- December 9, 2021
- |Home Security Tips
- | 0
When deadbolts were introduced in the 1960s, burglaries saw a quick descent in numbers for the next 10 years or so. Today, many Australian homes have installed electronic security systems, together with superior locks, to help keep their dwellings safe. But despite this, almost 240,000 households experienced a break-in, and more than 448,000 had their property damaged maliciously in 2019-20 alone.
Thieves have become smarter, but you can always outsmart them by preparing your home. Start by knowing where thieves think you hide your valuables.
So, What are the Places Burglars Look First?
Burglars are now more thorough than ever as they search for items they are interested in. They check several places in your house but will usually go through the following areas first:
Outside Your House
Some thieves do not even have to enter the house because people leave items in their yard. Lawnmowers, bicycles, and even your BBQ grill can be stolen. It’s best to keep them out of sight so as not to tempt a thief to visit you. Make sure your garages and sheds are always locked. You also want to make sure that you have adequate exterior lighting. If possible, install motion-sensitive lights for your backyard. Don’t let shrubs and trees get too tall so no one can hide behind them.
Entryway and Living Room Storage
Do you have cabinets and drawers in the entryway? If so, you already know that burglars will target them first since they are usually the easiest spots they can get to. These individuals will not take their time so that they will rush to the drawers close to your front door. And if you love storing valuables in these places, they are in luck, unfortunately for you.
Many people make the mistake of leaving their car keys right in the entryway, usually because they are easy to access. But that also means giving thieves the same benefit. You could wake up one day to find that your car is missing and you do not know who took it. Avoid putting your keys near the entryway, as well as other documents and cash.
The same applies to your living room. Don’t leave anything valuable, such as jewellery and mobile phones, especially when no one is around.
Thieves often think people hide precious items under their mattresses – which is often true. They usually head straight to the master’s bedroom since it’s where the valuables are tucked away. Keep your money, jewellery, and other expensive items in a different location other than under the mattress.
Other places that burglars rush to are:
- The medicine cabinet in your bathroom
- Wine cellar
- Safes and drawers
- Kitchen, including your pantry, cereal boxes, cans, and freezers
- Home office
Now that you know where thieves go first, the next step is to prevent them from targeting your home.
Tips to Help Prevent Break-Ins
Breaking in is not an easy task, but you can make it even more difficult for these criminals with the following steps:
- Make sure that your windows are shut, mainly when you leave the house. Keep them closed at night or when you’re sleeping during the day.
- Secure your doors by locking them each time you leave – and even when you’re home.
- Install door and window sensors to help in tracking, especially if you often forget to close them.
- Upgrade your door locks. Many people wait for a burglar or a break-in to call a locksmith for a lock change. It may be costly for you, but it is pricier when the break-in occurs. Exterior doors should have a deadbolt, which delays the thief from entering your home. Choose smart locks that allow you to control locks remotely.
- Strengthen the door frames and hinges. Check that they are all durable and can endure an attempt of breaking in.
- Install a security system to deter thieves from breaking into your home. They usually stay away from homes with CCTV or any indication that there is a security system. It’s also effective in alerting you if ever you have experienced a break-in.
- Again, keep valuables out of sight. Burglars typically scope out their targets before committing the crime. Make sure that you do not have expensive items like your tools and bikes that thieves can quickly grab.
- Have outdoor lights to illuminate your yard. Invest in motion sensor lights so that you do not need to keep the outdoor light on all the time.
- Most people have their favourite spots to hide a key to their front door. If you like to keep a key under a rock, flowerpot, or doormat, it’s time to rethink a better strategy. Intruders already know these hiding places, so they will likely look at them the moment they get to your property.
You may also want to consider buying a safe. Even if you have already done everything to prevent a break-in, sometimes your plan could fail. On the off-chance that the burglar successfully enters your home, you need to make sure they do not steal the most valuable to you. This is where a safe or lockbox can help. Place your jewellery, cash, and important documents in a safe, so thieves do not walk away with them.
What to Do After a Break-In
If you come home and find a broken or open window or door, it’s best to stay outside. The perpetrator may still be inside the house. The first step is to call the police. When law enforcement is in the vicinity, don’t start touching or picking up items that may be out of their usual place. Let the police do their job and inspect evidence. If there are suspicious vehicles near your house, it will help if you could write down their licence plate numbers. Do the same with suspicious people, especially those you’re not familiar with.
Once you are allowed in the house, the next step is to call a locksmith. Your locks may require repair because the thieves have damaged them. It’s better to have them changed into better and sturdier locks. The cost to change locks depends on many factors, including the type of lock that will be installed. Rekeying can be less costly, which allows you to change your keys without changing the locks. However, you might need brand new locks if the burglar had tried to break them.
You should also consider the cost of a locksmith to change locks. Emergency lock changes are surely more expensive, as well as calling the locksmith outside of the usual time. Installing new locks may be pricey, but safety is priceless. Call Diamond Lock & Security to update your locks and get peace of mind even when you’re not at home.