Just as the birds and blossoms come out in Spring, so too do burglars. They seek vulnerable homes with windows and doors left open by homeowners hoping to catch the fresh air or the cool evening breeze. So, with that in mind, crime prevention partners Crimsafe and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia (NHWA) had a simple message for homeowners this Secure September. Clean up crime! Now in its second year, the month-long initiative ensured that home security was made effortless by combining security checks with similar spring-clean tasks around the home – all with one goal in mind – to improve a home’s Secure Score. From cleaning and checking spotlights to decluttering the office and preventing identity theft, each day offered a simple yet effective home security and cleaning tip via Crimsafe’s and NHWA’s social media channels. If you missed the Secure September Clean Up Crime daily tips and tricks on our social pages, keep reading. All the tips to ‘Clean up Crime’ from Secure September 2022 What’s your Secure Score? – Is your home as secure as it could be? Statistics show that many homes across Australia are susceptible to break-ins, theft or damage due to insufficient home security measures. How secure is your home? Find out with our free, online home security check here: https://securescore.crimsafe.com.au/ Clear out your desk. Clear out your personal info – Cull the piles of paperwork, bills and receipts that accumulate in the office or spare room. To prevent identity theft, be sure to properly destroy documents and paperwork containing personal details before putting them in a wheelie bin. Declutter your shed. Deter the crimes – Don’t let your tools be one of the tools a burglar uses to break into your home. Tidy up your tools, ladders and garden equipment and lock them up. Keep dust away. Keep an inventory – When dusting, compile a list of serial numbers on valuable items in the main living areas of your home. In the event of theft, this will streamline the insurance process. Clean your windows. Check your windows – When giving your windows a good clean, check to see how easy they’d be to access from the outside. Are they secure in their frames? Are they lockable? Have you considered having security screens installed? Keep your laundry secure. Keep dirty thieves out – Spring cleaning means cleaning the cleaners. As you clean your washing machine, dryer and vacuum cleaner this Secure September, take a moment to check your laundry door – it’s one of the most common entry points for burglars. Trim trees. Take away their hiding places – Don’t let your house become a jungle and let overgrown trees provide a space for burglars to hide. Make sure your front door and windows can be observed from the street and keep the crims out. Look good on the outside. Feel safe on the inside – You want the front of your home to be welcoming to guests, but not an easy entry for intruders. Make sure your front door and side gates are in good condition and secure. Clean your outdoor lights. Consider sensor lights – while cleaning your outdoor lights, consider installing smart or sensor lights to protect your home. If you already have them, check that they’re in good working order and ensure the exits and entrances to your home are well lit. Scrub your bins. Store them away – Don’t forget your wheelie bins need a regular clean. While you’re at it check to see if they are stored away or chained to a fixed structure. Intruders often climb onto bins to help gain entry into windows or over fences. Keep your community safe – 87% of homeowners are not a part of their local Neighbourhood Watch group. Joining your local group can be a valuable source of information and provide you with local connections and advice to keep your community safe. Rearrange cupboards. Record makes and models – When giving your wardrobe and storage cupboards a spring clean, make sure to record serial numbers, models and descriptions of your valuable property that is stored away. This will help recover stolen items and assist you to make an insurance claim. Where there’s a window, there’s a way – Did you know that 54% of homeowners don’t have security screens that meet the Australian Standards? As you spring-clean your curtains and blinds, make sure all your windows are well protected with security screens or locks to prevent unwanted entry from intruders. Wash your security screens. Protect what protects you – When was the last time you washed your security screens? Regularly cleaning your screens will improve airflow, remove build-up and impurities and ensure they perform at their best for years to come. Regardless of what security screens you have, the Crimsafe cleaning range will help restore your screens to their former glory. View the range here: https://shop.crimsafe.com.au/ Test locks. Ensure you have one key to fit all – As you clean your security screens, take the time to test the locks and ensure you have the right keys to open all the locks on your doors and windows. Having a single key for all screens and doors is not only safe, but convenient too. Scrub your car. Secure your car keys – Give your car a much-needed detail, inside and out. After you do, rethink where you store