RACQ Insurance is urging Queensland householders to pay particular attention to security around their homes during the Easter holidays.
RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications, Mike Sopinski, said the Easter holidays were traditionally a high-risk time for break-ins, and with many Queenslanders likely to take an extended holiday this year the threat to properties would increase.
RACQ Insurance Home Security Index research* showed there was considerable fear of property crime across the community with almost half the state’s householders (48 percent) saying they were concerned about leaving their home in case it was burgled.
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“Householders should be aware that the majority of home theft is opportunistic and many do make it easy for thieves to enter properties by not using simple and basic home security measures,” Mr Sopinski said.
“The RACQ Insurance research revealed that despite the fear of burglary, almost one-third (32 percent) of Queensland householders admitted they sometimes left their home unlocked.
“The most common entry point for thieves is the front or back door, yet householders often forget to lock deadlocks around the home or to use window locks.”
The RACQ research identified more than 70 percent of break-ins occurred as a result of thieves forcing doors and windows, and just under 25 percent were through open doors and windows. The main methods of break included:
- Door forced open (38 percent)
- Window forced open (35 percent)
- Open/unlocked door (17 percent)
- Open/unlocked window (8 percent)
- Dog/cat door (1 percent)
- Through the roof (0.5 percent).
To help overcome worries about a potential burglary while on holidays or at home, Mr Sopinski recommended undertaking a few basic security measures.
“Try leaving some lights on or arranging for a house-sitter,” he said. “Another common protection measure people use when they go away is to ask a friend, neighbour or cleaner to collect their mail or keep an eye on the home.”
Mr Sopinski also urged Queenslanders to check their home contents insurance as RACQI research showed thieves were targeting jewellery, laptop computers, handbags and wallets, smart phones, and personal identity items such as drivers licences and passports. Expensive items of designer clothing were also on thieves’ wish lists.
RACQ Insurance Easter holiday home security tips
1. Remember the basics – it’s no good installing locks and then not using them.
2. Make sure everyone in your home is equally security conscious. Have a routine that everyone follows to check locks and switch on alarms when the house is left unoccupied.
3. Tell your neighbours if your home is broken into – then they can report any suspicious activity to police.
4. Don’t assume balcony doors or high windows are safe to leave unlocked – thieves are good at finding ways to overcome these obstacles.
5. Store easy-to-carry, expensive items such as laptops, smart phones and jewellery out of sight so thieves can’t see them – consider installing a safe.
6. Don’t leave doors or windows wide open even while you’re at home.
7. Don’t leave car keys and wallets beside open windows or doors.
8. Engage deadlocks when you leave the house so that thieves cannot carry items out through your main doors.
9. If you can’t arrange for someone to collect your mail when you’re on holiday, ask the post office to hold it until you return. Also, attach a ‘no advertising material’ sign to your letterbox so it doesn’t overflow.
10. Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property while you’re away.