- January 14, 2020
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Just like any other country, numerous crimes take place in Australia, including home burglary.
The good news is that the recorded number of burglaries is at a nine-year low in 2018. Unfortunately, it is not something to rejoice about.
Burglars are still everywhere, and you could be one of their victims. Burglaries are devastating, especially since losses can go $1 million or more.
Homeowners need to take practical precautions to ensure you do not go through such a traumatising experience.
If you are a victim, however, you have more incentive to strengthen your home security. There is no doubt that you do not want to reencounter thieves.
In this article, we outline statistics and show ways to improve your safety to deter the thieves and give you peace of mind as well.
Burglaries in Australia
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), five states decreased in the number of burglaries. Victoria had the biggest decrease, amounting to 13% while the lowest is New South Wales, which was down four per cent since 2017.
The same statistics confirmed that more than 70% of the break-ins happened at a residential property. Retail establishments followed where 10% of burglaries took place.
In Australia and the rest of the world, burglary is an offence that involves illegal entering of an establishment or house. The purpose of the entry is to steal and usually happens at night. It is a statutory offence in which the person or group of persons who committed the crime is known as a trespasser. A burglary takes place when something is stolen, no matter how small or significant the value.
Almost 625,000 residents in Australia had at least one break-in from 2016 to 2017. The problem is that not all the victims reported to the police. Statistics showed that less than 45% of households reported an attempted break-in. According to 22% of the victims, the incident was a trivial matter to them. Therefore, they did not exert any effort in reporting the crime.
Here are more alarming numbers involving burglaries in the country:
- Out of the 600,000+ households, 16% of them believed that the police could not do anything for them.
- 47% of the victims reported damage to their doors or windows.
- Almost 20% saw the person attempting the crime.
- In 2015, Australia was one of the countries with the highest burglary rate in the world. It was ranked fifth after four other European countries with smaller populations.
- The Northern Territory had the highest number of break-ins compared to the population count. About 3,200 had a break-in at five per cent of households.
- Western Australia followed the Northern Territory at 4.3% while South Australia had the lowest home invasion rate at only 1.9% of the households.
- According to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), Australian homes have a higher chance of getting attacked than those in other countries.
Over the years, Australians have learned about the benefits of home security. It is why property crime decreased, thanks to 31% of households having bolstered security.
Tips for Avoiding Another Attack
As you move on from the scary experience, you probably have learned more about the importance of home security. Sometimes, homeowners get complacent simply because they have a security camera installed. While CCTVs are certainly helpful, they do not guarantee fool-proof safety. You should be more vigilant than ever in boosting the security of your home to achieve better protection.
Here are the top ways that will help make our home unattractive to thieves:
Understand the Factors That Increase Your Vulnerability to Burglaries.
There are two main reasons why criminals approach a house. First is that there is a lack of activity, which is typically indicated by a house appearing unoccupied. The lights are not turned on inside the house at night, and no one takes care of the rubbish bins outside on the streets. The absence of vehicles in the garage and mails overflowing in the mailbox are also signals that burglars like.
The second reason has something to do with the property itself. If it has an expensive car parked in the driveway or there are visible, valuable items in the yard or by the window, these things quickly serve as an invitation to the criminals. A home located in an affluent neighbourhood is also attractive to them.
If you were burglarised, you should determine which of the two reasons above describe your situation. From there, you can start mending your case as you proceed with the other home security tips below.
Burglars Do Not Care About the Time of the Day
One of the biggest misconceptions about criminals is that they only attack at night while the homeowners are sleeping. While many of them prefer when it is dark, the majority of incidents took place while the sun is still up.
It should not come as a surprise if the burglars attacked your home during the day. Most frequently, burglaries happened anywhere from 12 PM to 5 PM. The lowest number of attempted break-ins was midnight.
According to a report, about 17% of cases occurred Friday, and the lowest number took place on Sundays (12%). It does make sense since many homeowners are home on Sundays, which is why burglars avoid this day of the week.
The sad reality is that burglars do not choose their time to attack. It does not matter to them if they do their crime during the daytime. For them, thievery is easier during the day when the homeowners are away, whether at work or school.
Lock the Doors and Windows.
Homeowners know they should lock the front door, but most of them still forget from time to time. It is one of the biggest reasons why burglars target a house. They want easy access because they are in a hurry to leave. When a house is unlocked, whether it is a door or window, they will take this opportunity.
Doors have locks for a reason, which is to keep unauthorised people out. It is typical for homeowners to feel secure just because they have not experienced any break-in attempt all their lives. However, this sense of security is false and can lead to neglecting the basics of in-home safety, such as locking doors.
Some stats to bear in mind:
More than 20% of thieves enter through the back door.
23% of burglars prefer the first-floor window.
The highest percentage – 66% – is the front door, which is surprising.
Average thieves choose homes with glass windows because they are an easy target. They often use a rock or even their fist to break the glass. Roller doors on your garage also invite thieves in when they are not properly secured. A mere coat hanger can open the doors in just six seconds.
Hide Your Valuables.
Expensive items by the window or outside your home are like beacons to thieves. Make sure that you put these items locked up in a safe place. Some of the valuables that you should hide out of plain sight are your tools, bikes, and other items that criminals can quickly grab.
The most commonly stolen item in Australia is cash, followed by laptops, jewellery, and cameras, respectively. When working at home, stay away from the windows. You can also invest in window treatments, such as blinds and curtains. This way, passers-by cannot see your home from the outside.
