Being a victim of a burglary or break-in can be a hugely traumatising experience. We all want to feel safe and secure when we’re at home. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to help protect your home and family from unwanted intruders. Here are ten of our top tips for securing your home without breaking the bank. Lock up your home It sounds obvious but most burglaries happen in the day when opportunistic thieves take advantage of unlocked homes. Even if you are going out for a short time, be sure to lock all your doors and windows. Locksmiths can configure all your windows to a single key for extra convenience. Change your locks If you have just moved into your new home, or if you believe your locks may be compromised, changing your locks are a great starting point to securing the property. This is especially important if you are living in a building that has housed previous occupants. You should also change your locks as soon as possible if you, or any other residents, lose your keys. Install an alarm Add another layer of defence to your home with an alarm system. Options range from a localised system that unleashes an ear-piercing siren to drive intruders away to an alarm with back-to-base reporting that advises a security company to attend when triggered. As an added bonus, installing an alarm can often lead to a reduction in the cost of your home insurance policy. Deter thieves with a dog As many break-ins happen while the occupants are home a barking dog can be an excellent alert for you and your family to be aware and stay safe. It’s also an excellent deterrent and even something as simple as installing a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign can make thieves think twice before targeting your home. Install sensor lights Sensor lights switch on when they detect movement making them an excellent way of increasing your security, both when you’re home and when you’re away. Start by placing one at your front and back doors. Close your garage and lock your shed Garages and garden sheds are often targets for burglars who can then use your tools or ladders to gain access to your main house. Police have reported that even wheelie bins are sometimes used to smash windows! A solar powered light can be a useful deterrent for protecting these areas when they don’t have mains power. Keep valuables out of sight Certain houses look like they’ll score better ‘loot’ for intruders than others. For example, if you live in an affluent area and drive a luxury car, chances are you may also have more valuable possessions to try to steal. Items such as phones, wallets, laptops and jewellery visible through the windows and glass doors of your home can all add temptation for would-be thieves. Don’t forget to take valuables out of parked cars too – you’d be amazed how many people leave cars unlocked in their driveways and get robbed! Social media silence These days it’s easier than ever to let strangers know that you’re not home. If you have an upcoming trip, avoid revealing too much information about it online, especially when it comes to sharing the dates that you’re away. If you’re travelling for an extended period, consider asking trusted family or friends to check in on your home from time to time and collect your mail. Get to know your neighbours Neighbours can help keep an eye out when you’re away and report suspicious activity at your home. By returning the favour, it’s a win-win for both parties. You can also check your local Neighbourhood Watch for updates about crime in your area. Upgrade security doors and windows 60% of victims report that a door or window of their home was damaged during an attempted break-in. In Australia, Crimestoppers recommend strengthening your home’s defences with quality Crimsafe screen doors & screen windows to protect your loved ones and your valuables. Strong screens can also act as a visual deterrent for intruders, sometimes stopping them from even trying to gain access.