Careless lock-ups leave Aussie homes at risk

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Warning from Crime Stoppers – use it and look after it!

Careless lock-ups leave Aussie homes at risk

In the lead up to the Christmas holidays, research by Crime Stoppers has found that only one in five Australians really worry about home security when going away on a long holiday. There is even less concern when homeowners go away for a weekend. The findings are part of The Lock Report, a joint study prepared by community based program Crime Stoppers (in association with Lane Security) which surveyed more than 1,000 Australians on their attitudes and practices towards home security.

The practice of ramping up home security when holidaying is at odds with most homeowner’s actual experience with intruders, says Director of Crime Stoppers Australia Peter Price OAM.

“Of those who had been the target of a break-in, just four per cent were away on holiday, 26 per cent had left the house for a short period of time and nine per cent were actually at home. Of those that worry about home security when going on a long holiday, one in ten people said they would leave a window open when going away for just the weekend compromising a home’s defences,” says Price.

The Crime Stoppers Australia report found almost four in ten Australians have experienced a home break-in. The results show that basic home security oversights such as lock and key care is leaving families and their belongings vulnerable to burglars:

  • Up to 25 per cent either didn’t or couldn’t remember if they handed over all of the keys when they moved out of their last home  
  • 59 per cent of respondents did not change the front door lock when they moved into their current home
  • 20 per cent didn’t know how old the lock on their front doors was
  • 30 per cent believe their front door locks are more than 10 years old 
  • Just seven per cent of respondents had a company monitored alarm/camera in place*
  • 87 per cent had a deadlock on their front door; but only 57 per cent had one on their back door*

“It’s important that people understand that intruders don’t discriminate. Burglaries can happen at any time or day regardless of whether there is someone at home. It’s all about easy access and having a quality lock and making sure you use it makes all the difference in preventing access,” adds Mr Price.    

According to Mr Price, “home security doesn’t have to be about expensive, high-tech systems, it’s about getting the basics right and utilising your existing assets to the best of your ability. Quite simply if you have a lock, use it and look after it,” adds Mr Price.    

Leading home security company Lane Security adds that a few simple and inexpensive changes can help homeowners to avoid becoming another crime statistic.

“When it comes to home security, well-functioning quality locks are critical. Regular lock maintenance is also very important and depending on the level of use, you should change your locks every 10 years or so,” explains Lane Security spokesperson, Dean Beardmore.

“For example, if you notice things like corrosion, keys getting stuck, latches getting stuck or any clicking or interruptions to the operation of a lock, then you need to change it. It seems that home locks suffer from ‘set and forget’ syndrome.

“It’s also a good idea to fit every external door with a lock that has either a built-in deadbolt or a separate deadbolt as they are harder to manipulate with makeshift lock-breaking tools,” adds Mr. Beardmore.

With over 200,000 Australian homes broken into each year, Crime Stoppers Australia is advising homeowners that just a few simple steps can help better secure their home this holiday season.[i] These steps include:

  • Make sure you have quality locks on all external doors and windows
  • Remember to lock up at all times; the quality of a lock doesn’t matter if it is not locked!
  • Doors and their hardware occasionally need maintenance; a poorly maintained door makes it easier for a burglar to enter your house

“With the warmer weather upon us, it can be tempting to leave doors and windows open in an effort to stay cool. Ensuring that door and window locks are well maintained and functioning will allow you and your family to enjoy those summer breezes and stay safe,” adds Mr Price. 

“By sharing this research, we along with our partners Lane Security and the peak national body for security professionals, the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL), want to encourage Australians to think more carefully about the actions they take to protect their homes this summer,” Mr Price adds.

For further information about how to safeguard your home from burglars contact:

www.asial.com.au for further strategies on how homeowners can minimise risk of a break-in