If you’re going away on holiday or just not going to be home for a while, here are 7 simple things you can do around your place before you leave.
That way, you’ll enjoy your break more and have extra peace of mind, knowing your home is safe and protected while you’re gone.
Crooks scoping out places to rob look for homes that appear unoccupied. So the best solution is to get someone you trust to house-sit for you while you’re away.
Ask family, friends or work colleagues if they know of anyone suitable who might be a willing house-sitter. Always meet the person beforehand, ask for references and get them to provide a CrimCheck.
If you can’t get a house-sitter then asking a neighbour you trust to help make your place look active while you’re away, is also a great idea.
Ask them to do things like water your garden, open and close blinds, clear out your letterbox, park their car in your driveway, hang clothes on your washing line and put your wheelie bins out, and bring them in again, on bin day.
While security cameras and CCTV alone, are more useful for catching burglars, than preventing them from breaking in, wireless camera doorbell systems which you can interact with via your smartphone, can be handy.
If someone rings your doorbell, while your hanging out on the beach, you get a notification on your phone, can see live video of who it is via the app, and can even talk to them, making it seem like you’re at home.
Setting up timers to turn lights, a radio or your TV on and off at relevant times during the day and evening, can help make it seem like someone is at home. Try to set them to times when those rooms and appliances are usually being used. And mix it up if you can. Talk stations are better than music stations.
Many modern homes have smart systems which allow you to program this sort of thing. Or you can get a range of 24/7 timers at your local hardware store that plug into your standard electrical power points.
Opportunistic thieves will look for sneaky ways to enter your house, if they’re confident you’re not at home.
Burglars have been known to squeeze through pet doors, enter through skylights or gain access via the manhole in your roof. Always make sure these can be secured from the inside with keyed locks, lockable bolts and toughened glass.
You never know when a fire may strike, even during colder months. A well-prepared home is more likely to survive an ember attack from a nearby grass or scrub fire.
Take time to clean your gutters of leaves and twigs, install metal gutter guards and repair missing or damaged tiles on your roof. Even urban areas are at risk, particularly those near grasslands or bush.
The CFA has more information on how to prepare your property for bushfire.
Having external sensor lights around front and rear entry points, sheds and garages, can help deter a would-be thief. If you already have them, test them before you go away – make sure the globes and sensors are working and that they’re lighting up the right area.
If you don’t have sensor lights, consider installing some around your front entry and driveway.
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.