If you are still heading away on the weekends, or just back at work for the year… Here are some tips to keep your house secure while you aren’t there.
It certainly isn’t something that people like to think about but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. However, with the right precautions and proper security measures you can stop burglars and opportunists. Here are some simple and effective tips from the team at AMI to help keep your home safe and secure.
Like owls and vampires, burglars like the darkness, so good lighting in and around the home is important. External lighting around the house will fill in the hidden dark spaces and put burglars off. You can get lights that are activated by motion sensors to flood dark spaces, this is great when you come home and you don’t want to fumble around for your key in the dark. It is always a good idea to leave a light on inside the house when you go out at night or if you are going away for a few days. You can also get timers for lights, meaning they can be set to turn on only during the evening.
If you’re moving into a new home, change the locks, so you know you and your family are the only ones with keys. Don’t hide a spare key. Burglars know the usual places spare keys get hidden, that plant pot next to the front door or under the mat are the first places they will look. Ever leave home in a rush and get to work wondering if you locked up? There are now smart locks you can install and control remotely from your smartphone, saving you time, and worry.
A good, well maintained fence creates a solid barrier around your property and hinders access, which is added security. It also stops prying eyes seeing into your property to appraise what you have.
Explore the range – from high tech, fully installed and monitored to the more basic. There are a lot of options out there which are becoming more sophisticated as technology progresses. You can have sensors on doors, windows and motion sensors to detect movement within your home. A good option is to install video cameras inside and outside your home to capture footage. Alerts, images and video footage can be sent straight to your smartphone or tablet so you can immediately see if something’s amiss at home.
These locks are stronger than spring locks and they will make it more difficult to force entry into your property. Whilst more expensive, it’s important to try to have at least one deadbolt lock on your main door.
SECURE RANCH SLIDERS
One of the weakest entry points to your home can be sliding glass doors. A good way to prevent a burglar from forcing a ranchslider open is to put a metal bar along the bottom track of the door. You can do the same with sliding windows.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS
If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, they can keep an eye on your house when you’re away or at work and of course you can do the same for them. Don’t know The Joneses next door? Try joining www.neighbourly.co.nz to help you get to know your neighbours. Neighbourly offers a crime prevention service for members within its communities. Members are kept informed of any suspicious activity and can also inform each other instantly of any urgent crime or safety updates via SMS.
It is easy to leave a window open, especially during the summer but an open window is an easy invitation to a burglar. Even if you are just going to pop out to the shops for 10 minutes, take a moment to walk round your home and close any open windows, even better, make sure they have locks.
BE SOCIAL SAVVY
Away on holiday and can’t resist posting a photo? We don’t blame you. However, try to be conscious of who can see your posts, especially if you’re away on a longer trip. You can easily share with the world that you’re not home. An easy way to combat this is to set all your post sharing to ‘private’ or ‘just friends’ rather than ‘public’.
COME UP WITH A PLAN
Make sure you and your family are on the same page with what would happen if you were ever burgled. Remind your children not to go near the burgled area and move away from the property and phone the police. Look for unusual signs like broken glass or an open window or door. If in doubt, get out and always call the police.
HAVE YOU EVER COME HOME TO ANYTHING UNEXPECTED?
A couch that’s been eaten by your dog? A cow inside your living room? A fire started by a glass vase?
AMI and Spark’s Morepork are looking to reward their two favourite tales with a Morepork Smart Home Security Starter kit and Smoke Alarm (worth $628). Plus the winners will receive a year’s free subscription, so you can keep an eye on your home and stay safe from the unexpected!