Whether we like it or not, home security is a subject many of us have been confronted with at some point. Unfortunately, the ugly prospect of a break-in is all too common these days, and it can have a devastating emotional impact on the residents. It’s not just the loss of treasured possessions, but also the loss of that precious feeling of safety.
Take Greg and Julia from Macquarie Park in Sydney. They thought their home was well and truly secure when they jetted off on their long-awaited four week European holiday. “We’d checked all the doors and windows before leaving, although I must admit we didn’t tell the neighbours we were going away!” says Greg.
However, this small oversight is a common mistake many people make when leaving home for an extended period. Unfortunately for Greg and Julia, they arrived home to find their property had been burgled. But they’re not the only ones who have found themselves in this scenario – 24% of Australians neglect to tell their neighbours to watch over their homes while they’re on holiday, according to the latest report from Australia’s largest electronic security company, ADT Security.
Other startling findings from ADT’s Secure Homes Report 2013 include the fact that from a survey group of 1500 Australian homeowners and renters, 27% have fallen victim to a break-in, while a staggering 26% of victims had their properties broken into while a family member was at home.
In spite of these alarming statistics, the report found that 81% of people don’t believe burglary is a problem in their local area, with 17% of respondents feeling so safe in their neighbourhoods that they still leave a spare key outside the property for visiting family or tradesmen.
Nevertheless, ADT says homes and possessions can be secured by following a few simple tips. For Greg and Julia, next time they’ll be informing their neighbours of their holiday plans, but other ways to keep your home secure include:
- Keeping a lid on sharing information about your travel plans via social media (including chatty children)
- Leaving a car in the driveway while you are away, or arranging for a neighbour to park their car there and move it from time to time
- Installing a monitored alarm system, and advising your security company when you will be away
- Ensuring your alarm is in working order and has been serviced within the last 12 months
- Installing good exterior lighting on your home and place alarm signage and stickers to act as a deterrent to thieves
Security Tips When Selling Your Home
Indeed, focussing on home security can also be of benefit when it comes time to sell your home, according to property expert and CEO of Raine & Horne, Angus Raine.
“If you’re thinking of selling your home, it can be worth your while to invest in some home security features, as this is another drawcard for potential buyers.” says Mr Raine.
With the ADT report showing that 32% of residents reported forced entry through a window as the most common method of break-in, Mr Raine says some simple security upgrades can make a big difference.
“For instance, ensure your windows have keyed locks or security grills, while your doors have high-quality locks, and particularly deadlocks.
“Also, installing locks on garden gates, sheds and garages, and ensuring gaps in fences are repaired, are simple security upgrades that can go a long way in the eyes of buyers.”
However, with ADT reporting that 63 per cent of residents only upgrade their home security after becoming a break-in victim, Mr Raine says it’s never too late to invest in home security.
“For many of us, home security is one of those subjects that can very easily be overlooked or put off until another day, but as statistics show, taking precautions greatly reduces your risk of a break-in.”
Indeed, keen buyers often notice if an alarm system has been installed in a sale property and if you are looking to sell it could be worthwhile seeking a quote to install a monitored alarm in the home.