We have compiled 10 practical steps you can take to reduce the chance of a burglary.
According to Statstics NZ, during 2015 there was 6657 recorded cases of unlawful entry with intent/burglary with December 2015 being the highest month with 639 cases. So how can you prevent this kind of intrusion happening to you?
1. Be aware
The easiest and simplest way is to make sure you have secured your property before leaving for work or going to bed. In the hotter months it's tempting to keep a window open at night, but thieves are opportunistic and rely on these easy ways in. Even if you are at home during the day, be aware that it only takes seconds for someone to walk in and take something while you are in another part of the property.
2. Don't advertise
When listing on online auction sites such as Trademe - ensure pictures of the product don’t include any unique features of your home or the area you live in. Same goes for leaving empty boxes of expensive electronics on your curbside before rubbish day, you are essentially creating a shopping list of items to nab.
3. Don’t leave keys outside
Whilst it can be handy to have a spare somewhere easily accessible, thieves generally know all the good hiding spots – so don’t take the risk, even just as a one off. Keys are easily copied so never give one out to a tradesperson.
TOP TIP: Leaving a spare with a friend or neighbour ensures you have an option if you are ever locked out.
4. Sound the alarm
Professionally installed alarm systems are still one of the most effective forms of home protection.
GOOD TO KNOW: A professionally installed alarm can save you money on your insurance, if you have recently added a home alarm to your property, make sure you update your policy details.
5. Lock back and side gates
Thieves love side and back entrances to homes, because they provide hidden access to your home. Take measures to make these entrances are as hard to access as possible with sturdy bolts. You can also stick a bell or chime to your gate alerting you to the fact someone is entering.
6. Lock garden sheds and garages
Sheds and garages are often left unlocked- make sure your tools and sporting equipment have as much protection as your indoor contents. Tools in sheds, bolt cutters for example, can also provide thieves with the means to break into your home. Make sure don’t leave "wheely valuables" like prams and bikes, outside.
7. Light it up
Sensor lights can be a simple way ensure peace of mind and help deter anyone lurking around your property. They also provide visibility to areas where security cameras are installed.
8. While you're away
- Don't advertise the fact you are away publicly on social media.
- Ask a neighbour to collect mail so that your mailbox is not overflowing - a sure sign you're not home.
- Get someone to mow the lawns for you if you're away for longer than a week or two.
- Employ a security company to monitor your home and send the appropriate response team when an alarm is activated. This is a good option if you are away from home a lot.
9. Create and network and a record
AMI is pleased to be partnered with Neighbourly - a free, private social networking website that encourages safety, community and interaction between neighbours and neighbourhoods.
While you're there, check out Neighbourly's Home Contents Locker - a secure, online "locker" where you're able to log your contents with pictures, descriptions, serial numbers, warranty details and more. This is a great way to keep track of your possessions, and is a great help to police and your insurer if the worst does happen.
10. Keep up to date
Finally, make sure your home and contents insurance policies are up to date and that you understand your level of cover and what your excess are.
Easiest way is to create an online account, so you can see at a glance the details of your policy. If anything doesn't make sense or you see an area that needs changing or updating give us a call and we can update this for you.