Keep your home safe - Save on Insurance.

December 03, 2016
Chris Kirwan

You’ll be amazed how easy it can be to keep your home safe from intruders.

Improving home security doesn’t have to cost a fortune but it can be a good investment. Along with peace of mind, a more secure home can mean handy savings on home and contents insurance and reduce the risk of losing valuable belongings to burglars.

Crims look for easy targets

It’s easy to assume we need costly home security systems to deter would-be intruders. However a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) reveals this isn’t always the case.

As part of the AIC’s survey, researchers spoke with convicted crims to get first-hand insights into what makes a property an easy break and enter target. It turns out only one in three (32.8%) offenders described their burglaries as ‘planned’. The majority (57.8%) were spontaneous or unplanned with burglars drawn to a property that offers easy access, the chance of a quick in-and-out, and the likelihood of belongings that can be easily disposed of (a good reason to keep valuables locked away or out of sight).

A dog is a burglar’s worst enemy

But here’s the real clincher. Participants in the AIC research were asked about the factors that would typically deter them from entering a property. Their answers, listed below, may come as a surprise:

  • a dog (61.4%)
  • working alarm systems (49.1%)
  • sensor lights (22.8%),
  • lights inside house (19.3%)
  • grilled windows/doors (19%)
  • unknown area (14%)
  • visibility of property from road (14%), and
  • gates (12.3%).

Improving home security can be budget-friendly

Okay, buying a dog may not be for everyone, but clearly, installing an alarm system is another option that can make your home a no-go zone for burglars.

However if your budget doesn’t extend to an electronic security system, installing security screens on doors and windows is a low cost deterrent. As a guide, security doors are available from major hardware stores for less than $150. 

Or, improve your home’s visibility with zero cost measures like keeping trees and shrubs trimmed so that your property isn’t entirely hidden from view. Add sensor lights to footpaths and doorways - they can cost less than $20 apiece and it’s a job that can be completed in a weekend by a reasonably competent home handyman.

Keeping your home safe and secure doesn’t mean turning the place into a fortress. As the AIC concluded, simple prevention strategies could minimise the risk of you becoming the next victim of opportunistic burglary.

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