In Australia, more than 200,000 break-ins are reported each year. And to make matters worse, the incidence of break-ins in Western Australia is well above the national average, with roughly 4.5 per cent of homes here burgled according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. (See this article in The Guardian for more information).
With so many houses being burgled each year, there has never been a better time to enhance your home security measures. With that in mind, the team at Smart Security has compiled our top five tips for securing your home against a break-in:
1. Start with an Audit of Your Current Security.
Before you set out to improve your home security, it’s always a good idea to take inventory. What measures are currently in place to deter and respond to break-ins? This is a good time to invest in stronger doors and windows with industry-standard locks. The harder it is to gain entry to your house, the less inclined burglars will be to waste time trying.
But the most important tool in your security arsenal is an advanced home security package. At Smart Security, we have a range of advanced smart security systems that can be outfitted with HD security cameras in Perth that beam footage of your property to your smartphone or tablet. If an alarm is triggered, you’ll be notified and so will the authorities – ensuring a rapid response time.
2. Don’t Broadcast Your Holiday Plans.
When you’re going on holiday, it’s natural to want to share your experience with your friends and loved ones. Just think of how many times your friends have posted their holiday plans to Facebook. In the weeks leading up to their outing, they’ll enthusiastically count down the days. And once they’ve actually departed, they become more prolific posters than ever before. Some will even livestream their activities for all to see.
The problem with this is that clever would-be thieves know what signs to look for when they are scouting out potential places to rob. If even one of your social posts is set to public, then they’ll have no problem accessing it if they know where to look. Or they may have even created a fake profile with a growing social network that includes at least limited access to what you’re posting.
And some social media platforms – such as Twitter and Instagram – are much more public in nature. All a burglar has to do is figure out your handle, and they can see every post that you publish. It’s easier to do than you might think, as is eavesdropping on social media and even online activity in general.
When it comes to social media, the best thing to do is wait until the holiday is over to start posting about it. Your online friends can wait to see where you’ve been and what you’ve done.
3. Let Potential Burglars Know that Your House is Protected.
It’s easy to think of a burglar alarm strictly in terms of how it responds when an intruder gains access to your home. As soon as someone breaches a door or window, the alarm is triggered – notifying the authorities and waking up neighbours in the process. This should send potential burglars running, though it could just as easily prompt them to make one quick pass through the entry area to see if there’s anything worth snagging before the police arrive.
But this is really the second responsibility of burglar alarm systems in Perth. The first is to deter break-ins altogether. If someone lurking in the shadows can clearly see that your house is protected, they’re much more likely to move on to the next target. An attempted break-in simply isn’t worth the risk.
For this reason, clearly displayed notices letting burglars know that your house is under surveillance is absolutely essential. We take this into account with many of the services we provide. For example, our Smart Alarm Package comes with a highly versatile home-monitoring service. But is also installed with as many warning stickers and signs as you require.
4. Get to Know Your Neighbours.
It may seem a little too obvious, but there’s much to be said for forging a few friendly relationships with the people who live around you. If your next-door neighbour knows you on a first-name basis, she’s much more likely to be genuinely concerned if she sees someone loitering around your front step in the afternoon.
Beyond this, friendly neighbours will be happy to keep a spare key for you (even more so if you return the favour). And you can also let them know when you’re planning to be away, so that they can keep an eye on your property while you’re gone.
5. Think Strategically about the Exterior of Your Property.
Potential burglars are a sensitive lot, and they’re not going to waste time on a property that gives them away too easily. We’ve already mentioned that they will be hesitant in trying to break into a property advertising the use of home security systems in Perth. But you can take this further in terms of landscaping and lighting.
Start by lighting up the garden to discourage break-in attempts afterhours. Shine spotlights on the house from all sides, and illuminate some of the ornamental shrubs and flower gardens. The idea is to make it difficult for intruders to get close to your property without others seeing them.
Follow up by looking for potential hiding places around your property, and consider removing them. At minimum, keep your hedges well-trimmed and below a maximum height of one metre. This will make it easier for neighbours and even pedestrians to see if there is any suspicious behaviour underway. Finally, gravel that crunches underfoot and thorny bushes under the window are a nice deterrent.
If you’d like to learn more about Smart Security’s alarm systems, or how our 24-hour alarm monitoring service can make your home more secure, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.