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How to improve your home security

Theft is often a crime of opportunity. You might accidently leave a window open before heading out, or neglect to ask for a reference from a tradie you've just hired. These things may seem minor, but they could be seen as an open invitation by a potential burglar.

The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to improve your home security.

Common risk factors

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has identified factors that can increase the risk of a burglary or theft occurring, such as:

  • an overgrown garden, which obscures the view of your home and provides a place to hide
  • location, for instance proximity to pawnshops or public transport
  • unlocked doors and windows, and
  • homes that are left unoccupied for long periods of time.1

Burglaries and theft are often opportunistic, where the perpetrator doesn't expect to get caught. By taking a few steps to improve your home security, you may be able to reduce the risk of being targeted in the future.

5 ways to improve your home security

1. Get a dog (or at least get to know your neighbours)

If you've ever wanted an excuse to adopt a furry friend, this home security idea could be for you. Dogs are likely to be wary of strangers and bark at them if they approach or enter your property. This may alert you or your neighbours.

If having a dog isn't practical, ensuring you have a good relationship with your neighbours can be similarly helpful. They can keep a watch on things if you're away, in addition to watering your plants and making your home appear lived in. And, of course, you'll be ready to do the same for them should the need arise.

2. Consider using smart home tech

One way to keep an eye on your home, without being in it, is with a smart home alarm system. Entry level models come equipped with alarms, cameras and sensors that connect via wireless internet to send alerts to your smartphone if anything's amiss. Some models even have the ability to lock a door remotely by using a dedicated app.

If you're a Suncorp customer, download the Suncorp App to take advantage of discounts. 

3. Lock your doors and windows

Locking your doors and windows when you go out may seem like home security 101, but you'd be surprised by how often burglaries occur because someone just plain forgot. Remembering to check and lock points of entry, every time you leave home, could go a long way to preventing theft.

4. Be aware of who you let into your house

If you regularly have people coming in and out of your home, such as cleaners or tradespeople, it's important to establish early on whether you can trust them. After all, they'll be working amongst your most prized possessions. Ask your family and friends to see if they can recommend someone for the job or ask for references when hiring.

5. Maintain your home

If your home looks lived in, you're less likely to be a target of theft. An overgrown garden will provide a burglar with somewhere to hide, so keep any large bushes or trees trimmed. It's also worth making sure your home is well lit. If you have security lights on timers, check them regularly so you know whether the light bulbs need to be replaced.

Need a hand with home maintenance? We can recommend a trusted local tradie for you.

Compare home and contents insurance

Additionally, it may also be worth thinking about theft insurance. Though it's difficult to replace items of sentimental value, home and contents insurance can cover your home and possessions if they're affected by an insured event like burglary or theft. Suncorp's Home and Contents Insurance has three levels of cover, so you can choose the policy that's right for you.

Compare Suncorp's Home and Contents Insurance


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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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