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Is your home burglar-proof?

25 October 2021

Is your home burglar-proof?

We can help with five easy ways to make your home more secure.

Anyone who has experienced a break-in knows it can be traumatic and expensive. Unfortunately, break and enter isn’t an uncommon crime in Australia, with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures showing that 248,100 households (2.4%) experienced a break-in over the 2019-2020 period. 

But how can you make sure it doesn’t happen to you? A great deal of property theft is opportunistic – thieves taking advantage of the fact your home is easily entered or obviously empty. So here are five practical steps to help make your home more secure.

1. Lock up, inside and out 

It sounds obvious, but make sure you lock your windows and doors when you go out and when you go to bed. Fitting keyed locks to all your windows and double-keyed deadlocks on doors means thieves can only leave the same way they got in, making it harder for them to steal big items like TVs.

Installing bolts on sliding doors and getting good-quality lockable screens adds a further barrier of protection. Even if you are at home during the day, be aware that it only takes seconds for someone to walk in and grab items left in plain sight. 

Sheds are full of tools and items that could be used to break into your home, so make sure you lock them as well as any doors between the house and garage. Don’t leave valuables like bikes and lawnmowers in plain sight, even while you’re at home – they can tempt would-be thieves.

2. Don’t leave keys outside

While most of us know not to leave a key outside, some of us still do. Thieves know all the hiding spots: under the mat, on a window ledge, under plant pots, in the letterbox or meter box – so don’t take the risk, even just as a one-off.

If you want to have a spare key available in case of emergencies, leave it with a trusted neighbour or friend. Don’t give spare keys to tradies either, as keys are easily copied.

3. Install security equipment

Security alarms are proven to be the most effective way to deter thieves, and the most effective alarms are ones that can be seen from the street. From alarm-and-light systems (also known as ‘squealers’) to back-to-base systems, the choice depends on your needs and budget. Whichever way you go, invest in a good quality system from a reputable company, as burglars can easily get past cheap or dummy ones. Movement-activated sensor lights are also an excellent choice for night security.

4. Secure your back and side gates

Back and side entrances allow out-of-sight access to your home, which can make it a dream run for thieves to break and enter away from prying eyes, so make sure they are locked too. If you don’t have key locks on your back or side gates, install a padlock or combination lock to add a higher degree of difficulty for opportunistic crooks who might just try their luck. 

5. Don’t advertise that you’re away

Being away makes your property more vulnerable to theft. Try and keep your home looking as lived in as possible. Get a neighbour to collect your mail so it’s not obvious you are away. Ask a friend or neighbour to park in your driveway so it looks like someone is home. Be careful not to announce on Facebook or other social media that you’re going on a trip. 

Be prepared

Prevention is key in securing your property against theft, but it’s also good to be prepared if the worst does happen. Keep a list of your contents and your valuable items so you can easily identify what’s been stolen. Also back up computer files to cloud storage or on a hard drive and keep it somewhere safe that’s not in your home, such as with a trusted friend or relative.

Finally make sure your home contents insurance policy is up to date and ensure that it covers you for everything you would like to be replaced if it was stolen or damaged.

Can we help?

If you need home contents insurance or you’d like to get a quote, NRMA can help and has insurance products for homeowners in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territories, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania.

Contact us by phone on 132 132 or visit us online 24/7. 


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