your car keys. Keep them out of sight, away from doors and the garage. The majority of cars are stolen with their own keys taken from within the house. Prevent build-up of dust. Preview a threat – Clean door frames and the tops of windows – a wet cloth or microfibre cloth should do the trick. While you are doing this, check to see if your front entryway is visible from the inside. If not, adding a peephole to your door is a great way to see who is at your door before you open it. 61% of homeowners don’t have a peep-hole viewer and it’s a simple and effective way to improve your Secure Score. Get rid of unwanted items. Get rid of unwanted guests – Declutter old appliances, linen, clothing, sporting equipment & toys. There are several charities that will find these a second home. But don’t get rid of all of them, leaving some shoes, toys, or other low-value items on display is a great way to make it look like you could return home at any moment. 68% of homeowners don’t leave shoes by the front door and this is an easy way to make it look like you are home. What’s cooking? Not your home – Definitely on the spring-cleaning list – the oven. This might seem like a big task, but a simple trick to make it easier – remove the door. Removing the door is relatively simple on most ovens. Speaking of cooking… test your smoke alarms. An interconnected smoke alarm with a non-removable 10-year battery provides house-wide protection. Clean cameras make intruders think twice – 56% of homeowners don’t have security cameras. If you have them, great! Now’s the time to clean them – remove dust from the lens, clean the cords and ensure they are pointing to the entryways. Even if you don’t have one, consider adding a warning sticker to your front fence as a way to make an intruder think twice before they enter your property. Today’s menu – Secure your kitchen – Dust the top of your kitchen cabinets – often a collection point for dust and pests. While in the kitchen, check to ensure your windows are secure. Do you have a sliding servery window – our range of sliding windows might be the perfect solution for you: https://crimsafe.com.au/product/sliding-windows/ Wipe down the dust. Light up your house – Ceiling fans tend to collect a lot of dust. Use a microfibre glove and an old pillowcase to catch the dust rather than have it fall to the floor. Do you have light timers in your house? They are a simple way to give the impression that someone is home to turn on the lights. Lights on at night may just be enough to send the burglar down the street. Full mailbox? Empty house -Clean your inbox – delete old emails, unsubscribe from mailing lists, and create rules to stay organised. Check your mailbox regularly. Don’t let mail gather, as many thieves see this as an opportunity to steal personal information. Going away? 31% of homeowners don’t arrange mail collection when on holidays – a full mailbox is a sign that no one is home. Touch up your door. Check for a solid core – Repair and patch any scuff marks on paintwork with some touch-up of paint from your local hardware store. At the same time, check all your doors and windows are securely locked. Ensuring you have solid core doors to make your home harder to break into. 11% of homeowners don’t have adequate locks on all external doors, and 23% don’t have solid core doors. Hose down paths. Light up entries – Pressure-wash exterior paths. The build-up of grime and moss can cause them to be slippery. As you do this, make sure that the main entry/exits to your home are well lit – checking when it’s dark to ensure you have adequate lighting at key entry points. Declutter your gutters, lower your risk – Clean out leaves and branches from your gutters and drains. This will help prevent flooding and storm damage and the spread of fires. Is your home prone to storm damage, or in a bushfire region? Check out our range of speciality screens that can protect your home in the event of an extreme weather event or bushfire: https://crimsafe.com.au/specialty/ It’s not as clever as you think – Clean up the garden, remove any weeds and trim the bushes around your windows and doors. While outdoors, consider creating a safe place for a spare key. 62% of homeowners don’t have a spare key stored in a secure location and in the event of an emergency, they can be extremely beneficial. Don’t hide it under door mats, on adjacent window ledges, around door frames, in fake rocks, or in your mailbox. There’s safety in numbers – Ever considered joining your local Neighbourhood Watch Group? Look for the signs in your local community, or visit the Neighbourhood Watch Australasia website to find a group in your local area. Get started here: https://www.nhwa.com.au/contact/jurisdictions/ Want more security tips? If you missed Secure September and would like to improve the safety and security of your home, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more home security tips in the future. Want to know how your home security stacks up? Find out your Secure Score in under five minutes now https://securescore.crimsafe.com.au/ Bonus tip! If you would like some help with your home security, reach out to your nearest Crimsafe supplier for a free measure and quote today.