We are all at risk of break-ins, however, some have worked to reduce their risk and others have left it up to the deity of their choice, karma, or the universe for protection. A secure environment is essential for seniors to feel comfortable and safe in their homes, but doesn't need to mean bars on the windows, a mammoth rottweiler patrolling the garden, or a watch tower at your gate.
Lower your chances of becoming the victim of a burglary by following these 8 simple tips.
Lock it up
Lock up, even when you are at home. Make sure you lock the front of the house, including the garage, if you are working in the garden out the back, and vice-versa if you're out the front. Secure all windows, all the time, with key operated locks and install deadbolts on doors.
Most window locks can be fitted so they have a second locking position which allows you to leave the window ajar to let in the breeze and allow the air to circulate.
The key is...
We'll let you in on a few secrets:
- your fake rock key hiding place stands out a mile
- under the pot plant next to the door is the second place thieves will look
- on top of the door frame is the third
- don't even think about putting it under the mat
- thieves use Google too and can search for 'clever places to hide your spare house key' before they plan a visit to your house
If you would like to have a spare key close to home in case you get locked out leave one with a trusted neighbour. Alternatively, a combination lock box secured and hidden away from your home entrances will keep your key secure.
Important note - don't put your address on the key tag you give to your neighbour in the event that their house gets broken into.
More on keys
Don't leave deadbolt keys in the lock. This pretty much negates the security of the deadbolt. Remove the key and place it in a non-visible place nearby for use in emergencies. Getting all locks keyed alike means you can keep one on your keychain and others around the house.
Don't leave your house or car keys just inside the front door, by open windows, or in the car in easy reach of opportunistic thieves. Keep them out of sight. The same goes for wallets, handbags, mobile phones, and other valuables.
Sound the alarm
A quality home alarm system can help to safeguard yourself and your possessions, when you are home as well as while you are away. Look for an alarm installation company who have a solid reputation, that the installing tradesperson is licenced to install security equipment, and that they use products and components from reliable brands.
Maintain the alarms system once it is installed by carrying out yearly servicing. This minimises false alarms and ensures the system is offering complete home protection for your property 365 days a year.
For complete coverage invest backup from in an alarm monitoring service. This service ensures a security professional will be notified if your alarm system goes off any time of the day or night.
Mark it up
Microdotting or engraving appliances and valuables with your driver's licence number and initials or another identifiable code can help police recover your possessions if they are stolen. Taking photos of these items can also help to identify and reclaim them, as well as assisting in insurance claims.
Ensure the front of your home is well lit and clearly visible from the street to avoid giving thieves somewhere to hide or the ability to enter your home unnoticed by neighbours. Install sensor lights at the front door and keep your garden trimmed back.
Book in for Home Assist Secure
If you are over 60 you could be eligible for the Home Assist Secure service offered by the Queensland Government which provides expert home safety advice, referrals and assistance. More information on this offer here - https://www.qld.gov.au/seniors/safety-protection/safety-at-home