There are people who rarely lock the doors to their homes, and who see that behaviour, as a sad byproduct of a paranoid, alarmist modern world where people soak up too much crime drama on TV. While the vast majority soak on the idealistic irony of Australia's Safety and Security, it's pretty hard to look past the Australian Bureau of Statistics' figures on household crime.
And since we all know, that prevention is better than cure, Here's a few really effective deterrents to make your house less attractive to thieves.
Over the 12 month period from 2010-2011, the ABS estimates that:
- 242,400 Australian households (about 2.8% of them) were victims of at least one break-in to their home, garage or shed,
- 186,700 Australian households (about 2.2% of them) were victims of at least one attempted break-in to their home, garage or shed
-That's actually 1 in 20 houses that were broken into or had an attempted break in, that they knew about during the year!
Besides the obvious questions about why so many thieves are having such a hard time getting in, the sheer volume of those figures should really make the gears turn over a bit.
A few really effective deterrents can make your house less attractive to thieves.
1. Obvious Security Stickers and Cameras
Thieves aren't short of options when it comes to choosing houses to break into, and the risk of getting caught's by far and away their biggest concern. If the choice is between having a go at a house with no obvious security measures and one has none. They're likely to settle for the safer option.
It's a lot like the old adage about trying to outrun a lion. You don't actually have to run faster than the lion - just faster than someone else. Low hanging fruit get picked first, I'm sure you get the idea. It's no coincidence that many insurance companies will give you a discount if you've got cameras installed.
2. Get a dog
Dogs are entertaining. They're also loyal, and territorial - and even the smallest ones aren't afraid of making angry snarling noises or showing some tooth when the chips are down. Obviously, getting a dog's a real responsibility and not something you should just do as an easy way to keep the bad guys out, but that's definitely one of the advantages of having one.
3. Consider what's visible from outside your yard
The best time to take this into account is when you're planning your house and yard - but there's nothing that can't be fixed even in an existing house. If you live on a normal sized block in the suburbs, ideally, your front door or anywhere else in the front yard that thieves could gain access should be clearly visible from the street.
Likewise, it's a really good idea to obscure the interior of your house from view if you can - indoor plants, awnings, curtains, blinds and tinted films can all help. As much as you need your neighbours to know how devastatingly trendy you are, setting up your pricey new 27" iMac so that the shiny Apple logo glints out through your front window is a pretty loud invitation (...wee bit pretentious too).
4. Lock down the back yard
For a lot of people, the back yard's a personal, private space - and for thieves this privacy is a big help if they're trying to gain entry. If you have a gate leading into a secluded back yard, make sure you can lock it. Same goes for sheds, which often contain expensive tools, some of which will be pretty useful for cracking into your house.
5. Keyless Locks and Security door handles
Like judging a book by it's cover. Thieves may judge you by the way your door or entry appears. A typical door handle or knob, shows simplicity and ease of function, as it may appear to easy to break into. A keyless door lock on the contrary, exudes a well planned and installed security system which would make thieves and unwanted guests think twice before breaking in.
6. Good Lighting
A well lit walkway to an entrance, would put any intruders uneasy, if they plan to break to your abode. Though having a romantic or moody lighting can become artsy, front entrances and walkways need to be well lit. Make sure that it's free of shrubs or overgrown plants as well as openly visible for all the world to see. You would like to make this open and bright to make possible intruders feel that, breaking in, will be as public as standing in the middle of the Melbourne Cricket Ground on AFL Finals.
Remember, these are just a few ideas. None of these guarantee safety nor does it say that intruders will never pick your house for their next target. It's a way to avoid them but still always practice precaution. Don't hide the front door key under the mat or in the pot plant - get a key safe and bolt it to a sturdy out of the way spot. Always carry emergency numbers ready. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - It's not a vaccine, but it still helps.