A burglary occurs in Australia every three minutes and the end-of-year holiday period is peak season. Home security has always been the top priority for homeowners. It is always important to know how to stop burglars from targeting your home. It can go a long way to protect your home and safeguard your property while you are taking time off at the end of your working year, enjoying the holiday season.
You can do a number of things before you leave. Edith Cowan University Criminology and Psychology researcher Dr Natalie Gately believes the best way to protect your home against burglary is to know how burglars think.
Dr Gately spoke to 120 active adult and juvenile burglars, who gave her the low-down on their tricks of the trade and came up with the following five key observations for vigilant householders to keep in mind.
Burglars are opportunistic
Sometimes burglars may not be planning a burglary. They may just pass a house and see something that’s easy and available for them to get, while others may be trawling the area looking for a suitable house to burgle.
“Daring burglars may even take opportunities to come into your house if they see you’re distracted and there’s something quick and easy for them to take, such as your car keys,” observes Dr Gately.
Most burglaries are quick affairs and that’s how burglars like it
Burglars are usually in and out of your home within 10 minutes and empty homes and quiet streets are particularly inviting.
Dogs frighten them
Dr Gately’s research found the biggest deterrent for burglary is a dog, followed by alarms and security doors and windows.
Less than a third of Australian homes have any sort of security system installed.
Easy targets appeal
Two-thirds of active burglars reported entering homes through open doors and windows. Always remember to lock up and get to know your neighbours.
They’re not easily fooled
Another tip which works quite well is to leave some indoor, not very expensive and safe light on with random timers.
On a smart volume you can think of leaving your radio or TV on with no areas to peep through for the burglars to make out that you are not home. Check your blinds are close properly and leave no room to peep through.
But Dr Gately believes most burglars can tell the difference between a house that’s occupied and an attempt to disguise your absence, such as leaving the television on or a light on for hours.
You’re better off to get a dog or an alarm Dr Gately recommends. Perhaps also leave your second car in the driveway.
From experience, other experts add some more tips. They include to take the following additional steps before going on a holiday.
Get someone to assess your property’s risks
An expert can assess your property’s risks in the area and you will get a good idea of what you should or should not do before you embark on your well earned break.
To get motion-activated floodlights installed.
Having motion-activated floodlights will invariably scare the burglars and can save your house, and a fortune in time and money after you are burglars have had their bounty.
Lawn mowed, mail cleared
Before you go on holiday, arrange someone to mow and trim your front and back yards. Also get your letter box emptied regularly. There should be no areas to hide and no hints that there is no one living at the property.
Keep quite on Social Media-Most IMPORTANT
The most important tip today will be to keep your trip private on the Social Media. Discuss it after you are back, not before and not even while you are away. This single most tip is most important as a single hint on social media can UNDO all your other efforts to protect your home and property.
The high costs of burglary
Burglaries cost the country around $1.6 billion each year, however the emotional cost is impossible to measure.
“Research has shown that intrusion into a person’s private space causes significant psychological trauma in around 20 per cent of cases.
“It pays to know how a burglar thinks so that people can hopefully prevent their homes from becoming targets,” Dr Gately said.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!