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Aussie homes left wide open for burglars

25 September 2018

The latest home security research is in, and it seems Aussies are taking a ‘she’ll be right’ approach to keeping their homes safe these school holidays.

The national survey results revealed less than half (49 per cent) of Australians protect their homes with security features such as screens, bars or double locks. No surprise, given a third of those surveyed are simply not concerned, because they believe they live in a safe neighbourhood.

With many families packing up and heading off for the school holidays, Suncorp spokesperson Alexandra Foley said now is the time to check your home is protected while you are away.

“While family fun is understandably top of mind for many people heading away these school holidays, we strongly encourage homeowners to put measures in place to ensure their property and possessions remain safe and secure,” Ms Foley said.

Suncorp’s research showed only 29 per cent of home owners have someone house sit while away on holidays, with more than 38 per cent believing their home will be protected if they keep their lights on.

“We always recommend you ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property and collect your mail while you’re away – a full letterbox is a great signal to burglars that no one is home,” Ms Foley said.

“Our data shows that money, electronics and jewellery remain the top targets for thieves, so it’s important to keep your valuables in a safe or out of sight.”

Despite it now being easier than ever to run a smart home, most Australians are yet to embrace security technologies such as mobile controlled cameras, locks, sensors and lights.  

“Around a quarter (29 per cent) of people surveyed said they use technology, such as smart security systems and mobile apps, to protect their homes. We expect this will increase over time as connected devices become more widely adopted and affordable.”

While technology can help protect your home, it can also hinder. Sharing your social media snaps may make your friends envious, but it’s also another signal for would-be thieves.  

“Be mindful of how you promote your travel plans on social media, and check your privacy settings to see who might be able to view your holiday snaps.”

“Our research shows 18 to 35-year olds are the most likely to regularly promote their holidays on social media (50 per cent), compared to only 14 per cent of those over 55-years old.”  

Key research findings

Suncorp surveyed more than 1,500 Australians to understand attitudes and actions around home security. Key findings include:

  • Less than half (49%) of Australians said they use traditional security features, such as screens, bars and double locks.
  • The use of traditional security features increases with age - from 40% (18-34 years) to 60% (55+ years)
  • 27% of people use technology to protect their home, such as smart security systems and mobile apps
  • A third of people (35%) are not concerned about home security because they live in a safe neighbourhood.
  • However only 16% have not taken any action to improve the security of their home. This is particularly prevalent with those renting (27%)
  • Keeping the lights on is the second biggest security action (38% do this) – far outshining displaying warning signs (18%) and a buying a guard dog (12%)
  • Half of 18 to 34-year olds (50%) regularly promote their vacations on social media. This age group is also the most likely to regularly speak to their insurer about home security (49%)
  • 55+ year olds are the least likely to promote their holidays on social media (only 14%), and speak to their insurer about security (only 25% do this)

The data was weighted by age, gender and location, to ensure the sample would be representative of the population. The research was conducted by amr in August 2018.

Hot Spots for burglaries

NSW: Regional towns top the state for break ins –  Tamworth, Dubbo and Broken Hill 

QLD: Brisbane’s south sweeps the state’s top spots – Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills and Eight Mile Plains

VIC: Melbourne is the state’s hot spot – St Albans, Wheelers Hill and Bundoora.

Based on an analysis of 2000 Suncorp insurance claims from January to June 2018

Top tips to keep your home safe these holidays

  • Ask your friends or neighbours to keep an eye on your property and collect your mail while you’re away
  • Check your alarm system is working
  • Be mindful of how you promote your travel plans on social media
  • Put your valuables in a safe or out of sight.
  • Check you’ve got the right locks on all your doors and windows - its best if installed by a locksmith
  • Do some last-minute gardening – trim trees and bushes near windows
  • Keep a list and photos of your valuables – this will help should the worst happens
  • The most common entry points for a burglary are the garage, followed by the bedroom and kitchen. Make sure doors and windows are secured and locked before you hit the road
  • Check your home and contents insurance is up to date and includes any extra special items you may want to protect

For more information contact:

James Spence - 0436 457 886

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