Going on holidays is supposed to be a fun time, so you don’t want to be on edge worrying whether your home is securely protected from any mishaps, including theft.
Before you hop off on your holidays this Easter, make sure you’ve done as many of the following home security ideas as you can so you can have the peace of mind you deserve these holidays.
1. Lock up
It’s a no-brainer, yet surprisingly unlocked doors remains one of the main weaknesses for Aussie homes today.
Before you head out the door, ensure all your windows and doors are secured. And it’s not just the windows and doors you should be bolting up; sheds, garage doors, and side gates should be locked up too.
It’s worthwhile locking your electricity meter box as well so potential thieves can’t meddle with your power supply.
2. Install a home security system
A home security system can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. You can install an intruder alarm or security alarm system which covers a large extent of your home and garage.
You can even install a closed circuit camera at home to film any unwelcome guests.
But make sure it’s manufactured and installed to the Australian Standards for Domestic Applications – and check the system before you leave home to ensure it’s working properly.
3. Install outdoor sensor lights
Outdoor sensor lights are activated by any form of movement. Any sneaky, nocturnal burglars trying to crack into your abode will think twice if they’re suddenly blinded by a spotlight! Not to mention, it will help alert your neighbours!
Make sure they’re working before you head out.
4. Arrange your mail and newspaper deliveries
If you live in a friendly neighbourhood, simply ask one of your neighbours to collect any mail or newspapers you receive while you’re away. That way you won’t have any musty mail and papers gathering in your mailbox and on your stoop advertising your absence.
Alternatively, you can also arrange for the Australian Post Office to hold your mail for the duration of your trip (they will hold it for up to 12 months). And you can cancel or defer your newspaper subscription.
5. Arrange a bin
Ask one of your good Samaritan neighbours to place your rubbish bins on the curb when it’s bin night – even if there is little in it (your neighbour should pop at least one of their own rubbish bags inside), it’s a signal to potential housebreakers that there is someone home after all.
6. Install light timers
A house shut up at night is a sure-fire way to tell any unsavoury characters that you’re not at home. That’s why it’s recommended you install light timers to turn your lights on and off at intervals while you’re gone. It makes it look like someone’s in.
7. Keep the landscape neat
Granted if you’re only gone for the long Easter weekend, it’s unlikely your front yard will get too unruly. But if you’re gone much longer than a week, overgrown grass and untrimmed shrubs will clearly indicate something’s amiss at home.
Before you head off, make sure you’ve mown the lawn and pruned any hedges to deter the wilderness. And if you’re lucky enough to have truly angelic neighbours, appeal to their goodwill to have them mow your grass regularly until you return (and don’t forget to supply them with goodies and souvenirs on your return so they’re willing to do it again!).
Alternatively, you can install artificial grass, so that it will remain looking lush and trimmed without any human effort, no matter how long you’re away!
8. Put away any outdoor equipment
Even if your home is as secure as a moat-surrounded castle, your outdoor belongings are still in jeopardy. Put away any valuable outdoor equipment and furniture you may have – that includes solar panel lights, outdoor games, sprinkler systems, bicycles, and more.
Be sure to secure any ladders or bins as well as these can act as leverage for an intruder to enter your home from a higher position.
9. Lock away the spare keys
We understand having your spare house keys tucked away in a plant pot or under the mat may be helpful for visiting neighbours, families or friends. But since we all know these are the most likely hiding places of a spare set of keys, potential thieves will know it as well.
Entrust your keys to someone you know well, or if you expect to have multiple visitors while you’re away it may be worth buying a key safe. They’re cheap and accessible to all who have the access code.
10. Install roller shutters
If you really want to fortify your home against intruders, it’s well worth considering installing roller shutters. They’re fitted over your window to cut off all access inside. They also keep the contents of your home hidden from view so potential thieves can’t see inside and get tempted to crack the castle!
11. Engage a house- or pet-sitter
If you’ve got pets you may have no choice but to get a professional or a friend or family member to look after your home while you’re away.
It’s undoubtedly the best way to secure your home against theft, since it will look (and be) as lived in as if you were there yourself.
A house sitter will take care not just of the pets, but also your mail, your newspaper subscription, the bins, the garden, and plenty more!
12. Create an inventory
Finally, if you really want to prepare for any eventuality, keep an inventory of all your property, with photographs, engravings, marks and added detail to make your property harder to pawn and easier to trace and to facilitate any home insurance claim you may have to make.
The NSW Police Force recommends you mark your property with your name and/or your traceable driver’s licence number. Keep details of the manufacturer, model name or number, serial number, and colour of any of your most prized possessions.
Take photo of your most precious belongings, such as jewellery, antiques, watches, artworks, and valuable collections.
Keep this inventory updated and store it away from the home when you’re gone.
Want to Know More?
At Australian Outdoor Living, we want you to get the most out of your property – and that includes keeping it protected when it’s most vulnerable! Check out this helpful NSW Police Force Home Safe resource for more info on protecting your home, or click on some of our other resources below:
- Find out how to strengthen your property against bushfires
- Learn more about how roller shutters can deter theft
- Check out our full range of low-maintenance artificial grass
- Or explore our gallery of stylish, protective roller shutters
- And if you’re ready to renovate, contact us today for a FREE measure and quote