Hopping off this Easter? Don’t give burglars a break

Easter is a busy time for many people with family get-togethers to organise and, if you’re lucky, maybe even a holiday to pack and plan for.  But did you know that Easter is also one of the busiest times for burglars?

It’s a well-known fact that burglars target homes during the holiday season and the ten day period between Easter and Anzac Day is no exception. 

Easter eggs large

Last month, we shared some home security tips when we blogged about how neighbours can act as a first line of defence against crime.  We also posted advicein September last year from Peter Strong, Area Manager for AMI Insurance in Canterbury, which included help on how to protect your home if it is currently being rebuilt.

The team at AMI has a few extra suggestions on how to protect your home while you’re away:

Don’t reveal your name on your letterbox or answering machine – the more information a burglar has, the easier it can be for them to gain access to your home. Just put the house number on your letterbox and door.

Turn down the volume on your telephone ringer – unanswered phonecalls are a sign that no one is home.

If you have an answerphone, record a message that says you’re ‘unavailable at the moment’ or ‘can’t come to the phone’. Don’t give away the fact that you’re on holiday or detail such as when you’re back in town.

– The post office can hold all your addressed mail for up to 12 weeks. If you can’t get a friend or neighbour to clear away post and newspapers, arrange for their delivery to be suspended. Uncollected letters and newspapers can be a sign of an empty house that thieves may pick up on. Information on how to hold your mail can be found here.

– There are lots of great bargains to be snapped up at Easter, but if you hit the shops, make sure you cut down or dispose of boxes away from your home – in particular for big ticket items like televisions, games consoles etc.  Don’t advertise your home’s contents.

Keep areas in and around your home well lit.  A dark property is more inviting for burglars. Consider installing motion sensor lights outdoors and putting indoor lights on a timer or get a neighbour to pop round to turn on a different inside light each day. You can also install lights on other outdoor buildings, such as sheds or garages.

Consider installing a monitored burglar alarm system – they are effective deterrents against intruders.  Make sure the system you get includes a loud inside alarm, detectors for all exterior doors and motion sensors for inside the house.

– If you do get an alarm installed, let people know you have one. Display a prominent security sign or sticker outside your property.  A burglar is far less likely to break into a house with an alarm than one without, and a sticker can act as a visual deterrent.

Remember, you can also join or set up a Neighbourhood Support group.  The scheme can be an effective way to make streets and neighbourhoods safer places to live. Find out more here.

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