Summer is almost here, and you're all set for that well-deserved vacation. Whether you're hitting the road in a caravan, jetting off to beach resort, or going camping by the river, it's crucial to take a few simple precautions to keep yourself and your family safe while you’re away.
It is very easy on community Facebook pages to drop bits of information about where you live – like your nearest cross-road, or your neighbour's name. All these little bits of intel can come in very handy for the crook who then sees you post your holiday snaps and puts two and two together: you’re away and they know where your home is. Wait until you are back to share your holiday snaps and make sure your social media accounts and/or posts are set to private.
If you're heading off on a caravan adventure, start with the basics. Keep the caravan locked at all times, and when parking at the caravan park, reverse it for added security. This makes it nearly impossible for any would-be thief to hitch and tow it away. Also, remember to lock your car, especially at beachside locations where relaxation is the focus, but safety should still be a priority.
Before you set off, take steps to secure your home. Set timers on lights, making it seem like someone is home even when you're miles away. Ensure all doors, windows and gates are locked tight, providing an extra layer of protection. Consider setting up timers for a radio or television to create the illusion of activity in your home.
Enlist the help of trustworthy neighbours. Ask them to collect your mail, putting out your bins and keep an eye on your property. A little vigilance goes a long way in deterring potential intruders. Encourage them to call you immediately if anything seems amiss.
For an extra layer of security, think about installing a video doorbell or a sensor light camera that connects to a mobile app. This way, you can keep an eye on your property remotely, receive notifications if there's someone at your property and even talk to them. If any suspicious activity is detected, you'll be in the know straight away and can promptly report it to Triple Zero (000).
If you're travelling within Victoria or interstate, especially to bushfire-prone areas, stay informed about any fires or other emergencies in or near the area you are visiting. If you're in Victoria, Download the VicEmergency app or follow VicEmergency on Twitter or Facebook. If you're travelling to other states, download the corresponding app for that State. You can also tune in to the local ABC Radio station wherever you are for regular updates and warnings.
Neighbourhood Watch Victoria acknowledges the 38 mobs, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live, and gather as employees and volunteers. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome. We are committed to ensuring diversity, inclusion and equity are embedded throughout our organisation – in the work we do, the services we deliver and among our staff, volunteers, and the communities we work with.