Burglars have said it themselves - improved security has led to a decline in property crime in Australia. The Australian Institute of Criminology reports 31 per cent of property crime offenders state better security as being the top reason why property crime has declined this century. However, there are still victims, with latest Australian Bureau of Statistics showing 2 per cent of all homes were broken into in 2018-19. Avoid becoming a victim by taking some basic steps to secure your home.
First, keep doors and windows locked, and at all times. News reports regularly reveal that homes are invaded by thieves who are not shy about walking straight into homes, even when people are inside. A good ol' lock and key for doors is the first step to keeping intruders out and residents must remember to keep them locked when they are home as well as away. Locksmiths also can install locks on a variety of window types.
A lock will not prevent thieves from smashing a window or breaking down a door if they are really determined, so a screen on the door and window can provide an extra barrier of protection. No longer do security screens have to look like you're living in a prison, although metal bars can deter burglars, with a variety of super strong mesh screens available that look just like a fly screen.
For those who want to take it up a notch, an alarm system can alert others and even help authorities catch the criminal in the act. A basic siren may scare away offenders, but a monitored system can instantly report the break-in, and security guards or police can be informed and dispatched to the home. Many systems include cameras that will take a still or video visual of the offender, which can be used to identify them. Simply installing cameras, rather than a whole system, also can be a good security measure. Some come with sensors that will send an alert to people inside the home, such as when someone is approaching the front door or a side entry to the property, so residents can see who is approaching. These can be particularly useful when parents have children who are home alone so that they do not open the door to a stranger.
Beware, however, relying on Fido to keep your home secure. A US news station is reported to have interviewed 85 burglars and discovered most would avoid burgling a house with a large, loud dog, as it just was not worth the bother. However, some burglars did bring treats to distract the dog while they ransacked the house, so it's not a foolproof method.
Ready to upgrade your home security? Find security experts and licensed tradies with Buy Search Sell.
By Cara Jenkin