Nationally, household burglary is one of the most widespread crimes in Australia with the Australian Institute of Criminology reporting a total of 154,726 residential burglary victims being recorded by police in 2011.

Stocking our homes with the latest electronic goods, computers and jewellery in the lead-up to Christmas can make our homes even more of a burglary target.

According to an Australian Institute of Criminology report, opportunistic burglars choose easy to access properties, stay a minimum length of time and take goods that can be disposed of easily.  Burglars stated the most common mistake homeowners make is to leave doors or windows unlocked or open, with the majority indicating that open windows flagged a lack of security.

Keeping these simple home security tips in mind could reduce the risk of opportunistic theft this Christmas.

  • Avoid openly displaying your Christmas tree and gifts so they’re easily visible from the street. It’s too tempting for thieves to smash a window and take your new purchases.
  • After Christmas Day don’t advertise your new gifts to thieves by piling up empty gift boxes in a visible place. Break them down and place in your recycling bin.
  • Secure all windows and doors with quality locks and if you’re installing outdoor Christmas lights, don’t feed extension cords through partially open windows. Use solar options or install outdoor power points.
  • Take photos of your new valuables and create a catalogue in case you need to make an insurance claim.
  • Identification engraving of your new property will make it easier for police to return your goods if they are found after a break-in. You can borrow an engraver from your local police station or Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator.
  • Don’t advertise your holiday plans or upload photos of your new Christmas gifts on Facebook or Twitter.
  • If you’re going away, plan ahead. Make sure your home looks occupied by asking a neighbour to collect your mail and using timers on lights.
  • If you home is monitored, notify your monitoring company when you’re going away and check that your contact details are up to date.
  • Most importantly, make sure your alarm is always on and protecting your home.

For an obligation free home security assessment, call RAC Security on 1300 131 578.