Burglars usually get in by forcing open a window or door; they’ll also climb through an open window at night or walk in through an open door while people are upstairs or in the garden. It’s important to be security-conscious all the time – even when you’re at home.
Burglars are opportunists and will wander the streets looking for an easy target:
Monitored security alarms have proven to be the most effective way to combat thieves. The most effective alarms are easily seen from the street, make a loud noise and are linked to a security service that monitors and responds when the alarm is activated.Get into the habit of locking up – every time.
Burglars know all the hiding spots: under the front door mat, on a window ledge, beneath a plant pot or in the letterbox or meter box. Leave keys with a neighbour or friend instead. Keep your car keys in a secure and hidden place as burglars will steal a vehicle if the opportunity presents itself.Lock your side gates.
Side gates allow thieves easy access to the back of your house, away and out of sight from the street.Lock your garden shed and garage.
Not only are they full of valuable and easy-to-steal tools, but they usually contain implements that thieves can use to break into your home. Always lock doors between your house and garage. And don’t leave bikes or lawnmowers on the front lawn, even while you’re at home.Install movement-activated sensor lights.
Keep your house well-lit. And trim trees and shrubs, especially those close to windows and doors that provide cover for intruders as they try to break in.Don’t advertise that you’re out or away.
Whether you’re away for a day or two or a few weeks, try and keep your home looking as lived-in as possible.Don’t advertise your possessions.
Don’t leave the box of your new TV or computer outside the house. Cut boxes into pieces to recycle.List all your valuable items.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be burgled, a list of all your valuables can help you identify what has been stolen. It’s a good idea to photograph antiques and jewellery. And always keep receipts for your possessions with your list to help with insurance claims. If you engrave your possessions with your driver’s license number, or mark them with an ultraviolet pen, it will be more difficult for thieves to sell and can help police identify your goods if they’re recovered.
You can also get involved in Operation SNAP (Serial Number Action Project). This is an initiative of the Insurance Council of New Zealand and the Police, and also involves some secondhand dealers and property recording companies. Participants are provided with a document to record serial numbers and other particulars of their property. They are also given SNAP WARNING stickers to put on items which serial numbers they have recorded and to put on house windows to alert burglars to the fact that serial numbers on the premises have been recorded. For more information please visit http://www.police.govt.nz/safety/home.operationsnap.html‘Beware of the dog’.
Many burglars are put off by a barking dog; although a dog in the backyard might not stop them breaking through a front door or window if the animal doesn’t bark too much and attract attention. Even if you don’t own a dog, think about putting a ‘Beware of the dog’ sign on your gate.Make sure your home contents insurance is up to date.
Check that your home contents insurance policy is current. And that you’re insured for the right amount to cover the replacement cost of your contents at today’s prices.
Note: The information is general advice and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs, and may not suit your personal circumstances. So before making decisions about insurance products you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your circumstances, and the relevant Policy Wording.