Often, when families move into a new home, excitement takes over and makes them overlook some critical details, like security.
If you’ve purchased a new home, ensuring security should be a top priority.According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, there were nearly 200,000 cases of “unlawful entry with intent” and over 500,000 cases of non-motor vehicle theft in 2016 alone (1).
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you and your home don’t become included in these stats. Our reputable locksmiths have a complied a list of essential things you need to action to secure your new property.
Before loading up the moving truck and getting settled in, call a local locksmith to upgrade the home’s locking systems or at least rekey the existing locks. Without doing so, you will be putting your family and belongings at risk.
At Positive Security WA, we have dealt with far too many new homeowners who forgot this vital step. As a result, their homes were invaded, and they were robbed of their money and prized possessions.
The worst part is, in most cases, there was no forced entry. The intruders had an existing key or were able to pick a worn out lock quickly.
In 99 per cent of these cases, the previous owners didn’t commit the burglary. Instead, it was a former person who had access to their home or keys.
If they had contacted another Master Locksmith or us, they could have easily avoided becoming burglary victims.
At Positive Security WA, we recommend all new homeowners rekey their locks. If you want to ensure your safety, it’s definitely a service worth investing in. It’s a simple, low-cost investment that can save you much, much more in the future.
While rekeying your locks is a must when moving into a new home, there are several other steps you can take to make it even safer.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick home security checklist to ensure your new home is as safe as possible:
- Check all of the locks and keys to make sure they’re in good working order which includes deadlocks on all external windows and doors.
- Check the locks on garage doors, back gates, and any other unconventional access points.
- Check the exterior lighting to make sure entry areas are well lit, and no bulbs are burnt out.
- If you have timers or sensor lights, check to see if they are working correctly.
- Check the outside landscaping to make sure there are not overgrown shrubs that can hide potential burglars and provide them with cover.
- Check near the street to see if any street lights are out. If so, contact the local municipality to have them fixed.
- If you have a home security system, which Positive Security WA recommends, check to make sure it is working correctly.
If you’ve checked all of these boxes and your new home passes with flying colours, consider yourself one of the lucky few.
However, if there are any doubts about the security of your home, contact us or another reputable security company to perform a security audit.
Burglary is one of the most common crimes in Australia. 20 per cent of Australian homes will be burgled more than once (2).
So, as the proud owner of a new home, what can you do to keep your new home from being added to the list?
As you can see from the checklist above, there are many things you can do to help keep your new home, family, and belongings safe and protected. In our experience, homeowners who take the ten following steps are often the safest and most secure.
1. Secure the doors
We often see images of burglars breaking into homes through windows on the sides or back of houses. However, this is incorrect. Most burglars enter a home through the front door.
So, take the time to check your home’s front door as well as the other external doors. The locks should work, the frames should be durable and in good shape, and the hinges should be secure and protected.
The front door and other external doors should be reliable and have correctly functioning deadbolts. The front door should also have a peephole and minimal glass either in or around the door.
As mentioned before, the locks should also be rekeyed. You don’t know who had a key to the home before you, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and get the locks rekeyed.
If locks are older or in rough shape, rekeying alone won’t do. If this is the case, it’s a wise idea to get them replaced.
2. Install locks on the windows
If burglars don’t enter through an external door, their next bet is usually a window. Nearly as many burglars come through a ground floor window as they do the front door.
Many windows have latches that don’t lock at all. Check your home’s windows and have locks placed on each one. While you’re at it, check the upstairs to and place locks on those as well.
3. Get friendly with your neighbours
Your neighbours can be powerful allies in combating would-be burglars. However, they can’t help if they don’t get to know you and who should be in your home.
By becoming friends with your neighbours, you can help make your home and the entire neighbourhood more safe and secure.
4. Be careful who you let in your home
You never know someone’s ulterior motives. Even a “trusted” maid or gardener may not be able to resist temptation or just be waiting for the right moment to steal your valuables.
It’s vitally important to keep a close eye on contractors and people you hire to work in or around your home.
Every time you welcome someone into your home, they have the opportunity to scope out your valuables and make a plan to revisit the house when you’re away and take your belongings.
Background checks are helpful, but keeping your valuables out of sight and a keen eye on workers and guests can be even more useful.
5. Be mindful of what you put in the trash
Burglars and other criminals have been known to go through someone’s trash to see personal information or recent items that may have been purchased.
For example, if you recently purchased an expensive laptop and had thrown the packaging away, a burglar may see it and use it as an open invitation to come back and take it.
If you’re getting rid of packaging from any expensive purchase, it’s a smart idea to cut the packaging up to make it as unnoticeable as possible.
6. Light up the exterior
Believe it or not, most burglaries take place during the day when homeowners are away at work. However, this doesn’t mean your home doesn’t need to be secured at night.
To keep your home safe in the p.m. hours, place exterior lights around both the front and backyard. If you have a side door or garage, make sure they are also illuminated at night. For extra security, use motion activated lights as well.
An intruder will be much less likely to break into a home if there is a bright spotlight shining on them.
7. Keep your yard clean and tidy
Curb appeal is great, but a tidy yard can make your home safer as well. Overgrown hedges and shrubs are an ideal place for burglars to hide, so if they’re close to your home, make sure to keep them trimmed.
You may even consider replacing large shrubs with flowers. Not only will they eliminate hiding spots for intruders, but they also look and smell great.
8. Get a dog
A dog can be both you and your home’s best friend. Dogs have incredible senses and will often bark when they detect an unfamiliar person lurking outside.
9. Add security signs and stickers
Most security providers provide yard signs and window stickers to help thwart potential burglars. If you have some, make it a point to display them.
If you don’t have a security system, do yourself a favour and have one installed. While a sign may deter some, others may try to give your home a pre-burglary test.
10. Install a security system
Whether it’s a basic self-installed alarm or a thoroughly monitored system, every home should be equipped with some a security system.
Evaluate the needs of your home and choose a system that will work best. At a minimum, it should have an alarm and motion sensors for the windows and doors.
Well, there you have it. At Positive Security WA, we’ve seen firsthand too many times what a lack of planning and security can do to a family.
Thousands of homes are robbed each year throughout Australia. Don’t let yours become one of them. Follow these tips and secure your home, belongings, and family today!