Stop bur­glars from ru­in­ing sum­mer

Sum­mer is fast ap­proach­ing and here are some tips to keep your home se­cure.

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER -

In a per­fect world, we’d never have to worry about our stuff be­ing stolen. But as Christ­mas looms and we start plan­ning our sum­mer hol­i­days, it’s im­por­tant to con­sider the un­think­able.

Ac­cord­ing to a study car­ried out ear­lier this year, ap­prox­i­mately 164 bur­glar­ies oc­curred ev­ery day in New Zealand in 2015, and al­most 60,000 went un­solved. The most com­mon items that are stolen in­clude elec­tri­cal goods like TVs, iPads, cam­eras and smart­phones, jew­ellery and watches, bi­cy­cles and tools, so if you own any of th­ese make sure you keep them safe.

Roger Wallace, AMI gen­eral man­ager cus­tomer con­tact, says sum­mer is a prime time for crim­i­nals to take ad­van­tage.

‘‘Many peo­ple leave their win­dows open be­cause it’s hot. And while we’re in an­other room, in the back­yard or out en­joy­ing the sun, op­por­tunis­tic thieves could be in your home tak­ing your stuff,’’ he says.

But while it’s a sad fact that theft is pro­lific through­out much of the coun­try, there are a few things you can do to pro­tect your stuff should the un­think­able hap­pen to you.’’

LOCK UP

This might seem like a no­brainer, but al­ways lock your house be­fore you leave, even if you’re just nip­ping down the road. It might be tempt­ing to keep your win­dows and doors open dur­ing sum­mer, but think about in­stalling se­cu­rity latches first. If you live in a large house and spend most of your time at one end, make sure the other end is se­cure; you’d be sur­prised at how many bur­glar­ies hap­pen while res­i­dents are at home or in the back­yard.

DON’T PUT ON A SHOW

Draw your cur­tains or po­si­tion valu­ables well away from nosy eyes, and keep ex­pen­sive ve­hi­cles and tools hid­den away in your garage. Think about where you set your Christ­mas tree up too. Fairy lights shin­ing out onto the street might look nice, but so might that big pile of presents.

KEEP A RECORD OF EV­ERY­THING YOU OWN

Make the unimag­in­able man­age­able – just in case. Neigh­bourly’s Con­tents Locker, sup­ported by AMI, lets you keep a track of your be­long­ings so if you need to re­place them, you know what you had and what they’re worth. The Locker is free, sim­ple to use and to­tally se­cure. Up­load pho­tos, se­rial num­bers and re­ceipts; you can even lodge items room by room to help keep ev­ery­thing or­gan­ised. For more in­for­ma­tion head to neigh­bourly.co.nz/home­con­tents.

GET CON­TENTS IN­SUR­ANCE

While the Locker is not a re­place­ment for a con­tents pol­icy, it can help you vi­su­alise how much stuff you own and how much it’s worth – be­cause it all adds up. If you’ve al­ready got con­tent in­sur­ance, use the Locker to help you work out if you’ve got enough cover.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR NEIGH­BOUR­HOOD

If you see any­one sus­pi­cious wan­der­ing your streets, spread the word. If you’re new to the area, sign up to Neigh­bourly and get to know your neigh­bour­hood. The more you know about your com­mu­nity and the more you have your neigh­bours’ backs, the more they’ll have yours too.

PHOTO: 123RF

Think about se­cu­rity latches on win­dows.

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