A Few Tips on How to Deter Thieves and Prevent Potential Burglaries from Alarm Doctor
No matter the time of year, people will always have a reason to leave their property, whether it’s your office or your home; whether you’re leaving the country or simply closing up for the weekend. Burglars and professional thieves have an eye for the little things – the details that say you’re not there… that say, “nobody’s been here for a while.”
Properties that show obvious signs of neglect make for prime targets to potential burglars and thieves because they know there is less risk of them being caught. As such, we’ve put together a simple list of the things you can do to make sure your house or offices seem a little less empty when you’re away:
- Starting with the obvious, generally speaking you want to make your home or offices look occupied and you want to make it difficult for any potential burglars to get in.
- When you go out, leave a few lights on. This might sound like a waste of energy and an extra expense, especially if you’re going to be away for a while, but there are lots of ways you can manage your lighting; for example, you can connect automatic timers to the sockets, which will turn the lights on and off for you and, you can even download apps that help you control your lights over the internet. Have a search online for “home control” apps if you’re interested.
- Make sure that you lock all outside doors and windows before going to bed, or leaving the building, even if it’s not for a very long time.
- Arrange with the post office to hold your mail or ask your neighbour to swing by every now and again so that piles of letters, flyers and bills stack up while you’re away. Lots of mail is a clear sign that nobody’s home.
- Remember that sliding doors are likely to be the first entry points burglars will try because their latches are usually simple. Investing in a more secure latch or lock system is highly recommended.
- If you can see that the locks on your doors and windows are a little worse for wear, replace them. For a just a few dollars you’ll be adding a significant layer of security to your home – additionally, “pushbutton” locks on doorknobs are very easy for burglars to open. Installing deadbolts instead is sure to save you a world of trouble.
- If you’re going to be away for a while, arrange to have someone mow your lawn and prune your front yard – overgrown gardens are also a good sign that the property is [temporarily] abandoned.
- If you have a garage, make sure the door is closed properly and locked at each respective latch.
How NOT to Tempt a Thief:
These tips might sound obvious, but from time to time, we simply forget about them and then before we know it, we realise that we made a mistake. It’s best to put these things at the front of your mind, especially just before you prepare for bed, leave the office or at least a day before you set off on a journey:
- Don’t leave things like lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles out in the open… even if they’re chained up. Just the fact that they’re there and NOT MOVING for a long time is a signal to burglars that nobody’s home.
- Never leave notes on your door that signal you’re not there – for example, “Popped next door, back in 10” or “Dear Mailman, please leave today’s post with number 22 as I’m not in until this evening.”
- Use blinds or curtains for ground level and basement windows. Blinds are better as you can tilt them to 50%, making them seem neither closed nor open, whereas curtains are going to need to be left either open or closed… again, a signal to any potential thieves.
- Make sure you lock your garage doors and garden sheds right after use. It’s common that the keys our in our pockets as we’re carrying things back and forth, and then when we’re back in the house, the old “it’s just too far away to go now, I’ll do it later” kicks in. Lock them right away.
Don’t Skimp Out on Locks:
- Remember that quality speaks for itself when it comes to safeguarding your property, meaning that the most impressive-looking lock, costing 10 bucks is NOT the right choice over an uglier lock that costs $50. Also take into consideration, however, that no lock, no matter how good it is, can be 100% effective, the least of which are “key-in deadbolt locks.”
- If you ever lose your keys, or they’re stolen, change your locks IMMEDIATELY and the same goes for moving into a new property – this is generally very overlooked in society, with estate agents and landlords simply handing over the keys and people moving in no questions asked. There is always the possibility that in the history of those locks, an uninvited party could have made copies of the keys that you don’t know about.
Cover Your Front:
- By all of your main entrances, to the building or at the very least, the property itself, installing motion-sensitive outdoor lighting is a must.
- Make sure that all of your outside doors’ hinges are on the INSIDE of the property – having the hinges on the outside makes for an easy breaking, with nothing but a screwdriver.
- Keep trees and shrubs properly pruned to ensure a good line of sight for you and less potential hiding spots for intruders.
A Simple Window Lock:
- Most people will have access to a drill, or someone that does and, with that, it’s a good thing to note that if your windows don’t have locks, you can always make a pretty good one yourself. All you need to do is drill a small hole through the inside frame and half-way through the outside frame, horizontally if the window opens upwards, vertically if the window slides to the side or in either direction if the window opens outwards, making sure to make the hole as close to the opening edge as possible. Simply pop a nail or screw into that hole and the window will be “pinned” shut.
- A professional-grade alarm system, coupled with expert installation, is one of the most effective safeguards against burglaries available in Australia. Thankfully, Alarm Doctor stocks one of the widest selections of the leading brands and latest models that the country has to offer and we go on to provide our clients, whether commercial or private, with the finest installation, maintenance, upgrade and repair services.
- If you don’t have an alarm system in your property, or you’re not happy with the way your current system is performing, get in touch with Alarm Doctor today and have one of our technicians pay you’re a visit. We’ll be in and out in a blink.
- If you have an alarm system set up, use it! So many people simply forget or choose not to activate their alarm systems but, simply put, failing to activate your alarm not only jeopardises the safety of your property, but can also nullify any claims you make to your insurer in the event of a successful breaki-in.
Other Things You Can Do to Decrease the Chance of a Break-in:
- Don’t leave your keys in “clever” hiding places, anywhere near your property. Burglars and thieves who’ve operated for long enough have seen every trick in the book and will know where you hid them, simple as that.
- Install fake (or real) CCTV cameras
- Adding a “Beware of the Dog” sign can be a helpful tool.
- If you have the time and energy, it can be useful to have some of your more valuable possessions engraved with a personal identity number, such as your Driver’s License number, making it harder for thieves to sell on and easier for the police to recover.
If You Come Back to Find a Break-In Has Occured:
If you’re unfortunate enough to come home after a long break, or simply returning to the office on a Monday morning, only to find broken glass, or the door ajar… there are a few things we recommend you do:
- DON’T GO INSIDE! For all you know, the burglar or thief could still be inside. We’re not saying “don’t be a hero,” but just know that if anything goes south in there, you could be liable (as crazy as that sounds.)
- Call the Police and tell them what you’ve found.
- Don’t touch anything – just wait for the police to arrive. If you accidentally move something or tread anywhere near the premises, you could jeopardise the evidence you need to catch the culprits.
- Make a note of any suspicious people or vehicles in the area – if you can, take their registration numbers or write down what they look like.
Alarm Doctor is here to help Sydney Siders to stay protected against burglars and thieves. If you ever need professional support for your home or office’s security, don’t forget that we’re qualified, licensed and fully insured to provide everything you need, with surgical precision.
Stay tuned for more insights like this!
The Alarm Doctor Team