CANSTAR presents the top 10 ways to prevent a home robbery:
1. Know what thieves are commonly after
According to the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), money is the most commonly stolen item (19%), followed by jewelry (18%), and firearms.
Electronics such as laptops, cameras, phones and televisions are also high on a burglar’s list of desirable items.
Make sure your contents insurance covers the most popular items for burglars!
2. Stay locked up
Police suggest that keeping your house locked whenever you are away from your house is the first and best way to avoid opportunistic thieves. There’s a couple of different ways you need to do this:
- Locking doors every time you go out
- Security screens on windows and doors
- Keep ladders and tools secure in a locked garage or tool shed
- Keep your garage door closed.
Even keeping your valuables locked up and away from public view could be a great way to protect yourself from unwanted attention.
While items like televisions can’t be hidden, try and avoid placing them in areas where they can be seen through a window from the street.
If a thief is underprepared, they will look to their surroundings to help them in their endeavours, so make sure any ladders or crowbars aren’t left lying around in plain sight.
Keeping garage doors open gives thieves a clear look into what they can expect to find inside your home.
It also allows them to determine how much wealth you may have, as people with expensive cars, tools, or items that are being stored in a garage may appeal to opportunistic thieves as they walk past.
Ensure that your garage door isn’t easily broken into, and that car keys are not lying around in the garage next to cars.
3. Be suspicious of door knockers and telemarketers
Being asked an innocent question, such as, “When would be a more convenient time to contact you?” could actually be a prospective burglar attempting to discover your daily schedule.
4. Don’t let people know your vacation plans
Holiday time is a thief’s biggest opportunity to pry your home of valuables and Christmas presents.
They might even plan around extended periods of time that you’re away by finding out from neighbours, friends, or by perusing your social media accounts.
It’s important to do everything you can to avoid too many people knowing your house is empty over the holidays.
5. Store your valuables in a safe
A safe could be a quick, convenient, and relatively cost-effective way to ensure that burglars cannot take any of your most prized possessions easily.
A small safe to store jewellery and cash would be an easy was to prevent two of the most common theft items from being targeted.
6. Install an alarm or motion-detecting outdoor lights
An alarm system is a fantastic way to prevent thieves from entering your house, and was found to deter 50% of burglars in a survey conducted by the AIC’s Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) project in Western Australia.
7. Get a dog
Having a dog was the highest rated deterrent in surveys conducted by the AIC’s DUMA project, whereby almost two thirds of respondents said that a dog’s presence would make them apprehensive to attempt a break in.
The dog doesn’t even need to be big and aggressive, just noisy enough to alert anyone of a burglar’s presence.
Already got a dog? Do you have pet insurance to cover your loyal guard dog?
8. Maintain your lawn and your bins
By keeping your lawn under control and only putting your bins out on collection days ensures that any prospective thief know that you, or someone else looking after the house, is still inside.
Having an unkempt lawn or keeping your bins out by the kerb suggests that you are away from your house, and gives a thief an excellent opportunity to plan a break-in.
9. Get to know your neighbours
In tight-knit communities, people report on suspicious behaviour and look out for one another.
By getting to know the people in your street, they’ll look after your house when you’re away, and you can look after theirs.
10. Learning from past break-ins
If you replaced your stolen valuables or electronics after your first break-in, take note of what was stolen and think of ways to make the replacements more secure.
A break-in can be a devastating experience – and expensive if you don’t have the appropriate level of contents insurance. Safeguard your house against burglars and neither you nor your wallet will have to suffer the trauma of a break-in.
And keep on top of your home and contents insurance! Be sure to check your cover is adequate, up to date and the best value for you. Compare your policy with those currently available on the market in our comparison table. A sneak peek of this table is featured below, generated based on a building and contents policy taken out in NSW or ACT, for below $550,000, with display sorted by Star Rating (highest first).