Avoid a break-in while you’re on a break
You’ve shivered your way through the last few months, but now that summer is finally peeking its cheerful head around the seasonal corner, it’s time to focus your energies on getting the most out of the sun.
But here’s a warning. While you’re planning your summer adventures, don’t forget to be mindful of your personal belongings too, because while you’re outside enjoying the sun, opportunistic criminals might make their way inside your home.
Ruth Colenso, AMI Claims general manager, says most thieves are picky about the types of items they’ll steal from your home with small (easy to grab and hide) items of high value such as jewellery, computers and other electrical goods high on their priority lists.
‘‘However, thieves often prove less particular about the location of their targets. Many people don’t realise that most burglaries are crimes of opportunity and that your home is vulnerable whether you live in the Auckland CBD or on a remote West Coast farm.’’
Here are a few ways to prevent your place from becoming another burglary statistic. Make your house looked lived in
Whether you’re away for a day or a few weeks, it’s important to make sure your house still looks lived in. Hang some washing out and put your lights on a timer. If you have a second car, park it in the driveway or ask a neighbour to park their spare there. A sure sign of an empty house is an overflowing letterbox, so ask someone to collect your mail every day you’re away. Organise a house-sitter
If you’d prefer it if someone gave your home extra special attention while you’re away, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to house-sit – especially if you’ve got pets. Move valuables away from the windows
Never leave laptops, TVs, jewellery or cash near windows. Out of sight, out of mind . . . Shut the window, close the door, hide the ladder
Open windows and doors provide further temptation for opportunistic thieves. Even if you’re only heading out for the day, firmly lock your windows and doors behind you. Ladders should be locked away as these can be used to access open second storey windows. Be sensible on social media
We don’t recommend announcing that you’re heading on holiday on social media. Neighbourly.co.nz is a good platform to let your trusted neighbours know you’re going on holiday though; send them a private message or knock on their door to ask them to keep a friendly eye out while you’re away.
Be prepared before you head away on holiday, register your personal belongings on Neighbourly’s Home Contents Locker so if the worst does happen you know exactly what you had and how much it was worth. The Home Contents Locker lets you record details about your personal belongings, upload photos of your things and PDFs of your receipts, and list brand, model, serial number, and purchase details.
Open windows and doors provide temptation for opportunistic thieves.