Home burglaries, theft and stolen car offences have increased, according to the latest police figures.
Last month, in WA alone, there were 150 more home break-ins, 67 more stolen car offences and 776 more theft offences.
So that you can have peace of mind over the Christmas period – here’s how to keep your home safe from these thieves.
1. Install a fake security camera
If you aren’t able to purchase an expensive security camera, you can pick up a dummy camera for around $20. It will give the impression that your home has a security system and deter burglars.
2. Pretend someone’s home
When leaving your home, even if no one is still there, wave towards your door. That way, if someone is watching you, they will be deterred.
3. Clean out your letterbox and mow the lawn
When you’re busy you can forget to check the mailbox or mow the lawn but these both signal to potential thieves that you are away from home, even if you aren’t. If you truly are on holidays, make sure a trusted neighbour clears out your junk mail and tidies up the lawn.
4. Buy fake alarm system stickers
These can be bought online and may deter burglars who think your house is under surveillance.
5. Don’t advertise your holiday on social media
It can be exciting but countdowns to your holiday can just give wannabe thieves a reason to visit your house. Be vague about when you’re going and keep updates to a minimum, especially if you have friends of friends on your account.
6. Hide your car when packing
When loading your car with suitcases, keep it quick and hidden if possible.
7. Insert dowel along sliding windows and doors
This is a simple but effective way of securing windows that already have locks on them (using dowels alone is not the smartest idea!). For double security, put a dowel in the track of sliding doors and windows, so even if someone breaks you window or door locks, they will have trouble getting in.
8. Install an alarm system
These are easy to install yourself and are much cheaper than they used to be. Most alarm system packs come with a keypad and door sensors. You can also get more professional systems with window sensors, wireless remotes and motion detectors. These are great for when you are home as well, as you’ll feel much safer knowing you’ll be awoken by an alarm if anyone attempts to break in.
9. Close up your blinds/curtains
If your front room gives a good view into your home, close your blinds and curtains at night and when you aren’t home. At night, the light from your room will illuminate it, giving the burglar a front row seat into your house.
10. Garage timer
The garage door can easily be left open and even easier to forget that you have. You can buy a garage door that automatically closes after a preset period of time – they’re around $40.
11. Hidden keys
Don’t be tempted to leave your key under the doormat, in a pot plant or under a rock – burglars know all the tricks. You can purchase a combination lock box from a hardware store and screw it in an inconspicuous spot with screws that can’t come out.
12. Motion detector lighting
Put motion detector lighting anywhere near entrances and down the side of your house. Motion detector lights are a proven crime deterrent can be bought for around $15, either wired to your house or running on solar.
13. Get a dog
The best way of detecting a theft is to have a dog! Even small dogs can be enough to scare off a potential thief. Otherwise, having a ‘beware of dog’ sign even if you don’t have a dog is a handy deterrent.
14. Tidy up your garden tools
Before you go on holidays, make sure no garden tools or ladders are lying around, as these will give thieves even more advantage.
15. Know your neighbours
Get to know your neighbours so that they can alert you if they spot any suspicious behaviour.
Tell us, has your house ever been broken into before?