Get Rid of Hiding Places.
Trees and tall shrubs increase the appeal of your property. Unfortunately, burglars can use them to hide conveniently. You do not have to remove the plants close to your house completely. Instead, you should regularly trim them down or choose smaller bushes. If trees are near your windows, it is better to remove them. An alternative is to bolster the windows with better security simply.
Ladders, tools, and chairs should not be easily accessed. You may also want to add signs and stickers that act as a warning about entering the premises. Having a fence installed is also incredibly helpful.
Have Insurance to Protect Your Investments.
You already performed the mentioned tips above yet you still got burglarised. In reality, no house is 100% safe from these criminals. However, it does not mean you cannot protect yourself. You can reduce the risk of being broke after the thievery.
Home and contents insurance can help keep you financially sound if you are a victim.
Here is a look at these insurance types:
Home insurance: It protects the house, along with the things attached to it, such as roof and walls.
Contents insurance: This type of insurance secures the items in your house, including clothes, TV, and refrigerator.
You can have either or both of them to help you after a break-in. The cost of the insurance will depend on a few factors, including what you would like to cover, the amount of cover, claims history, and your area.
Insurance companies take note of your devices that increase the safety of your home, including window grates, alarm systems, security cameras, and deadbolt locks. They often provide discounts to those who have these devices. If you qualify, you will typically pay less for your insurance premiums.
While you may always want to save money on insurance premiums, it is never a good idea to skimp on coverage. Unless you can afford to replace the lost belongings, you should go for comprehensive insurance for your home and valuables.
Choose the best products and services for home security.
Weak security will attract opportunist robbers. Re-evaluate how robust your protection is by looking into the following:
Some people who were just burglarised can still be careless by not changing their locks. If the thieves went through your door or window, check if there are any broken locks. Make sure that you change them right away.
Even if the locks are intact, you should still change them. You could be among those with external locks, which you should update to newer, sturdier, and more efficient locks. These old locks may have been effective for some time, but thieves nowadays can quickly pick them. Choose tamper-proof versions of these locks or deadlocks for better protection.
You can opt for a smart door lock, which is excellent if you keep forgetting to lock your doors. These smart locks allow you to control them remotely using your smartphone. Some smart locks let you connect them to other existing smart devices you may have at home.
Installing security cameras are a great way to deter thieves. One question that people often ask though is if it is OK to use fake or dummy cameras. If you are on a tight budget, they can be a temporary solution. However, it is always better to go with the functioning ones.
You have many options here, including a doorbell camera, which lets you see whoever is ringing the doorbell. You can choose not to open the door, especially if it is someone uninvited. You do not even have to be at home to control this video camera.
Many thieves may not ring the doorbell, but others may consider it just to find out if someone is in the house. Others may steal a package on your doorstep. Using this security camera, you can talk to the robbers to make them believe you are at home.
An IP camera is also helpful, which allows you to look at a certain part of your house. You can record the captured moments to help catch the robbers. Some expensive cameras let you survey a bigger portion of your home, unlike cheaper products.
An infographic showed that houses that have no security systems have three times more risk of being broken into. You can turn your home into a smart home. However, you may be a bit worried about the expenses. If you think about it, these home security systems are well worth your money and more. Consider the amount of money you can lose if you do not have efficient protection.
Also, the experience can get terrifying. No one wants to subject themselves to such emotional trauma. You may also have valuables that you wish to protect. It does not matter what the situation is. In this age of technology, it should not be surprising to know you can benefit from a reliable home automation system.
These systems include security cameras and door locks. It also has smoke alarms and motion sensor devices. You can find home automation systems that give you the ability to control the lights in your house remotely. This way, it will not look like no one is in the vicinity, which lures plenty of robbers.
There are few ways to achieving home automation that will help increase the security of the whole property. For instance, you can schedule the lights or even your TV – or both – to turn themselves on or off. Doing so is beneficial, especially if you are on holiday. Since there is no way for you to reach your house immediately, the controlled lights can effectively keep thieves away.
Another method is to have an instant video feed, which will give you a view of any person or car that arrives at the driveway.
Finally, you can use your smartphone to check CO2 or smoke alarms. From there, you can turn the alerts off using your smartphone.
Have a High-quality Safe
If all else fails, you should still have one more method that you know will not let you down. An in-home safe is where you deposit your valuables, including jewellery, passports, and other documents. Anything vital should not be out in plain sight. Instead, these essentials should be kept in a safe.
When choosing the safe to invest in, you should go for a fire-resistant box. It should also be waterproof and heavy, so the thieves cannot quickly walk away. Redundant locks also work in which there are two locks for every safe.
You should also select the right safe for your needs. Safes are not entirely cheap. Therefore, you do not want to purchase another just to make sure the other items fit comfortably. The safe you select can either be portable or anchored.
Hire a Reputable Locksmith
Locksmiths are not just for helping you open a locked car or front door. They also offer various services, including remote guidance, security upgrade, and key duplication. After a burglary, you want to make sure you have improved security, and a locksmith can be of assistance.
Reliability is one of the first things to look for. Instead of hiring a handyman to get a cheaper rate, choose a reputable locksmith in Australia. Make sure the expert is qualified to do the job. It also pays to check the certifications, as well as the insurance in case something goes wrong. Find out what other people say as well. If the reviews are mostly positive, you will end up with good quality results.
Need a residential locksmith? Contact Diamond Lock & Security today.