windows and pulling down blinds, so that these safety measures become ingrained as they take on more household responsibility.

Safeguard yourself in the event of theft with RACV Contents Insurance.
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The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. RACV Home Insurance is issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.​