Home and Property
October 2, 2023
Crime Prevention
How to protect your home when you go away

How to protect your home when you go away

If you’re going on holiday, making your home look occupied when you’re not there is a good way to put off unwanted intruders.

Most break-ins happen when there’s no-one home. Before you go away, take time to secure your home and reduce the chance a thief breaking in by following these simple tips.

Lock up

Make sure all doors and windows are shut and locked, including sheds, garages and gates. 

Remove any spare keys you have hidden outside the home and keep any spares out of sight inside the house.

Don't broadcast your holiday

Don’t announce on social media that you’re going away. You can post your holiday snaps once you’ve safely returned home. 

Set your social media accounts to “private” or “friends only” and delete any followers you don’t know.

Make it seem like you're at home

Get timer switches for your lights and radio or television, if you don’t have smart home technology. Set them to turn on and off at times of the day when you would normally use them.

Make sure the lights come on in the living areas of your home, and not in the hallway, for example. Tuning your radio to a station which is mostly talking is better than a music station.

Cancel deliveries

Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers and food boxes and arrange for Australia Post to hold or redirect your mail.

Light up with sensor lights

Install motion sensor lights around the entry to your home if you don’t already have them. 

Before you head off, test that they’re working and angled correctly. Consider getting solar-powered sensor lights.

Consider a smart camera

While most security cameras are more useful for catching crooks than deterring them, installing camera doorbells or motion sensor cameras disguised as floodlights can come in handy when you’re not home. 

Invest in the models that link with your smartphone, so if you do have an intruder at home you’ll receive a notification and can even see and talk to them in real time.

Ask a neighbour to help

Ask a neighbour you trust to keep an eye on your property and help make it look like you’re there. Tell them when you’re going and when you’ll be back. Ask them to:

  • park their car in your driveway to make it look like you’re at home
  • clear out your letterbox
  • open and close blinds at appropriate times of the day
  • put your garbage bins out on collection day and bring them in again.
  • hang some washing on your line and bring it in again.

Redirect mail

Arrange for Australia Post to hold or redirect your mail. Put a “no junk mail” sticker on your letterbox.

Let police know you'll be away

Register your absence from home with Victoria Police. 

You can register online or download and complete an “Absence from residence” form and take it to your local police station. 

Remember to let police know when you’ve returned home, especially if you come back earlier than planned.

Free home security pre-holiday checklist

There are usually a truckload of things you need to do and get ready before you go away. So, trying to remember all the simple things you can do to keep your home secure, can be tough. 

We’ve taken the hassle out of that by preparing a free home security holiday checklist. Download it and fill it out as part of your trip preparations.

Get Police Assistance

For all emergencies and immediate Police assistance
Call: 000
To report non-urgent crimes or events 24 hours a day
Call: 131 444
To report information about a crime contact Crime Stoppers on
1800 333 000

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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.