The festive season is fast approaching and it is more important than ever to be aware of your surroundings and not become complacent with the security of your family, home and business.
Remember, Santa is not the only one that is busy at this time of the year nor is he the only one who is making a list and checking it twice! The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for criminals and ASIAL – the premier national body for the Australian Security Industry is urging home and business owners to start thinking now about their security needs.
ASIAL reports that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2015-16 national Crime Victimisation Survey, 2.5% of Australian households (225,700) experienced at least one break-in during the year. The majority of these households had property stolen (75% or 168,700 households), and a quarter of these were personal items. NSW had the highest number of incidents, followed by Victoria and Western Australia. In addition, an estimated 2.1% of households (185,900) experienced at least one incident of attempted break-in with the most commonly identified evidence being damage to or tampering with doors or windows (45%), followed by seeing or hearing someone trying to break-in (23%).
If you are going away this festive season, try and have someone collect your mail so that it does not pile up in your letterbox and alert would-be criminals that no one is home and if possible invest in a time-switch to set some of the lights in your house to come on and off during the evening periods.
The ASIAL have prepared the following ten security tips for the holiday season; they include:
1. Invest in a home security safe: We all keep important documents as well as cash and jewelry in our homes; invest in a home security safe and lock these possession away. It is preferable to purchase a safe that can be “secured or concealed, and is fire and flood resistant.”
2. Get a home security alarm system: Alarms with visible external sirens can act as a great deterrent and by connecting your alarm to a back to base monitoring station this will ensure a prompt response, giving you peace of mind that your property is being looked after when you are away on holidays. If you already have an alarm make sure that it is in good working order.
3. Install sensor lights: Criminals are unlikely to come and knock at your front door, so it important that you aware if someone is approaching your home at night. Installing sensor lights can help deter criminals and alert you that someone is approaching your home.
4. Always lock the front door: With the weather heating up, we are more likely to keep our windows open and our doors unlocked, especially during the Christmas period when we are expecting our family and friends to come over or we simply are popping over to our neighbours. This is the opportunity that the criminals are looking for, that invitation to come into your home and take your possessions. Always ensure that your windows and doors are locked no matter how briefly you are away.
5. Don’t leave spare keys outside: Remember you do not know who is watching you when you place or use that spare key that you keep by that pot plant or under the mat. Leaving a spare key with your trusted neighbour is always a safer option. And…do not leave your keys or handbag lying around or near an unlocked door or open window, the criminals would love to drive off in your car or keep a copy of your key to use at a later time. For businesses think about investing in a keyless entry locking system.
6. Be careful on social media: Change your security settings to private; don’t list your street address on your profile; don’t advertise that you’re going away; consider sharing your holidays when you return home; if you post, be mindful of the images you share; disable location services.
7. If you are going away or closing your business for a few days: Ask a trusted neighbour or business owner to keep an eye on your premises and report suspicious behaviour to the police; contact your alarm monitoring centre to advise them of your absence.
8. Don’t look like you are away: Organise to have your mail put on hold or have someone collect it for you whilst you are away. For home owners, ask a neighbour to park in your driveway; for business operators advise suppliers not to deliver during your shut down period.
9. Make access to your premises as difficult as possible: Remove items from outside and around the premises that may be used as makeshift ladders; ensure all building windows, doors and other access points are secure; keep valuables out of sight; make sure your motion-sensor lights are working.
10. Review your security defences: This is a perfect time of the year to review the security measures of your home and business, and you can always talk to us to discuss your security options.
Stay safe and secure this holiday season and please stay tuned to our website for all the latest news and projects.